Hat-trick of medals for Sochi-bound Rudman

Britain's Shelley Rudman speeds down the track during her first run of the women's Skeleton World Cup race in Koenigssee, southern Germany. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Britain's Shelley Rudman speeds down the track during her first run of the women's Skeleton World Cup race in Koenigssee, southern Germany. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
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Shelley Rudman concluded her preparations for the Winter 
Olympics by winning a hat-trick of medals yesterday.

The 32-year-old Sheffield-based skeleton slider finished third at the final World Cup race in Konigssee, Germany.

The race doubled up as the European Championships, and as the second highest from the continent on the podium, she secured a silver to clinch the fifth European medal of her career.

It was also the final World Cup race of the season and the result was enough for the 2006 Olympic silver medallist to secure overall bronze from the season.

On top of last year’s World Championship gold, it confirms Rudman’s superb form heading into her third Olympics in Sochi next month.

She tweeted: “3rd in the Overall World Cup rankings which was my personal goal this year so I have the complete set of globes!”

Rudman’s compatriot Lizzy Yarnold concluded a stellar winter by doing enough to be crowned overall women’s skeleton World Cup champion after finishing in joint-ninth place.

The Kent slider finished off the podium for the first and only time over the eight-race season but her position was enough to hold off race winner Noelle Pikus-Pace in the overall standings.

Yarnold becomes the third British woman to win the World Cup title since Rudman in 2012, and Alex Coomber, who won three titles between 2000 and 2002.

Yarnold went into the race in Konigssee having won four out of seven of the season’s races and having finished on the podium in the other three.

But a major bump midway through her first run effectively ended her hopes of maintaining that record and she had to settle for finishing 1.25 seconds behind American Pikus-Pace, who like Yarnold ends the season with four World Cup victories.

Rudman was exactly half a second behind the American, with Austria’s Janine Flock sandwiched in between.

Yarnold’s triumph was confirmed when the scheduled second run of the race was cancelled due to heavy snow.