By Mike Rowbottom

Shelly Rudman_3_FebFebruary 3 - Britain's Shelley Rudman claimed bronze at the Skeleton Bobsleigh World Cup in Whistler to give herself an improved chance of earning the World Cup title when the final event takes place in Calgary next week.

In what was the seventh of the eight World Cup rounds, Britain's 2006 Olympic silver medalist Rudman closed the distance between herself and the current leader of the rankings, Germany's Marion Thees, to just seven points.

Thees could only manage fifth place on the day in an event wnon by Canada's Melissa Hollingsworth from Australia's Lucy Chaffer.

"Today's result has allowed me to close the gap between myself and Marion a little more," said the 30-year-old from Pewsey, Wiltshire, the 2006 Olympic silver medallist.

"It's now down to next week's race in Calgary to see which of us can claim the overall World Cup crown.

"I find this track really difficult and it doesn't seem to suit my style of driving, so I've had to work really hard this week piecing everything together in the hope that it would all click on the race day...which fortunately it did.

"I was really pleased with my starts too, which are improving race by race.

"A big thank you to my family, Bromley for their sled support, Mark Campbell my sprint coach, Kay my physio and the British team for their help this week."

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