Walker steps closer to her Sochi dream

Paula Walker

Paula Walker

First published in Sport
Last updated
Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

PAULA Walker awaits official confirmation that she has booked a place on Team GB for the Winter Olympics in Sochi after finishing in 14th place in the latest round of the World Cup in Igls.

The Blackburn bobsleigh ace has finished inside the British Olympic Association’s qualifying standard but now awaits tomorrow’s announcement to see if she has made the team.

“I’ve done all I can, I just hope it enough to get me there,” said Walker after the sixth race of the World Cup season. “Now to wait for the announcement.”

Walker, who went to Vancouver as a rookie brakesman four years ago, is looking to secure a place at her second Winter Olympics in Russia next month.

The BOA stipulate that to qualify for Sochi, the bobsleigh team have to be inside the top 14 on January 20. Walker is currently ranked 13th.

“Eight years hard work has gone in to this,” she added. “Vancouver was a bonus so I hope this was enough.”

The former St Bede’s High School pupil (right), the GB number one pilot, teamed up with Sarah Adams for the first time this season.

And the pair clocked a combined time of one minute 47.88 seconds from their two runs on the Austria circuit to finish in 14th place.

Kristan Bromley also awaits his fate of reaching a fourth Winter Olympic Games after finishing in 18th place in the skeleton bob with a combined time of 1 min 48.11secs.

The 41-year-old from Waterfoot, is currently ranked 14th thanks largely to impressive finishes in his two previous races – fifth in St Moritz and seventh in Winterberg.

Walker and Bromley are set to be official named in Team GB and will be joined by their respective partners. Walker’s boyfriend John Jackson was part of the four-man bobsleigh team that finished in 20th place in Igls but is ranked in 12th place overall while Bromley’s partner, Shelley Rudman, was fifth in the women’s skeleton bob.

She is ranked three and a genuine medal hope for Sochi.

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