Yarnold 'fired up' for World Championship success

By Nick Hope

BBC Olympic sports reporter

Lizzy Yarnold's had a change of pace - making lampshades
Bobsleigh & Skeleton World Championships
Venue: Konigssee, Germany Date: 17-24 February
Coverage: Live coverage on Connected TV, BBC Red Button and the BBC Sport website

Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold says she is "fired up" for the World Championships after a "disappointing" return to the sport.

After completing a career grand slam in 2015, Yarnold took a year's sabbatical citing exhaustion before returning to action late last year.

She claimed silver in her in second race back, but after struggling with a back injury came 11th in her last race.

"Results this season haven't been as good as they should've been," she said.

"There have obviously been issues and there are concerns, but I have always enjoyed failure, getting things wrong and being disappointed because that's what fires me up for the next competition."

The first two of four World Championship runs for the female skeleton sliders begin on Friday in Konigssee, Germany, with the second two on Saturday.

Since returning to the sport Yarnold has suffered a reoccurrence of the dizzy spells which first appeared in the season following the Sochi Winter Olympics and developed a back condition which at one stage left her struggling to walk.

The 28-year-old insists she is learning to combat the problems and is happy with the improvements she is making with less than a year to go until the 2018 Games.

"It sounds weird to say, but I think I'm definitely a better athlete than I was leading up to Sochi," she told BBC Sport.

"This season has actually been very successful as I'm learning and building the foundations which are going to be fundamental to the Olympics.

"Trying to be the first British Winter Olympian to defend my title is a huge juicy goal that gets me out of bed every day."

I cannot wait for Pyeongchang 2018 - Yarnold

The 2015 world champion is part of a six-strong British skeleton team competing at this year's Worlds in Konigssee, Germany this week.

The event was originally due to take place in Sochi before the sport's international governing body, IBSF, stripped Russia of the hosting rights following the publication of the second McLaren report.

Prior to the decision Yarnold stated she would consider boycotting the event and told BBC Sport she was "pleased" a "strong stance" had been taken.

The slider is now hoping to recapture her form on a track she traditionally enjoys competing on.

"I would love to get a world medal," said Yarnold. "I'm going into the race to win but it's a year out [from the Olympics] still so, as long as I'm learning getting better I'll be pleased with my performance."

Yarnold is joined by Laura Deas and Donna Creighton in the women's squad with Dom Parsons, Jack Thomas and Jerry Rice making up the men's line-up.

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