Lancashire TelegraphBlackburn bobsleigh star aims for 2014 success (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Blackburn bobsleigh star aims for 2014 success

Lancashire Telegraph: SLIDE STAR: Paula Walker SLIDE STAR: Paula Walker

PAULA Walker believes she is on course to fulfil her Winter Olympic medal ambition in Sochi in four years time following an impressive debut in Vancouver.

Walker and brakeman Kelly Thomas finished just outside the top ten in 11th in the women’s bobsleigh at their debut Games.

Blackburn’s 23-year-old star only began driving two-and-a-half years ago and acknowledges she is still a rookie in a sport where drivers don’t normally peak until the late 20s and early 30s.

But the British No.2 pilot claims she won’t be using the excuse of inexperience when the next Games are staged in Russia in 2014.

“It’s been an absolutely incredible experience, from the moment we were selected on the British team to the moment our competition finished in Whistler,” said Walker.

“As an athlete you always dream about getting to the Olympics and the reality lives up to your expectations.

“However, next time around I don’t want to just enjoy the experience, I want to be competitive.

“We’ve come so far in a short space of time and 11th is much higher than our world ranking, so we’ve beaten a lot of much more experienced teams but this isn’t the end.”

Walker – who rolled her sled during her third training run at the Whistler Sliding Centre on Sunday – admitted she still made mistakes on the final night, with her third run particularly scrappy.

But she rallied during her fourth and final outing to finish just under four seconds behind Canadian gold medallists Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse to claim that impressive 11th place.

l Lloyds TSB, proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and supporter of Team GB on their journey to Vancouver 2010. Visit LloydsTSB.com/London2012

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