Tasker: We plan on taking four-man bobsleigh to the wire
February 23, 2014 07:17 am
Bruce Tasker has done it before and he’s adamant Britain’s first-choice four-man bobsleigh crew can do it again and come from behind to claim success at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Tasker and the four-man team of experienced pilot John Jackson and crew Joel Fearon and Stuart Benson are Britain’s last medal at hope at what is already an equal best ever Games.
However their bid appeared to be fading as fast as they hurl themselves down the track after they placed tenth in the first run following an unfavourable start position of 12th.
That was due to their world ranking this season but Tasker, Jackson, Fearon and Benson came roaring out during the second run to improve three places to seventh and just 0.18 seconds off bronze.
Go back to last year’s World Championships and the British quartet were 13th after the first run before eventually finishing fifth – the margin shy of bronze on that occasion being 0.07.
And Tasker admits their rise during the second run has given them the confidence that they can come from behind again – and this time potentially deliver on their medal potential.
“You can climb up on the second run often because of the way the ice degrades and we have really done that,” said Tasker. “We came down tenth in the first run and now we are seventh and only a few hundredths away from the lead.
“We seem to always do better in the latter runs. It is not something we like to do all of the time, chase from behind, but if we are good at it that is the way we are going to do it.
“We would have rather been higher up than tenth in the first run but we were 12th off and that meant we had the 12th worst ice. It is great that we are clawing our way back. When we came down tenth we knew we weren’t out of it.
“Often people will right you off but we can prove that we can do it over the rest of the runs. The race is run over four runs after all. It can go right down to the wire and we plan on taking it that far.”
It is Germany’s first-choice crew that occupy third place while Russian home favourite Alexander Zubkov is only a further 0.16 in front for the lead at the halfway stage.
Tasker did get fortunate as Canadian pilot Justin Kripps crashed on his second run allowing another place up the rankings – but he insists he wouldn’t wish that upon anyone in Sochi.
“It is horrible, you could see it by all of our reactions first of all. The bobsleigh circuit is very tight, we all get on with each other, it is great camaraderie and I have never seen anything like it in any sport,” he added.
“And when you see friends like that crash, it is a horrible experience and you really feel for them. Everyone has been there and it is not nice a experience. I just hope those guys can pick themselves up.”
© Sportsbeat 2014