Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Carrie Russell looks to Monobob

Published:Saturday | August 11, 2018 | 12:17 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter
Carrie Russell (left) with Anthony Watson (centre) and female bobsledder Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February.
Jamaicans (from left) Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Kerron Stewart, Schillonie Calvert and Carrie Russell celebrate with the national flag after winning the women’s 4x100 metres relay at the Luzhniki Stadium at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics in Moscow, Russia.
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Her burning desire to achieve the feat has seen her switch sports from athletics to bobsleigh and now the St Thomas native has gone a step further as she will now be participating in the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) newest event the 'Monobob'.

Monobob is a single-person Bobsleigh driven by a female.

"The IBSF wanted to add another event for women to make it equal and they were contemplating between the monobob and the four-man bobsleigh for women and they decided that the monobob was safer," Russell explained to The Gleaner yesterday.

The addition of the event excites the former St Thomas Technical High School athlete as she saw an opportunity to display fully her athletic prowess as a strong starter with a lot of speed and her ability to pilot the sled.

"In April I went to the drivers' school in New York and during my time there I showed great potential as a pilot and as you know I was the pusher for the two-man bobsleigh team along with my speed. The federation also believes that it would be a good fit to have me focused on that. I will still be a part of the two-man team in the next Olympics but I will be more focused on driving the monobob," Russell said.

She continued: "I believe this will provide me with a better chance to win a gold medal for Jamaica at the Winter Olympic Games because with this I have more control over the outcome and as I said I am one of the best pushers and capable of driving the sled."

An Associated Press report on July 19 said: "Unlike all other sliding events, where teams secure their own sleds and equipment and the teams with the most money to invest tend to do most of the winning, the monobob sleds will be identical to one another since they'll be paid for by the IBSF. Every sled will be set up the same way, which should mean that the person who best combines a fast start with a clean drive down the ice will more than likely wind up winning."

Russell, who was a member of the women's 4x100m team that won the gold medal at the 2013 IAAF World Athletics Championships, made the switch from athletics to bobsleigh after picking up an injury in 2016.

Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Russell created history when they became the first Jamaican women to participate in a Winter Olympic Games earlier this year.