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Sporting heroes and Twitter users unite to celebrate gold medal

SKELETON slider Lizzy Yarnold was the talk of Twitter after she became Team GB's first gold medallist at the Sochi winter Olympics.

Figures from the social media site showed an explosion in Yarnold's popularity. Her number of followers soared from 3500 to more than 24,000 and counting.

Her fourth and final run at 5.32pm resulted in the highest spike of Games-related tweets yesterday, and the fourth-highest in the Games so far.

In one day she was mentioned more than 55,000 times on Twitter and @TeamGB's message announcing her victory was retweeted more than 4000 times.

Fellow sporting heroes were quick to congratulate the athlete, with Olympic champion Chris Hoy tweeting "Just out of meetings to hear @TheYarnold won gold, fantastic, many congratulations."

Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds tweeted: "Wow, just watched @TheYarnold get gold. Big congrats."

Olympian swimmer Sharron Davies tweeted "What a shot. Well done @TheYarnold", while Greg Rutherford, who won the gold in the long jump at the London Games, tweeted: "I don't admit that I cry often, but @TheYarnold winning has me in tears.

"What an amazing athlete. Incredible".

Prime Minister David Cameron also tweeted his congratulations on "an amazing gold" win for Team GB.

The 25-year-old from Kent said she was "chuffed" to be crowned Britain's 10th ever winter Olympics champion.

Her success means British ­Skeleton maintained its proud tradition of securing a medal in each of the six Olympic Games the sport has featured in, dating back to 1928.

Parents Clive and Judith, sisters Katie and Charlotte, and boyfriend James Roche, who is a sled technician with the British bobsleigh team, were all present to watch her win.

Meanwhile, also going for glory are Great Britain's women's curling team, who chalked up their third round-robin victory after beating Japan. The Scots-born team who won the 2013 World Women's Curling Championship, have gained momentum after suffering two defeats in their first three matches.

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