Mon | Jul 16, 2018

'I am very proud of how far we have come'

Published:Thursday | February 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Driver Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell of Jamaica finish their second heat during the women's two-man bobsled competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Tuesday.

Christian Stokes, president of the Jamaica Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, is a proud man today after Jamaica's history-making women's two-man bobsled team completed four runs on the ice at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The women, competing at a Winter Games for the first time, finished 19th of 20 teams in the event, but Stokes told The Gleaner last night that overall, they did well.

"We have had much better performances and results for the season, no doubt, but I am very proud of the team, and I am very proud of how far we have come in such a short time," said Stokes.

"We had very strong perform-ances both on the push and on the driving. We did have ongoing challenges in terms of measuring the runners for the ice conditions that kept changing, and that's just part of the sport," he said.

"But, as I look back over where we have come from over the past two or three years, I am really just very proud of what we have done, and I am excited about the potential of the girls going forward to 2020," Stokes said.




During yesterday's run, Jamaica's team of Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell made their third descent in 51.83 seconds after a 5.50 seconds start; finishing at speeds of 127.1 km/h.

The Jamaicans returned later to register a 51.32-second clocking in the fourth and final heat, despite a 5.57 seconds start, their slowest of the competition, for a cumulative score of 3:25.94, which left them 3.49 seconds behind the gold-medal winners, the German team of Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz, who posted 3:22.45.

Jamaica's fourth heat time was actually the 13th fastest time on the descent. The silver medal went to the United States team of Lauren Gibbs and Elena Meyers Taylor (3:22.52), with bronze going to Canadians Phylicia George and Kaillie Humphries (3:22.89).

Stokes added that the team learnt a lot from the experience, and so he is expecting great things from them in the future.

"This is the big league, and and you have to remember that three-quarters of the people who participate in bobsleigh didn't even reach here, and so we have put ourselves among the elite teams in the world," Stokes said.

"As we look down the list, many of those who defeated us in the race yesterday (Wednesday) are teams that we have been beating all season, but again, it is a learning experience because we are a team that has been together for a year and half and we are competing against teams that have been together for more than nine years, and so we are in a good place," he said.