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Coach Quits Jamaica's Trailblazing Women Bobsleigh Team

  • Written by Wiredja news source -BBC
  • Published in Sports
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Jamaica's German Bobsleigh coach Sandra Kiriasis has elected not to continue her position with Jamaica Bobsleigh. She says she was "pushed out." Jamaica's German Bobsleigh coach Sandra Kiriasis has elected not to continue her position with Jamaica Bobsleigh. She says she was "pushed out."
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb. 14  — With only days to go before they were due to compete in Pyeongchang, Jamaica's first female Winter Olympics team hit a major bump Wednesday when its bobsleigh coach, former Olympian Sandra Kiriasis quit the team and threatened to take the team's sled.

A BBC report says "German Sandra Kiriasis, an ex-Olympic champion, claims she was forced out when her role was changed, and that she is legally responsible for the sled."

the BBC says "Kiriasis wants payment for it but the Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation declined and is disputing she owns the sled."

"I've never known such disappointment in this sport, in my life," she said.

Kiriasis said she had to quit after refusing to change roles from driving coach to track performance analyst, which would have given her no access to the athletes.

The sled situation remains unresolved, with the JBF denying their team will have to pull out of the event.

Kiriasis, who won Olympic gold in 2006, said it was her contacts which led to the team securing the sled.

In a message on their Twitter account the trailblazing Jamaica bobsled team announced that their driving coach— former Olympian Sandra Kiriasis — had left.

"Sandra Kiriasis has elected not to continue her position with Jamaica Bobsleigh," the statement said.

"We are deeply disappointed in her decision to leave the program. We thank her for her invaluable contribution to JBSF and contributing to the success of Jamaica's first female bobsled Olympic appearance," it added.

Ja bobsled world cup race december
Jamaica's Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell finished seventh in a World Cup race in December

Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell are hoping to become the first Jamaican women competitors - 30 years after the Jamaican men, who inspired the film Cool Runnings, made history in Calgary.

Kathleen Pulito, a spokeswoman for the team, said the departure of the German-born coach would not impact their preparations and they would be on the ice this weekend for training ahead of qualifying next week.

"We've been approached by many nations with extra equipment, coaching staff and we're extremely thankful," Pulito told AFP. "The Canadians have offered assistance."

Kiriasis, 43, won a gold medal in the two-woman bobsleigh at the Turin Olympics in 2006 and a silver in the event in Salt Lake City in 2002.

The team is due to start official training on Saturday before their heats on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kiriasis said: "The athletes have told me they don't understand why this has happened as they have no problem with me and we have a good relationship," says the BBC.

Jamaica recorded their highest finish in a World Cup race in Winterberg in Germany in December, finishing seventh after switching from a Japanese sled to the one currently under dispute.

https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/961098690701287424

Last modified onWednesday, 14 February 2018 18:17
  • Countries: Jamaica

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