Tag Archives: britain

Laura Robson draws GB level in Argentina

Robson draws GB level in Argentina after Konta loses opener

By
Mark Staniforth, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

17:05 GMT, 20 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:05 GMT, 20 April 2013

Laura Robson kept Great Britain's hopes of returning to the Fed Cup World Group alive with an emphatic victory over Florencia Molinero in Buenos Aires today.

The world number 38 brushed aside her inexperienced opponent 6-1 6-1 to pull Great Britain level at 1-1 against Argentina after Johanna Konta lost the opening rubber to Paula Ormaechea.

Robson will be strongly fancied to defeat Ormaechea in the reverse singles tomorrow, with Konta due to face Molinero and a potentially decisive doubles rubber also to come.

Roar: Laura Robson clenches her fist in delight during her win over Florencia Molinero

Roar: Laura Robson clenches her fist in delight during her win over Florencia Molinero

Coach well pleased: Judy Murray expresses her happiness over Robson's performance

Coach well pleased: Judy Murray expresses her happiness over Robson's performance

Robson had plenty of pressure on her shoulders heading into the tie at Parque Roca, with Great Britain banking on her to lead them back into World Group II after an absence of 20 years.

But the 19-year-old showed few signs of nerves as she raced through the first set and went 5-0 ahead in the second.

Despite being broken when she served for the match, she recovered to close it out on Molinero's serve in the next game and kept plenty in reserve.

Whipping it away: With Heather Watson out of the tie, Robson was under pressure to perform

Whipping it away: With Heather Watson out of the tie, Robson was under pressure to perform

Quick and easy: She completed a straight forward 6-1 6-1 win over her opponent from Argentina

Quick and easy: She completed a straight forward 6-1 6-1 win over her opponent from Argentina

Earlier world number 146 Konta had found the going tough against Ormachea and fell to a 6-3 6-2 defeat.

Konta, selected in the absence of Heather Watson due to illness, never recovered from a bad start as she fell 4-0 behind to a player ranked 21 places higher at 143 in the world.

Going behind: Johanna Konta had a harder day at the office losing to Paula Ormaechea

Going behind: Johanna Konta had a harder day at the office losing to Paula Ormaechea

Konta made a stronger start to the second set but was broken in the fourth game and when she was broken for a second time in her next service game, she was consigned to defeat.

After the two reverse singles, Robson will team up with veteran Anne Keothavong for the doubles, should they be required, against Maria Irigoyen and Mailen Auroux.

Team effort: Murray tries to impart some of her wisdom to get Konta back on track

Team effort: Murray tries to impart some of her wisdom to get Konta back on track

Mukhtar Mohammed wins bronze medal in 800m at European Indoor Championships

Mohammed made to fight for bronze medal in feisty 800m final

By
Laura Williamson

PUBLISHED:

11:16 GMT, 3 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:29 GMT, 3 March 2013

Mukhtar Mohammed won a battling bronze in a feisty men's 800-metre final at the European Indoor Championships.

The 22-year-old, who was born in Somalia and moved to the UK in 2002, fought hard to edge his way past Anis Ananenka from Belarus, who appeared to try to push Mohammed wide with his elbows as they grappled for the line.

Mohammed, a former defensive midfielder for Sheffield Wednesday, won Great Britain's fifth medal of these championships following golds for Holly Bleasdale (pole vault) and Perri Shakes-Drayton (400m) and silver medals for James Dasaolu (60m) and Eilidh Child (400m).

Mukhtar Mohammed

Battling performance: Mukhtar Mohammed won a bronze medal in the 800m

Battling performance: Mukhtar Mohammed won a bronze medal in the 800m

Mohammed said: 'It was a tough race between me and the guy from Belarus (Anis Ananenka). He gave me a hard time on the last lap, and I lost the first two positions because of him.

'I had to fight to get a medal but I was really enjoying it as I did with the heat and the semi-final and I didn’t want to mess up in the final.

Flying the flag: Mohammed celebrates his third place

Flying the flag: Mohammed celebrates his third place

Proud moment: Mohammed shows off his bronze medal after finishing behind Poland's Adam Kszczot and Spain's Kevin Lopez

Proud moment: Mohammed shows off his bronze medal after finishing behind Poland's Adam Kszczot and Spain's Kevin Lopez

'At the end of the day it’s the cleverest and bravest guys that win championships and Adam Kszczot did very well to win the race. This is a learning experience for me and hopefully it’ll get even better for the next championships.

