MELKSHAM slider Laura Deas made an encouraging start to her season with a fifth-placed finish at the opening World Cup event at Lake Placid.

Winter Olympic hopeful Deas, 29, finished fifth, just 0.23 seconds behind Great Britain teammate and reigning Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold, who was third.

Yarnold, who will bid to become the first British athlete to retain a Winter Olympic title in Pyeongchang in February, moved up from fifth place after her first run to finish third, 0.33 seconds behind winner Janine Flock of Austria.

Canada's Elisabeth Vathje won the silver medal, while Russia's Elena Nikitina fell from second after the first run to finish fourth.

"That's a really good opener to the season. It gives me a platform to push on from," said Deas, who trains at the University of Bath.

"I want to be in the top six consistently and be challenging for medals. To have already better my best result from last season is a positive place to be.

"I left myself a lot to do after the first run but I was really pleased with my push starts and with the way I pulled my way back into contention in the second run."