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Bobsledder Tasker set for driving school after Sochi

February 22, 2014 11:07 am

British No.1 pilot John Jackson has revealed that Bruce Tasker is being lined up as his successor as he prepares to drive at what could be his last Winter Olympics.

Tasker is the longest serving member of Jackson’s four-man bobsleigh crew having pushed for him at the World Championships in Koenigssee in 2011 when they placed 22nd.

By the time of the next global gathering Tasker and Jackson had been joined by Joel Fearon and Stuart Benson and improved an impressive 12 places to tenth in Lake Placid.

They have remained together ever since and last year finished fifth at the World Championships, 0.07seconds off bronze, while this season the results have kept coming with historic World Cup and European Championship silvers.

And on the eve of his second Winter Olympics Jackson, who drove the British four-man team to 17th on debut at Vancouver 2010, disclosed potential plans for Tasker to pilot himself.

“There are plans from British Bobsleigh at maybe teaching Bruce how to drive,” said Jackson, who suffered a ruptured Achilles back in July and admits he’s losing the battle with his body.

“So it may be the case that when he is away driving and learning to do whatever he is doing that someone comes in and takes Bruce’s place in our four-man team.

“But when it comes to World Championships where we need funding it may be the case that Bruce comes back into the team then. It is about trying to keep the funding coming into the team.

“When I eventually retire, whenever that may be, these guys will then have a good base for me to go ‘right you’re on your own you need to start bringing your own funding in’.

“Do I want to go to another Olympic Games? I think my body is getting a little bit too old for that. If I am still here in four years time it means he [Tasker] hasn’t done his job as a driver.

“It is a little bit of pressure on Bruce. I would rather be here as a coach in four years than an athlete and I think they will be sick of me in four years time so they might not want me here.”

Remaining in the present though and it is exactly 50 years since Tony Nash and Robin Dixon won Britain’s last Winter Olympic bobsleigh gold medal at the Innsbruck 1964 Games.

And Tasker admits watching fellow Brit Lizzy Yarnold slide to skeleton gold prior to landing in Sochi at a team base in Moscow has increased his confidence of doing something equally special.

“We train in Bath with Lizzy and we see her a lot and it is nice to see someone we know do well and she did incredibly well,” said Tasker. “It is nice to know that we train in the same place, do similar things.

“It brings it home and that we can do that and we can achieve great things as well. We are no different. We are going to go out there and do our best. It would be nice to follow in their [Nash and Dixon] footsteps for sure.”

© Sportsbeat 2014