From Hastings to Olympic gold

Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold with Eric Hardwick at the 2012 Hastings Half Marathon prize-giving night. Picture by Tony Coombes Photography
Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold with Eric Hardwick at the 2012 Hastings Half Marathon prize-giving night. Picture by Tony Coombes Photography

The special guest at the 2012 Hastings Half Marathon prize-giving night won Great Britain’s first gold medal of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Lizzy Yarnold dominated the women’s skeleton in Sochi on Thursday and yesterday (Friday) to claim Britain’s 10th gold in Winter Olympics history.

Hastings Half Marathon race director Eric Hardwick said: “On the evening, when interviewing her, we introduced Lizzy ‘as the next Olympic champion’ and she agreed! It was wonderful to be in at the birth of such a great athlete’s rise to stardom.

“We congratulate Lizzy in winning the 2014 Olympic gold medal for the skeleton. A most dedicated athlete and such a lovely young lady whose background as

a heptathlete was the grounding for moving to skeleton.

“A lot of prize winners will be able to cherish their photos taken with Lizzy at prize-giving and can now say their award was presented to them by a gold medallist. Well done Lizzy from all at the Hastings Half Marathon.”

Yarnold, from Kent, led after all four rounds of the competition. She held a 0.44-second advantage after the first two runs and extended that to 0.78 seconds after setting a new track record in the third run before finishing 0.97 seconds ahead of Noelle Pikus-Pace, of the United States.