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Rudman takes world title
Shelley Rudman has been crowned women's skeleton world champion in St Moritz after completing four dominant runs to claim victory by over half a second from American Noelle Pikus-Pace.
Rudman took a huge one-second advantage into Friday's final two runs and although she was reeled in slightly by the USA silver medallist, she held on for a victory margin of 0.57 seconds.
But there was some disappointment for Great Britain team-mate Lizzy Yarnold, who slipped behind Canadian Sarah Reid on the final run and had to settle for fourth place.
Rudman, the 2006 Olympic silver medallist, had won a World Cup race in Winterberg in December and her latest success will boost hopes of going one better at next year's Sochi Olympics.
Rudman said: "I'm so happy because this was the one medal in my sport I hadn't won. I always set goals and the world title was always my number one priority this year.
"I had quite a good cushion going into my final two runs but I am experienced enough to know it was nowhere near over. I spent all last night knowing just one mistake could put me out of the medals."
Now Rudman, who followed her silver medal in Turin with a relatively disappointing performance in Vancouver in 2010, believes she will begin her build-up towards 2014 in better shape than ever.
"I've been in two Olympic environments - one where I went in as an unknown with no pressure and won silver, then in Vancouver where I was in the best form of my life but I just didn't get on with the track.
"I've built up quite a range of experiences in the Olympics so hopefully I can bring that into play. I can't wait to go to Sochi and start to get to know the track ahead of next year's Games."