'I am very pleased just to get a medal. Gold was going to be good for me but I’ve got to be happy with a medal.'

Fed Cup: Laura Robson and Johanna Konta dish out whitewash as Great Britain thrash Bosnia

Robson and Konta dish out whitewash as Britain thrash Bosnia in Fed Cup opener

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

15:20 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

15:43 GMT, 7 February 2013

Great Britain started their Fed Cup Group One campaign with a resounding 3-0 win over Bosnia in Eilat, Israel.

Anne Keothavong defeated Dea Herdzelas 6-4 6-2 in the first rubber before British No 1 Heather Watson claimed a 6-3 6-4 victory over Anita Husaric to set up a 2-0 lead.

Laura Robson and Johanna Konta then finished things off with a comprehensive 6-0 6-0 whitewash of duo Jelena Simic and Jasmina Kajtazovic as Britain completed a perfect start.

Konta and Robson speak to captain Judy Murray

Laura Robson

All smiles: Judy Murray clearly enjoyed Laura Robson and Johanna Konta's doubles victory in Israel

High five: Konta and Robson celebrate with British team after their doubles victory on Thursday

High five: Konta and Robson celebrate with British team after their doubles victory on Thursday

The Pool B games had been delayed after heavy rain yesterday, which meant Great Britain could only begin their tournament today.

However, it did not disrupt their preparations as they started off in the best possible style ahead of tomorrow's scheduled meeting with Portugal.

On form: British No 1 Heather Watson (above) and team-mate Anne Keothavong (below)

On form: British No 1 Heather Watson (above) and team-mate Anne Keothavong (below)

Anne Keothavong

Flying the flag: British fans watch the action at the Municipal Tennis Club in Eilat

Flying the flag: British fans watch the action at the Municipal Tennis Club in Eilat

Jack Butland may be forced out as Birmingham face administration

Butland may be forced out as to save Birmingham from administration

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UPDATED:

16:50 GMT, 28 December 2012

Capped: Butland has represented England and also played for Great Britain at the Olympics

Capped: Butland has represented England and also played for Great Britain at the Olympics

Jack Butland could be forced out of Birmingham in the January transfer window in order to save the club from administration.

The 19-year-old England goalkeeper is being chased by several teams, most notably Liverpool, who are understood to have already been in talks with the midlands outfit.

The Blues rejected a 6million bid from Southampton for Butland in the summer, but acting chairman Peter Pannu has admitted the cash-strapped club may not be able to resist such temptations next month as they bid to ease their increasing financial struggles.

'I can't say that we are in a very wonderful situation, I would be lying if I said that,' Pannu told the Birmingham Mail

'This is a very tricky question (player sales). What I can say is that – and I might be blasted for this by the fans – but no-one is for sale and everyone is available. As at any club.

'Give me a 15m offer for Jack Butland, can I say no

'I have rejected 6m from Southampton (in the summer) but I rejected it when our finances were okay.

'As the time is ticking, I might not be able to reject it if I get something similar.

'I do have a responsibility to keep the club running.

'My top priority now – and if I do offend anyone, I care not – is to make sure this clubs stays afloat.'

Butland is not the only player facing a possible exit, with a handful of other high earners troubling Birmingham's wage bill, most notably Nikola Zigic's 50,000-plus a week wages.

Pannu has been exploring the potential for bringing in new owners or finding investment in the club for some time.

Target: Liverpool have led the chase for the 19-year-old

Target: Liverpool have led the chase for the 19-year-old

The board of Birmingham International Holdings Limited (BIHL), City's parent company, announced late last month they were in talks with two parties from Hong Kong and one from the UK – Gianni Paladini's Italian-backed consortium.

They were at an advanced stage in discussions with one of the Hong Kong bidders – which has now fallen through.

Providing an update on the situation, Pannu said: 'It is no secret that there are two parties in Hong Kong that we have been dealing with.

'The fans also know that my preferred party, which was reported in the media, the Charles Chan and SMEG group, unfortunately did not transpire.

'But we still have another very big party we are dealing with in Hong Kong.'

Pannu also revealed he continues to be in discussions with Paladini's consortium and met a member of the bid for talks recently, although he is demanding greater clarity on those behind the offer and their plans.

