Jamaica placed 19th in Winter Olympics bobsleigh final

Jamaica’s first ever female bobsleigh team to compete in a Winter Olympics finished 19th out of 20 participating countries in the bobsleigh event in Pyeongchang, South Korea yesterday.

The team totalled 3:24.94 to place one spot higher than the Nigerians who were also competing in a Winter Olympics for the first time.

The Jamaican team ran into difficulty last week after their coach, German Sandra Kiriasis, a 2006 bobsleigh gold medal winner, resigned after being reassigned to the role of track performance analyst which she said would have kept her from the team.

The Jamaican Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, however, said that Kiriasis “elected” to leave the team and they were disappointed with her decision.

Upon leaving, Kiriasis said she had leased the team’s sled from a contact in Germany, and although it was for the Jamaican team, she had signed the lease herself, making her legally and financially responsible for the sled. She reportedly would not return it unless the team paid for the sled.

The Red Stripe beer company then stepped in and wired the money to the team to get the sled back from Kiriasis.

Germany’s Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz struck gold in the women’s bobsleigh event by beating the United States by seven-hundredths of a second.

The Germans, starting last in the final run, were behind America’s Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs in the upper sections before making up ground at the bottom to win the title.

It means that Germany, with a cumulative winning time of 3min 22.45sec, pocket their fourth Olympic title in women’s bobsleigh to gain on the USA’s total of five.