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Olympic champ Lizzy Yarnold takes skeleton world title

3/7/2015
Olympic gold medalist Lizzy Yarnold of Great Britain held on to her early-round lead to win the first skeleton world title of her career on Saturday. AP Photo/Jens Meyer

WINTERBERG, Germany -- Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold of Britain clinched her first skeleton world championship title by holding off home favorite Jacqueline Loelling on Saturday.

Yarnold, who was fastest in Friday's opening runs, maintained her dominance by completing the quickest times across all four for a combined time of 3 minutes, 49.95 seconds.

Yarnold beat Loelling, the German two-time junior world champion, by 0.67 seconds and Canada's Elizabeth Vathje by 0.79.

Vathje's bronze was Canada's eighth medal by a female skeleton athlete in the twelve world championships since 2000.

Another Canadian, Jane Channell, was fourth -- ahead of Germany's Tina Hermann.

Martins Dukurs won the men's title on Friday. It was the Latvian's third skeleton world championship title after wins in 2011 and 2012.

Anne O'Shea was the top American finisher in 18th place.