Boxing review of 2012, by Jeff Powell, with Ricky Hatton, Manny Pacquiao and more

Jeff Powell's review of 2012, with Ricky Hatton, Manny Pacquiao and more

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UPDATED:

21:40 GMT, 24 December 2012

'Tis the season to put on a few pounds, let the stitches heal the wounds, to soothe the swollen hands, take the weight off the feet without every second counting… and confer the annual awards.

Anno Domni 2012 began with Muhammad Ali further defying Parkinson’s by reaching his landmark 70th birthday. It ended with Manny Pacquiao being knocked flat out of contention as pound-for-pound king by the anatomically reconstructed 39-year-old Juan Manuel Marquez.

Between those ring-posts, history was made…

BOXER OF THE YEAR

Sergio Martinez achieved, at last, the recognition and the world title of which he had been deprived for too long.

The Argentine matinee idol, having begun his year by knocking out our own Matthew Macklin, went on to beat Son of Chavez and thus overcome the boxing politics in which he had been unfairly entangled.

He did so with a master-class for 11 rounds of dazzling style against Julio Cesar Jnr, capped off by his courageous recovery from a 12th round knock-down. The classic middleweight division found its latest successor to Sugar Ray Robinson.

Champ: Sergio Martinez recovered from a late knockdown to claim victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr

Champ: Sergio Martinez recovered from a late knockdown to claim victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr

BRITISH BOXER OF THE YEAR

Carl Froch, the outstanding fighter of his UK generation, gritted his teeth to come back from last year.s disappointing Super Six Final defeat by the accomplished Andre Ward.

He did so in commanding fashion, putting an end to the fancied Lucien Bute's unbeaten record to regain a world super-middleweight title.

A similar stoppage blitzing of Yusaf Mack not only gave the Nottingham Cobra a rousing homecoming but served notice on Ward and Mikkel Kessler that he intends, in 2013, to avenge the only two defeats of his warrior career.

Pride of Britain: Carl Froch was back to his brilliant best in 2012, especially against Yusaf Mack

Pride of Britain: Carl Froch was back to his brilliant best in 2012, especially against Yusaf Mack

WOMAN BOXER OF THE YEAR

Nicola Adams took her indelible place in the record books by becoming the first female to win Olympic gold in the boxing ring.

The wee lass from Leeds lit up London 2012 with her sunshine smile and lifted the roof off the cacophonous ExCel Arena by decking Chinese legend Can Can Ren en route to winning her historic final.

FIGHT OF THE YEAR

Manny Pacquiao v Juan Manuel Marquez*.

The asterix is there because the veteran Mexican idol had turned to a self-confessed former Olympics steroid provider to build him up physically in his desperation to secure a result against the legendary PacMan at the fourth attempt.

Marquez consistently denied using drugs to turn himself into a mini Arnold Schwarzenagger. So while there is no boxer of the year accolade from me, there is no denying that the Las Vegas night in its own right, with both men floored before Marquez landed his Hail Mary punch as Pacquiao appeared to be on the point of sixth round victory, was the thriller of 2012.

A broken man: Juan Manuel Marquez finally got the better of his old foe Manny Pacquiao

A broken man: Juan Manuel Marquez finally got the better of his old foe Manny Pacquiao

TRAINER OF THE YEAR

Rob McCracken not only brought Froch back from the professional brink to a third world title but also guided Team GB’s boxers to a rich medal haul at London 2012.

The first part of that double act has set up Britain's top prize-fighter for block-busting world super-middleweight title re-matches against Kessler and Ward in the coming 12 months.

The second part delivered not only Olympic glory but increased funding for this country’s amateur boxers.

SWANSONG OF THE YEAR

Ricky Hatton returned to the stage of pain for one last hurrah… and hurrah it was even though he over-matched himself after more than three years' absence by taking on an immediate past world champion.

We still love you: Ricky Hatton gave his fans once last chance to see him action, but was defeated

We still love you: Ricky Hatton gave his fans once last chance to see him action, but was defeated

The Hitman paid the price in the form of a crippling blow to that part of his body rendered most vulnerable by his past life of hard-boozing, his liver.

But he was ahead on the score-cards at the time and remains dear to the hearts of his army of fans, a sell-out 20,000 of whom sang him out of the ring for the last time and into a future as a trainer and promoter.

The sound of bells ringing in the ears – rather than the church steeples at this time of year – has stopped for the moment, but the memories linger on. Happy Christmas.

