Mon | Nov 12, 2018

They will make you fall in love - Stokes expecting great things from Bobsled team

Published:Tuesday | February 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter
Driver Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell of Jamaica slide down the track during a training run for the women's bobsled competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Monday.

President of the Jamaica Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (JBSF) Chris Stokes is predicting that Jamaicans will fall in love with bobsleigh again after seeing the female bobsled team compete today at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as he expects high-quality performances from the team.

Stokes pointed out that the team is rounding into shape at the right time as it produced its fastest time yesterday in the final training run.

The two-woman team of Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell clocked 51.75 seconds to finish sixth. They also recorded their fastest start time and are ranked seventh in that category.

"I am pleased with what I have seen over the training (six) runs. Persons who have not been following the sport will be quite surprised by the excellence of the Jamaica bobsled women's team. You can expect high-quality performances," Stokes said.

Just over a week ago, things seemed to be going south for the history-making team when driving coach, Sandra Kiriasis, quit the team after a role dispute with the JBSF.

She threatened to take the sled the team was using, which, according to her, she owns.

This caused Red Stripe, the Jamaican beer company, to make an offer to buy a sled for the team.

"Having been in the sports for 30 years, it is the most organised, professional, athletic, and the team with the highest team spirit. I am very proud of them. Some days it looked like we just wouldn't make it, and now we are looking really good," Stokes said.

 

FOUR RUNS, TWO DAYS

 

The team has four runs over two days to produce their best time, the first of which begins today at 6:50 a.m.

"We want to take things step by step because we are focusing on the execution. We want to maintain the professional structure around the team, paying particular attention to the state of mind of the athletes because it is a two-day race, and we do not want things weighing on people's mind from one race to the next or from one day to the next," Stokes said.

The bobsled competition will take place at the Olympic Sliding Centre, with the Jamaicans holding position 18 in the start order.

akino.ming@gleanerjm.com