CONSISTENCY will be key for Melksham's Laura Deas as she goes in search of a maiden Olympic skeleton medal next year, according to 2010 champion Amy Williams.

Deas has twice finished fifth in the World Cup so far this season, before an 11th in Whistler last weekend saw her drop down to sixth in the overall standings with five rounds left to slide.

The 29-year-old has never been out of the overall World Cup’s top 10 in the three seasons since making her debut in 2014 – with a highest finish of fifth in her first season.

Deas has won four individual medals in that time, including a win in Winterberg to start the 2015-16 season and show her ability.

A medal-less season followed last season, although she still finished sixth overall, while she has yet to step onto the podium in three races this year.

But for Williams, when everything clicks Deas is a force to be reckoned with.

“She started off at exactly the same time as Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold and she just hasn’t quite made it,” said Vancouver 2010 champion Williams.

“But she’s got the most fantastic push start and is a phenomenal athlete, she’s very fast.

“She’s always had that but she’s never quite linked it up between training and the race days - whether that’s a bit of psychology - I’m not quite sure.

“But I really want it for her. I think she’s an amazing athlete and I’m willing her to go to PyeongChang and she’s good enough to medal.

“It’s just got to come together on the right day for her, because when it does she’s phenomenal.”

Deas is one of three British women competing in the World Cup this season, and is currently leading the way in the standings with Yarnold in tenth and 17-year-old Ashleigh Pittaway down in 22nd.

All three are based at the national training at the University of Bath and Williams feels the group dynamic can only push them on to further success.

“When your teammates are succeeding it pushes you,” she concluded.

“To have a strong group of girls who are travelling together, you all want to beat each other.

“You want to beat the Canadian, Germans, American, but actually you really want to beat your own teammate.

“Because ultimately you’re fighting for places on the team. There are only two places for PyeongChang and you really want to fight, to beat each other.

“And yet you’re learning from each other all the time, and if they communicate and support each other then hopefully it will result in a bond and friendship, but produce good competition too.

“If you’re striving to always want to beat your neighbour, then there’s no better thing.”

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