Bradley Wiggins: I"ll follow Team Sky orders and help Chris Froome to Tour de France victory

Wiggins: I'll follow Team Sky orders and help Froome to Le Tour victory

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UPDATED:

22:53 GMT, 18 December 2012

Bradley Wiggins is prepared to play second fiddle to Chris Froome at next year’s Tour de France if ordered to do so by Team Sky.

It has been widely thought that Wiggins, this year’s Tour champion, would be the back-up man in 2013 as the mountainous route appeared to play more to Froome’s strengths.

However, Wiggins has suggested in recent days that he would quite like to mount a proper defence of his title but added: ‘The last four years, all the focus has been on the Tour de France for me, trying to win that race.

Crowning glory: Bradley Wiggins won Sports Personality of the Year last week

Crowning glory: Bradley Wiggins won Sports Personality of the Year last week

'Fortunately I did it this year, then it’s deciding what to do next, (maybe) going back as defending champion next year to try to win a second Tour de France.

‘We’re very fortunate that we have two people that can win the Tour de France. It could be Chris Froome on the day, it could be me, but once we get on that line we all have a professional obligation. We saw this year what Chris did for me, it could be that I’ll be doing that for him next year for the team to win.’

Wiggins, 32, expects Team Sky to go into the Tour with a clear idea of their leader, saying: ‘You go out there with a plan. That plan may change during the race but you certainly start out with a game plan and follow that game plan as much as possible.

‘If that’s Chris Froome then the whole eight riders will commit to Chris.’

World class: Wiggins' Great Britain and Sky team-mate Chris Froome

World class: Wiggins' Great Britain and Sky team-mate Chris Froome

Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford has shown in the past that he is prepared to make big selection decisions and Froome revealed: ‘The team are saying they are going to back me with the Tour this year. That’s directly from Dave Brailsford. He said, “You’re our man for the Tour. Focus on it”.’

However, Brailsford seems to have wavered slightly but Wiggins believes having two potential winners is a good thing.

He said: ‘It always helps to have strength in numbers, it’s a nice problem to have.

‘So much is made of the negative aspects of having two leaders who could potentially win, but very little has been said about the positive side. We finished one and two this year, so it’s always a nice problem to have.’

Meanwhile, Team Sky have confirmed the signing of British rider Josh Edmondson, 20, on a two-year contract.

Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher at Race of Champions

Vettel and Schumacher aiming for sixth German success at Race of Champions

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UPDATED:

14:36 GMT, 15 December 2012

Sebastian Vettel hopes to add the Race of Champions title to his Formula One drivers' championship trophy when he partners Michael Schumacher in Bangkok.

The German duo are chasing a sixth consecutive victory in the race but face tough competition from around the world.

David Coulthard teams up with touring car driver Andy Priaulx for Great Britain.

Flying the flat: Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel at the Race of Champions opening ceremony

Flying the flat: Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel at the Race of Champions opening ceremony

'We are always excited to come to the Race Of Champions as it’s always a highlight for us at the end of the year,' Schumacher said.

'We’re happy to be over here in Bangkok this time and we’re very much looking forward to showing what we can do down on the track later on.

'Clearly what Sebastian and I are here to do is to take our sixth ROC Nations Cup win. There is tough competition around us tonight so it will be a big challenge.'

Eyes on the prize: Schumacher and Vettel are going for a sixth successive win

Eyes on the prize: Schumacher and Vettel are going for a sixth successive win

Eyes on the prize: Schumacher and Vettel are going for a sixth successive win

Vettel, who won the Formula One title in the final race in Brazil said: 'What’s
special about the Race Of Champions is that it’s a good challenge with
the different cars and it’s a great opportunity to meet drivers from
different categories.

'I’ve been coming back with Michael
for a few years now and all the drivers enjoy this event. It’s very
relaxed – you can compete against each other and then grab a drink after
the race and have some fun.

'There are a tough set of competitors
around and it’s always hard to predict what will happen. We will work as
a team to try and win the ROC Nations Cup for Team Germany again.'

Bit steep that one: Schumacher retired from Formula One for a second time recently

Bit steep that one: Schumacher retired from Formula One for a second time recently

Brit special: David Coulthard (left) and Andy Priaulx have teamed up

Brit special: David Coulthard (left) and Andy Priaulx have teamed up

Kauto Star leaves Paul Nicholls" stables to begin new career in dressage

Nicholls saddened after Kauto Star leaves his stables to begin new career in dressage

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UPDATED:

18:47 GMT, 11 December 2012

Paul Nicholls admitted his 'sadness' after Kauto Star's time at his Ditcheat yard came to an abrupt end on Tuesday.

