• Sochi Olympics 2014

Pickering swaps sprinting for bobsleigh

ESPN staff
December 7, 2012
Craig Pickering is looking forward to a second career in bobsleigh © Getty Images

British sprinter Craig Pickering has joined British Bobsleigh in a bid to win an Olympic medal at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Pickering, 26, made the decision to move into bobsleigh after losing his funding with UK Athletics - who had supported his track & field ambitions for a decade. Pickering won a silver medal in the European Indoor Championships over 60m in 2007 and represented his country at Beijing in 2008, but failed to qualify for London 2012 thanks in part to injury and the emergence of youngster Adam Gemili.

"I want a fresh challenge," said Pickering, who hopes to be part of the four-man bob team. "I've just been taken off athletics funding so it's a great time to do it and I'm hoping to make the Olympic team for Sochi and hopefully put us in the mix for a medal."

Pickering is not the first sprinter to move into bobsleigh, where the power translates well in the all-important starting phase of the event. Historically, Marcus Adam and Allyn Condon both represented Great Britain in both sprinting and bobsleigh events - while American hurdler Lolo Jones also recently moved to the winter discipline after her own summer Olympic heartbreak.

British Bobsleigh performance director Gary Anderson added: "I'm delighted that Craig has made the decision to switch to bobsleigh. He has recently undergone performance tests and training at Bath and his physicality is ideally suited to the sport.

"Britain need be amongst the fastest starters in the world at the Sochi 2014 Games. We need to develop our existing cohort of athletes and recruit athletes appropriately to ensure this happens.

"In the men's four-man, John Jackson as a driver has shown he can compete with the world's top five and with the world's best start, we can really push for a top-three finish."

Pickering's story shares parallels with the famous film 'Cool Runnings', something he jokingly noted on Friday morning.

"Before deciding to move to bobsleigh, I watched a documentary called 'Cool Runnings'," Pickering said on Twitter. "It was almost autobiographical."

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