Sochi: 10 Brits to watch

  • Last Updated: February 6 2014, 14:11 GMT

We pick out 10 of the top British names to watch at the Winter Olympics, including curling skip Eve Muirhead.

Eve Muirhead: Hoping to clinch a curling gold medal
Eve Muirhead: Hoping to clinch a curling gold medal

LIZZY YARNOLD: Skeleton slider Yarnold will head to Sochi in the form of her life after making the podium in the first six World Cup races of the Olympic season - including three victories. Kent-born Yarnold is bidding to become the fourth consecutive British female medal-winner in her discipline after Amy Williams, Shelley Rudman and Alex Coomber.

SHELLEY RUDMAN: Rudman came from nowhere to win a silver medal in 2006 and has maintained a consistent presence near the top of the world rankings ever since. She was crowned world champion in St Moritz last year and has not been far off the pace this season, culminating in her first podium place, also at St Moritz, in January. Has the capability to medal again.

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JAMES WOODS: Woods picked the best possible time to emerge as one of the stars of his sport. Ski Slopestyle will make its Olympic debut in Sochi and Woods is riding high in the rankings after winning both the overall world title and World Championship silver in 2013. Woods is likely to face a tougher field in Sochi but has every right to feel confident of his chances of success.

KATIE SUMMERHAYES: The Sheffield ski slopestyle star returned from a serious nine-month injury lay-off to win a World Cup medal in Silvaplana in February last year and proved it was no fluke by placing fourth at the World Ski Championships in Norway the following month. The audacious Summerhayes is best friends with Woods and firmly believes the pair of them have what it takes to succeed in Sochi.

ELISE CHRISTIE: Christie took on the world in 2013 when she was crowned overall 1,000m world short track champion and took bronze over the same distance in the World Championships. She has stayed consistent in a sport whose thrills and spills can often make it entirely unpredictable, and is tough enough to respond to rivals who have gone out of their way to try to stop her in her tracks.

EVE MUIRHEAD: Muirhead's final stone win to clinch the World Curling Championship for Scotland in Latvia last year was reminiscent of Rhona Martin's famous shot to win Olympic gold in 2002. Former world junior champion Muirhead is desperate to follow in the footsteps of Martin - now one of her coaches - and will take her team to Sochi as one of the favourites.

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DAVID MURDOCH: Murdoch is a former world curling champion but his Olympic experiences have been disappointing after missing out on a medal in both Turin and Vancouver. Now leader of a bespoke team also including former world medallist Tom Brewster, Murdoch arguably has his best chance of breaking his Olympic duck. His experience will stand him in good stead.

JOHN JACKSON: Jackson was steering his four-man bobsleigh crew into medal contention with a series of top-10 finishes on the World Cup circuit before snapping his Achilles during off-season training. Many might have given up on their Olympic dream, but Jackson defied expectations to not only return, but lead his crew to a silver medal - Britain's first since 1997 - in Lake Placid in December.

BILLY MORGAN: Morgan, who trained as a circus acrobat before switching to snowboard slopestyle, has a good chance of challenging for a medal in Sochi. A consistent top 10 performer, Morgan finished fourth in the World Snowboard Championships in Stoneham last year, and went on to earn his first medal with a third place in the World Cup in Sierra Nevada.

ROWAN CHESHIRE: The Stoke 18-year-old shocked everyone - probably including herself - when she claimed her first ski halfpipe World Cup victory in Breckenridge earlier this month. Some of her top-ranked rivals might have been absent but it was still a phenomenal result for the teenager, who had also reached the podium at the Junior World Championships the previous March.

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