The winner of five King Georges and two Cheltenham Gold Cups had been officially retired in late October and was expected to remain at Manor Farm Stables in Somerset until Boxing Day, when he was due to parade at Kempton.

Owner Clive Smith had announced on Monday that the 12-year-old would be moving away to be prepared by European bronze medalist eventing rider Laura Collett and long-time Great Britain manager and coach Yogi Breisner for a new career in the world of dressage – a decision not popular with Nicholls and his staff.

Leap of faith: Kauto Star has left Nicholls' stables for the final time

Leap of faith: Kauto Star has left Nicholls' stables for the final time

The winner of 19 races for the champion trainer, including four Betfair Chases and two Tingle Creeks, Kauto Star had been with Nicholls for eight years and was invariably ridden by his head lad Clifford Baker.

'It is with great sadness that I have to report that Kauto Star has left the yard for the last time,' Nicholls told his Betfair column.

'It has been no secret that Kauto's future has been a great source of debate since we announced his retirement.

'And, to be brutally honest, this morning I felt the time had finally come for me to take control of the situation, and to start making the decisions.

'Now, I am fully aware that Kauto is Clive's horse and he can do as he wishes, even though I would personally have loved Clifford to have looked after him for the rest of his years.

'But what upset me and my team here is
when Clive announced that he had spoken to experts about the horse's
future – but failed to consult and listen properly to the team that had
looked after him here for the past nine years. That really upset us.'

Crowd favourite: Kauto Star is set to begin a new life in dressage

Crowd favourite: Kauto Star is set to begin a new life in dressage

Nicholls went on: 'So we had a team meeting here this morning. And after listening to everybody involved – there were about six of us in the meeting – I rang up Clive, said I don't want to fall out, but we think it is in the best interests of everybody concerned to take Kauto to Yogi Breisner's this afternoon so that he could start his new career in the dressage field as soon as possible.

'Which we did with the saddest of hearts. But I like to think with a lot of dignity, too. And, yes, there were plenty of tears too. He was a member of the family here at Ditcheat, and we will all miss him so much.

'I would just to like say that it was a privilege for us here at Ditcheat to train the horse. Good luck, old boy. You were the best – and deserve the best.'

Collett, 22, who is an aspiring Olympian based at the Membury Estate in Wiltshire, will be helped by Breisner to assess the gelding's suitability for the discipline in the coming weeks.

She tweeted: 'I feel very privileged and extremely honoured to have been asked to ride Kauto Star. I will be working closely with Yogi to give Kauto Star the best chance of a second career in dressage.'

Members of the Ditcheat team expressed their sadness at the horse's departure, with Nicholls' travelling head girl Donna Blake, tweeting:

'Farewell to our dear Kauto Star, sad day that he is leaving those who genuinely care and respect him. Undeserved.'

Smith is currently abroad, but at a lunch to promote the William Hill King George VI Chase in London on Monday, he had said: 'A lot of very good chasers have gone on to do very well at dressage, like Garrison Savannah and Neptune Collonges and I wanted him to have an interest – he's just too good to be a hack or to be out in a field.

'I wanted him to do something else and he's going to be down at the other side of Lambourn and Laura Collett and Yogi will be working with him. We'll know in a very short time (if it is a possible option).'

George Groves wants Carl Froch fight after Glen Johnson bout

Groves eyes Battle of Britain with world champion Froch after he conquers veteran Johnson

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UPDATED:

14:36 GMT, 11 December 2012

George Groves believes a convincing win over veteran Glen Johnson on Saturday will catapult him into an all-British showdown with super-middleweight rival Carl Froch.

Groves, 24, has been drawn into a war of words on Twitter with the IBF world champion and his promoter Eddie Hearn with the latter claiming the Londoner would not last three rounds with the 35-year-old.

But Groves insists an emphatic victory over Johnson will prove he belongs at the elite level.

London calling: George Groves will take on veteran fighter Glen Johnson at the Excel Centre in the Docklands on Saturday

London calling: George Groves will take on veteran fighter Glen Johnson at the Excel Centre in the Docklands on Saturday

‘It’s kind of sweet that Carl and Eddie threw their toys out of the pram,’ he said.

‘I think I am a threat and everyone will know that after Saturday; people will sit up and take note and see that I’m in the mix.

