Dom Parsons blazed to an improbable Winter Olympics bronze medal in a dramatic finish to the men’s skeleton competition in Pyeongchang.
The 30-year-old admitted “I thought I’d binned it” after mistakes saw him drop two one-hundredths of a second behind Olympic Athlete of Russia’s Nikita Tregubov on his final run.
But an unlikely error by five-times world champion Martins Dukurs handed Parsons a stunning reprieve, lifting him above the Latvian with only runaway winner Yun Sung-bin to go.
Confirmation of his bronze medal completed a remarkable result for Parsons, whose only previous major podium of his career came prior to the Sochi Winter Olympics, in a Calgary World Cup event in 2013.
Parsons said: “It was a bit of a rollercoaster after the fourth run. I was devastated - I thought I’d binned it totally.
“I made a couple of mistakes down there that dropped me behind Nikita (Tregubov) and Martins (Dukurs), and, unfortunately for him, he made a couple of mistakes which cost him two spots.
“Before he went down he was the last person I would have expected to make those mistakes.
“I’m very grateful that I got lucky, and I’ve got to try to process what happened because it doesn’t seem real to me.”
Parsons had started the final day in fourth place, three one-hundredths of a second off bronze.
But a clean third run edged him above Tregubov and into the bronze medal position.
An uncharacteristic mistake by Parsons towards the end of his final run saw him shunted below Tregubov by two one-hundredths of a second, leaving him to realistically rely on a mistake by Dukurs to nudge him back into the medal placings.
Incredibly, despite a strong start, the Latvian blundered in the second half of the course and consequently finished below Parsons by 11 one-hundredths of a second, leading to wild celebrations among the sizeable British contingent at the Olympic Sliding Centre.
Yun, who is trained by Briton Richard Bromley and, like Parsons, uses a sled provided by Bromley’s brother Kristan, finished an enormous 1.63 seconds ahead of nearest challenger Tregubov, giving the hosts another gold.
Parsons, who revealed he had been suffering from an adductor muscle injury which prevented him pushing at full capacity until his final training run this week, added: “I was probably more nervous than I have ever been.
“At World Cup races, over the last couple of years, I’d noticed I haven’t had them, and nerves are something I used to love.
“But the morning I got to the track for our first practice run I was feeling it again. It’s been a while since I felt like that. I love that feeling coming into a race and especially big races like this - it’s what I live for.”