A SHEDFIELD-based athlete has made history by becoming the first British Winter Olympian to win successive titles.

Lizzy Yarnold took the gold medal in the women’s skeleton on Saturday in Pyeongchang in South Korea, having also won gold at Sochi in 2014.

The 29-year-old champion, now Britain’s most decorated Winter Olympian, trailed leader Janine Flock of Austria entering the final run, but she came through to win by 0.45 seconds.

The historic moment was also a track record of 51.46.

In the same event, British team-mate Laura Deas also took the bronze medal, meaning it was the first time ever Britain have won three Winter Olympic medals in the same day.

Following the race, Lizzy said: “I’m overwhelmed and exhausted. I don’t really know how it happened.

“After the first run I wasn’t sure whether I was going to be able to finish the race because my chest infection was so bad I was struggling to breathe and I got here only with the help of my team.

“My physio Louise just gave me a talking to before run two [on Saturday] and reminded me that I can do it and we can do it together.

“I guess four years ago, three years ago the whole team all dared to dream that this was possible and I just went with all them [and] we managed it.”

City councillor Vivian Achwal, who represents Shedfield and Whiteley, said: “It’s great to have a double Olympic champion in our district. What a fantastic achievement. Her determination to succeed should be an inspiration for anyone who enjoys sport.

“I definitely think there should be a celebration to mark her achievement.”

Fellow city councillor Lisa Griffiths, portfolio holder for sports and physical activity added: “Warmest congratulations to Lizzy Yarnold, we were all on the edge of our seats watching her race. She is a true inspiration to the residents of our district.

“One of the key parts of our council strategy is to encourage increased physical activity across the district and I hope Lizzy’s stunning achievements at the Winter Olympics will inspire people of all ages to try new sports and get active.”

Lizzy was supported by Hampshire County Council’s Talented Athlete Scheme between June 2016-17.

Cllr Andrew Gibson, executive member for culture, recreation and countryside, said: “Our congratulations go to Lizzy for her amazing gold medal win at PyeongChang.“We’re proud to support Lizzy and that it’s played a part in her securing her place in the history books.”

HTAS, which is funded by Hampshire County Council and administered by Energise Me, provides athletes with grants for competition and travel costs, physiotherapy and sport science support. Free access to leisure centres and bus travel, is included. The athletes also receive public speaking training to inspire schoolchildren to participate in sport.

Councillor Gibson added: “Former HTAS participants have told us how much of a difference the scheme made to their sporting careers, particularly when they were young and support from national sporting bodies was not always available.

“Earlier this month, I announced that 191 athletes will receive HTAS support this year, with 119 of those receiving grant funding worth over £40,000. We are looking forward to seeing more athletes reach their full sporting potential and winning medals on the world stage.”