Bobsledders on track for Olympic berth
Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation (JBF) president Chris Stokes says that the female team of Carrie Russell and Jazmin Fenlator-Victorian seems well poised for a historic World Cup qualification, following their seventh-place finish at Winterberg in Germany on Saturday.
The pair of driver Fenlator-Victorian and brakewoman Russell could become the first Jamaican women to qualify for the winter Olympics after finishing behind two German teams, two American teams, an Austrian team, and a Canadian team to finish seventh overall in a time of 1:55:43.
The Jamaican are now on 24 points, just in front of Romania, for the last Olympic spot. With just one race gone for the Jamaicans on the World Cup circuit, Stokes is feeling confident that they can secure qualification.
"We prepared as best as we could, and they are now on the World Cup circuit. They had their first race on Saturday at Winterberg in Germany, and they did exceptionally well. They were seventh overall out of 23 of the best sleds in the world. It was their first race, and it was an exceptional performance, so we look forward to them going to Eagles, where they race this Saturday (December) 16," he said.
After this weekend, the team will break until January when they will close off the circuit in Germany and Switzerland, respectively. Stokes said that they are well on track to making their first winter Olympics Games.
"They are off to a good start. Carrie is getting into her stride, and the pilot, Fenlator-Victorian, is getting more comfortable and confident and mastering tracks. So we will continue to contest the top five positions, and by the end of the season, we should be in the mix for medals," Stokes shared.
"We have provided them with the best equipment available and the best coaching. Once we restart the World Cup races, we will move up quite well in the qualification. So if we keep doing this well, we will have no problem. We are well on track. We are 22nd with just one race (gone), while the leading team has four races. So we have two more after the next races on Saturday. After those two, we should be on our way up the chart in the top eight," he said.