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Jamaica bobsleigh team might be minus their sled

TRIO: Coach Sandra Kiriasis with Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell

ONE OF the most usual stories coming out of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang centres around the Jamaica bobsleigh team. Set to make their debut at the Games early next week, their glory bid is said to be under threat after their coach quit and threatened to take the team's sled.

The BBC has reported that 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. Kiriasis is said to want payment for it but the Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation (JBF) 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. Jamaica Bobsleigh said: "Sandra Kiriasis has elected not to continue her position. We are deeply disappointed in her decision to leave the programme.

"We thank her for her invaluable contribution and contributing to the success of Jamaica's first female bobsled Olympic appearance. Ms Kiriasis' departure will not impact JBSF or its athletes' performance."

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

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.

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