Hall guides GB to first bobsleigh World Cup medal in four years

Hall guides GB to first bobsleigh World Cup medal in four years

19 November 2017 / 08:33

From missing the cut in one race to storming to World Cup bronze, what a difference 24 hours can make.

GB Bobsleigh were celebrating in Park City on Saturday night as Brad Hall, Bruce Tasker, Joel Fearon and Greg Cackett secured third in the 4-man competition.

It was a best British result since December 2013 when John James Jackson – whose squad also featured Tasker and Fearon along with Stuart Benson – finished second in Lake Placid.

The success was also added to with Lamin Deen, Ben Simons, Toby Olubi and Andrew Matthews taking the final spot on the wider podium with a sixth-place finish in Utah.

“We’ve still got work to do but we’re definitely making progress,” said GB Bobsleigh head coach Lee Johnston. “One swallow doesn’t make a summer but this is a big step towards where we want to be come the Olympics.

“I’ve been in the sport a long time and this is a pretty special day for the team. I’ve always believed we could get two teams in the top ten and these results have gone a long way to showing what’s possible.”

With last week’s opening World Cup in Lake Placid cancelled due to ice conditions, it meant two competitions in two days for the British crews in Park City.

Pilot and former decathlete Hall did not initially get his weekend off to a strong start, missing the cut on Friday night when they finished 22nd on the first run.

But Hall, Tasker, Fearon and Cackett – who raced together for the first time at February’s World Championships and hadn’t competed together since – regrouped in impressive style, shaving 1.7 seconds off their Race 1 time to lead Race 2 at the halfway mark in 47.37 seconds.

That meant waiting for all the other crew to complete their second run before taking to the track last up – with team Deen having moving up two places in the overall standings with 1:35.67.

And while unable to better the time of race winner Johannes Lochner of Germany, Hall did lead the British team home to a podium finish in 1:35.56, just 0.12 seconds off victory.

The 27-year-old only had four World Cup outings as a 4-man pilot to his name prior to this weekend, with his previous best being an eighth-place finish at the Olympic Test event in Pyeongchang in March of this year.

“We had an awful day on Friday in terms of Brad missing the cut in the first race of the weekend so for him and his crew to bounce back says a huge amount about their character,” added Johnston.

“I genuinely believe this is a true reflection of how this team is.

“We have some of the best athletes in the world; we have two top drivers who are providing competition for each other; the mood is excellent and there is a great camaraderie in the camp.”

Photos: IBSF/Viesturs Lacis

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Sportsbeat 2017