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KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) - Britain's Lizzy Yarnold has won the Olympic gold medal in women's skeleton, the first title for her nation at the Sochi Games.

Yarnold was nearly a full second faster over four runs than silver medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace of Eagle Mountain, Utah, who closed her career with a trip to the Olympic podium. Elena Nikitina of Russia won the bronze, another 0.44 seconds back.

The gold capped a breakout season for Yarnold, who also won the World Cup overall title. She is Britain's second straight gold medalist in the event, following in the path of Amy Williams.

Pikus-Pace enters retirement by exorcising the memory of letting a medal slip away in Vancouver four years ago. She revealed afterward that she was dealing with concussion-like symptoms for several days before the race and minimized her training time on the advice of doctors.

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