‘Glen has boxed everyone and he doesn’t get stopped but that doesn’t mean he won’t get stopped on Saturday. I plan to beat him impressively and convincingly. I’m looking to move into world class boxing and this is the right move for me.

‘I’m going to need to find answers that I haven’t had to find previously and I know I can do it.’

Groves has fought just once in 2012 having twice seen a rematch with Scot Kenny Anderson, and a world title challenge against Robert Stieglitz, called off through injury.

The Cobra: Groves wants an all-British showdown with Carl Froch

The Cobra: Groves wants an all-British showdown with Carl Froch

His sole outing this year saw him stop Francisco Sierra in the sixth round in California in July but a nasty cut has kept him out of action until now.

‘I’ve had a frustrating year and not boxed as much as I wanted but I’m going to cap it off with a great win against a great boxer,’ Groves added.

‘Glen Johnson has been a great fighter for a long time and this is a step up to world class level.’

Johnson, 43, has lost his last three fights, including challenges for Froch and Lucian Bute’s respective world titles, and announced his retirement following a points defeat to Andrzej Fonfara in Chicago in July.

But having backtracked on that decision, he will fight for the 71st time as a professional on his fifth visit to these shores.

A former light-heavyweight world champion, Johnson shocked Roy Jones Jnr in 2004 before recording a similarly sensational victory over Antonio Tarver three months later.

He has failed to hear the final bell just once, against Bernard Hopkins in 1997, and plans to re-launch his career once again with victory on Saturday.

‘I’m here to win,’ he said. ‘George Groves is a talented guy but I’m here to take care of business and move on.’

Craig Pickering swaps sprinting for bobsleigh

Cool Runnings! Just like the film, Olympian Pickering swaps sprinting for bobsleigh

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UPDATED:

10:28 GMT, 7 December 2012

Olympic sprinter Craig Pickering has quit athletics and joined the Great Britain bobsleigh team in a bid to make the 2014 Winter Games.

The 26-year-old, who competed in the 100metres at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, missed out on making this year’s London Games after suffering an injury that required surgery on his back.

In October he lost his UK Athletics funding and has since decided to try his hand at the bobsleigh instead.

All change: Craig Pickering (second left) hopes to compete in the bobsleigh

All change: Craig Pickering (second left) hopes to compete in the bobsleigh

‘It’s been frustrating because I felt good enough to get funding,’ Pickering told BBC Sport.

‘But I’ve been in athletics for so long I started to feel a bit jaded. This is a new challenge I’m really excited by.

‘It’s great to have another opportunity and to go to a Winter and Summer Games, which not many people have done, would be incredible.

‘I do hope I can help [GB bobsleigh], but with their recent results I know I’m going to have to push myself really hard.

‘I am not in it just for Sochi [2014 Olympics] and then heading off back to athletics, I am in it because I want to do it for a long time.

Struggles: Pickering failed to make London 2012 after suffering from injury

Struggles: Pickering failed to make London 2012 after suffering from injury

‘Bobsleigh training and athletics training isn’t as different as people will think and the initial plan is to do some indoor athletics as well as bobsleigh and ease into the new regime.

‘Ultimately I want to help them be in the mix for a medal [in Sochi 2014] and all of my efforts will be in that,” he added.

The British bobsleigh team have been in impressive form in their early part of the season, with the men’s team currently ranked fourth in the world.

GB performance director Gary Anderson said: ‘Our performances across the board have been exactly what we required in this important pre-Olympic season.’

From the track to the ice…

Craig Pickering is not the first to make the switch from the track to the bobsleigh..

Marcus Adam won 200m gold at the 1990 Commonwealth Games before changing sports.

He competed in the two-man bobsleigh event at the 2002 Winter Olympics, finishing 10th.

Dean Macey and Jason Gardener

Former Commonwealth decathlon gold medallist Dean Macey also took up the bobsleigh after his retirement from athletics in 2008.

He finished six at the 2008 British Bobsleigh Championships with former sprinter Jason Gardener and failed to reach the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

… and don't forget Cool Runnings!

In the classic film, which is loosely based on the true story of the Jamaican bobsled team's debut in the 1988 Winter Olympics, 100m sprinter Derice Bannock is convinced to compete after failing to qualify for the summer Olympics.

He is joined by Sanka Coffie, Yul Brenner and Junior Bevel and the quartet enjoys some success before crashing spectacularly.