Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Bittersweet bobsled

Published:Thursday | December 22, 2016 | 12:00 AMRachid Parchment
Russell

Sprinter-turned-bobsledder Carrie Russell, says that her time so far in her new sport has been bittersweet.

Russell made the switch to bobsledding earlier this year and is now a brake-woman in the two-woman sled for the national team after being introduced to the sport by her coach at the MVP track club, Stephen Francis.

The 2013 World Championships 4x100m relay gold medal winner says Francis wanted her to pick up bobsledding in order to regain her sprinting explosiveness out of the starting blocks.

Russell recently competed for Jamaica at the North American Cup in Canada and says that the "bitter" moment came when she and pilot Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian, who formerly competed for the United States, ended up crashing on the same track in Calgary, where Jamaica's historic four-man team also crashed during the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.

"If you ask me, I would say we (Jamaica) have bad luck on that track," Russell says.

"When we came off the track and I asked her (Fenlator-Victorian) what happened, she said she couldn't talk, she was dumbstruck."

She says that her teammate has been a motivating factor for her as she has not only won medals in the sport before, while competing with former sprint hurdler Lolo Jones on the American team, but also because she kept her positive after the crash.

"She said give it a next shot, we know we can do great things," Russell says.

BIT OF HISTORY

The pair is looking to create their own bit of history in qualifying for the next Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018. They would become the first ever female bobsled team to represent Jamaica at the Winter Games.

Russell says that the "sweet", for her, is how well she is adapting to the sport.

"I'm getting to love the sport and I'm getting to understand the sport more. My pilot is one of the best there is in the world. I'm looking forward to great things at the Winter Olympics with her," she says.

Russell will be back in training early next month ahead of Jamaica's next two outings in the North American Cup but she says that the public can also expect to see her at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association All Comers track meets early next year. She will be returning to the track to attempt to prepare for next summer's National Senior Championships and is hoping is to make Jamaica's team to next year's IAAF World Championships in London.