Parsons wins GB’s first medal with skeleton bronze – highlights & report

XXIII Olympic Winter Games
Venue: Pyeongchang, South Korea Dates: 9-25 February
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app. Full coverage times

Dom Parsons won Great Britain’s first medal of the 2018 Winter Olympics with bronze in the men’s skeleton.

After a dramatic final run, Parsons finished 0.11 seconds ahead of fourth-placed Martins Dukurs with a combined time of three minutes 22.20 seconds.

Parsons, 30, looked to have lost out on a medal until world champion Dukurs made mistakes on his final run.

South Korea’s Yun Sung-bin won gold by a record 1.63secs and Nikita Tregubov, an Olympic Athlete from Russia, silver.

Briton Jerry Rice, 27, finished 10th in 3:24.24.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Parsons told BBC Sport. “I thought I’d lost it after that fourth run. It felt like it’d had gone.

“But Martins Dukurs has made some more mistakes and he’s the last person I’d expect that from.

“It’s been great. All the work we’ve put in has paid off.”

Britain have won a medal every time skeleton has featured at the Winter Olympics, but Parsons is Britain’s first men’s skeleton medal since John Crammond in 1948.

Parsons, who finished 10th in Sochi four years ago and has finished on the podium in the World Cup only once, was not among the main British medal contenders before the Games.

“Dom’s aim was to get a medal. No-one thought that was possible, but he’s loved this track from the moment these Games started,” said Amy Williams, Britain’s Olympic skeleton champion in 2010.

Britain’s dramatic first medal

Parsons was fourth after the first two runs on Thursday, and put in his quickest time of the competition – 50.33secs – to move into third after the third run on Friday.

After posting 50.61 in the final run, a disappointed Parsons sat in silver medal position – 0.02 behind Tregubov – with only Dukurs and Yun to come, and expected to push him into fourth.

However, a Parsons medal was confirmed when Dukurs, who has won eight World Cup titles and five World Championships, made mistakes on his last run and slipped from second after three runs to fourth in the final standings.

Yun eased to victory by the biggest margin in men’s skeleton history.

Who is Dom Parsons?

BBC Sport’s Caroline Chapman in Pyeongchang

Dom Parsons is a self-confessed speed-geek and is nicknamed ‘the wizard’.

Like many other sliders, Parsons started out as a 400m runner and switched to skeleton in 2008.

Parsons not only knows how to race on a sled but he makes them, too. He’s been working on a PhD in mechanical engineering since 2013 at the University of Bath and has helped design the skeleton equipment.

Parsons is also a big Formula 1 fan and, if he wasn’t a slider, he says being an F1 driver would be his dream job and his hero is Ayrton Senna.

The London-born athlete came into Pyeongchang having finished joint-fourth in St Mortiz – his favourite track – in the penultimate World Cup race of the campaign.

Other news on day seven

  • Two Swiss athletes became the first competitors to be hit by an outbreak of norovirus at the Games.
  • The IOC has defended its decision to send home Adam Pengilly from the Winter Games after an incident with a security officer. Pengilly is a British IOC member.

Live BBC coverage

06:00-09:15 and 13:00-18:00, BBC Two and online

06:00-14:00, BBC Red Button and online

09:15-13:00, BBC One and online

12:05-14:30, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra (Ice hockey – Sweden v Germany in the women’s preliminary round)

The Games Today

19:00-20:00, BBC Two and online (23:05-00:05, BBC Two Wales & 23:00-00:00, BBC Two NI)

14:00-19:30 & 21:30-00:00, BBC Red Button (replays)

Olympics Extra

20:00-21:00, BBC Four and online

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