European Championship bronze for Melton skeleton bobsleigh star Amelia Coltman

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Melton's skeleton bobsleigh star Amelia Coltman achieved a magnificent European Championship bronze medal in Latvia on Friday afternoon.

Coltman claimed her maiden top-tier medal in Sigulda just a few hours after fellow Brits Marcus Wyatt took gold and Matt Weston silver in the men’s event at the same venue.

Belgium's Kim Meylemans won the race with Olympic champion Hannah Neise pipping Coltman to silver by just eight hundredths of a second.

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The 27-year-old clocked a two-run time of 1 minute 43.49 seconds to become the first British female to win a European Championship medal since Lizzy Yarnold and Rose McGrandle secured gold and bronze respectively in Igls nine years ago.

Amelia Coltman - European bronze medal glory.Amelia Coltman - European bronze medal glory.
Amelia Coltman - European bronze medal glory.

Coltman joins an illustrious list of just nine British sliders across both the men’s and women’s fields to win a European medal, with Amy Williams, Shelley Rudman and Kristan Bromley among them.

Having set a personal best of sixth in Lillehammer last week, the former tennis and badminton player went even better in Latvia as she finished fourth in the World Cup race but third in the Continental Championships after Canada’s Mirela Rahneva took overall gold.

“I'm ecstatic to come away from today's race with a European Championship bronze medal and a PB World Cup fourth place,” said Coltman.

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“I felt optimistic coming into the race off the back of a good result last week and a solid week of training here, but to actually put it all together on the day and perform felt incredible.

“It's been a tough journey to get to this point after battling through injuries and some disappointing results in the first half of this season.

“I've worked really hard on my mindset and I'm beginning to see the results.

“It hasn't sunk in yet but I will take confidence from my performance for the rest of the season and beyond.”

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Never before have GB won three medals in a single European Championship competition and this marks just the second time in history the country has won European medals in both the men's and women's races.

Amelia had also smashed her personal best as she made the World Cup wider podium for the first time a week earlier.

Coltman bettered her previous highest finish of 13th from the season opener in Beijing by finishing sixth in the Women’s Skeleton in Lillehammer.

She set a two-run time of 1 minute 46.26 seconds, holding her position from the first heat and beating Canada’s Hallie Clark to the final place on the wider podium by one hundredth of a second.

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Only previous World Cup, World Championship or Olympic medalists got the better of Coltman in Norway as she blew her last three results of 24th, 22nd and 20th out of the water in the fifth World Cup competition of the year and the eighth of her career.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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