Gary Anderson has expressed his pride following Britain’s best Olympic result in the four-man bobsleigh since 1988 after John Jackson’s crew finished agonisingly close to a medal in Sochi this morning.
The Watford-born performance director of British Bobsleigh watched on as Jackson piloted his crew of Stuart Benson, Joel Fearon and Bruce Tasker to fifth place in the final standings, just 0.11 seconds behind the time of the third-place Americans. The event was won by the number one Russian sled of Alexander Zubkov, who completed an Olympic double after also claiming the two-man title.
Jackson’s quartet went into the second day of competition in seventh place and climbed another position after their penultimate run of 55.31 left them 0.18 seconds outside the top three.
The British team improved on that time in their fourth run, recording a superb 55.26 to move up to fifth in the rankings after Germany 1 recorded 55.60 to slip behind their opponents on aggregate time. However, Russia 2, USA 1, Latvia 1 and the gold-medal winning Russians all produced quicker combined times to end Britain’s hopes of a first podium finish at the winter Games since Nagano in 1988.
Commenting on the social networking site Twitter, Anderson said: “Breaking twitter silence – competition over. Mixed emotions but so so proud of all the athletes here in Sochi”.
Jackson’s crew were consistent throughout the competition with only 0.05 seconds separating their fastest and slowest runs as they achieved their target of a top-six finish, having claimed a historic World Cup silver in December and also coming second in last month’s European Championships.
However, British bobsleigh now faces a wait to find out how much funding they will receive from UK Sport for the next four-year cycle.
Britain's second crew piloted by Lamin Deen finished in 19th place in Sochi.