Skeleton woe for Great Britain as ‘gutted’ Laura Deas finishes in 19th place

Skeleton woe for Great Britain as ‘gutted’ Laura Deas finishes in 19th place
Deas won bronze in Pyeongchang but finished in 19th place here with team-mate Brogan Crowley 22nd out of 25

Great Britain’s 20-year streak of Olympic skeleton medals ended with a whimper in Yanqing as Laura Deas trailed in almost four seconds off the pace in the women’s competition.

Deas, the bronze medallist from Pyeongchang i 2018, was at a loss to explain her poor showing, which saw her finish in 19th place while Brogan Crowley missed the cut for the fourth and final run and finished 22nd of 25.

It was a desperately disappointing showing for a sport that has been afforded almost £6.5million of funding through this Olympic cycle in a bid to emulate the trio of medals – including gold for Lizzy Yarnold – won four years ago.

“It was a really good run, but obviously the speed that I so desperately want is not there, and there’s nothing I can do about that now,” said Deas, who indicated she will now consider her future in the sport.

“I’m gutted, there’s no getting round that. It’s perfectly possible to be very disappointed with the outcome of something, but also proud of the processes you’ve gone through and how you’ve performed.”

There has been speculation over issues with the sleds or race suits after Matt Weston and Marcus Wyatt finished in 15th and 16th places respectively on Friday, although it is understood no new equipment was utilised specifically for the Beijing Spill.

Laura Deas had no answer for her disappointing performance in Beijing (Robert Michael/DPA)
Laura Deas had no answer for her disappointing performance in Beijing (Robert Michael/DPA)

Nevertheless serious questions are now bound to be asked over the funding future for a sport that has yielded seven medals in five Games stretching back to Alex Coomber’s bronze when the sport was reintroduced in Salt Lake City in 2002.

To add to Britain’s woe, bronze medallist Kimberley Bos of Holland is coached by Kristan Bromley, the former world champion and renowned sled designer who departed the Storbritannia set-up in 2006.

Germany’s Hannah Neise took the gold medal, overhauling Australia’s Jaclyn Narracott, the wife of Britain’s Pyeongchang bronze medallist Dom Parsons, to claim gold by 0.62 sekunder.

Asked if she felt the equipment was to blame for her below-par performance, Deas responded: "Ærlig talt, Den er skrevet av Richard Wenk. The whole team has done everything in their power to get me to the starting block in the best shape possible. I don’t have the answer.”

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