Jackie Narracott makes Winter Olympics history with skeleton medal

Jackie Narracott, pictured here after becoming Australia's first-ever medallist in skeleton at the Winter Olympics.
Jackie Narracott has become Australia's first-ever medallist in skeleton at the Winter Olympics. Image: Getty

Jackie Narracott has won Australia's first-ever medal in a sliding event at the Winter Olympics, claiming a historic silver medal in the skeleton.

The 31-year-old Queenslander claimed second spot behind Germany's Hannah Neise on Saturday night to capture Australia's most unlikely Olympic medal at the Yanqing National Sliding Centre.

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Australia has never medalled in any of the ice or sliding events at the Winter Olympics and doesn't even have any training facilities, with Narracott based in England and having to prepare in Europe and Korea.

Australia has now won four medals in Beijing - one gold, two silver and a bronze - our most successful campaign at a Winter Olympics ever.

Jakara Anthony's gold, Narracott and Scotty James' silver medals and Tess Coady's bronze have surpassed the previous best haul of three medals won at the last three Olympics.

A beaming Narracott had her green and gold mouth-guard on show when she was told of the medal immediately following her final run

"It's still so surreal ... absolute elation!" said Narracott, who also became the first Australian to win a skeleton World Cup gold medal after topping the podium in St Moritz, Switzerland last month.

"Words can't describe it. We've never won a sliding sport medal, so for me to be it... Creating your dream twice in two races, it doesn't get any better".

Jackie Narracott, Hannah Neise and Kimberley Bos, pictured here on the podium after the women's skeleton at the Winter Olympics.
Jackie Narracott, Hannah Neise and Kimberley Bos celebrate on the podium after the women's skeleton at the Winter Olympics. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Narracott shocked the field to lead at the halfway point after two runs on Friday and then slipped back to second after the third run on Saturday night behind Neise.

With the times cumulative over four runs, she kept her cool in the final run, clocking one minute 2.11 seconds.

However the 21-year-old German fired home a run of 1:01.63 to take the win by 0.62 sec.

World Cup series winner Kimberley Bos from the Netherlands laid down a lightning final run, clocking 1:01.87 which secured her a bronze medal.

Australia erupts over Jackie Narracott medal triumph

"Everything just clicked," Narracott said. "That's the most relaxed I've felt on the sled, probably my whole career.

"I had nothing to lose. I knew that if I was just relaxed, and feel what I've been doing for the last three months, it would be OK."

Narracott put down a red-hot third run to set a track record of 1:01.79 but it was short-lived with Neise beating the mark at 1:01.44.

She is coached by her husband Dom Parsons, who won a bronze in skeleton for Great Britain at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games before retiring, and he is by her side in Beijing.

"Silver beats bronze every day of the week," she laughed.

Now she's hoping her success, with the prospect of teammate Breeana Walker also winning a medal in the monobob, may inspire a new generation of Australian sliders.

"I'm hoping it will get some more girls into skeleton," she said.

"We used to have a program in Australia so to have some more girls back in and for it not to end with me would be absolutely unreal."

with AAP

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