Trinidad & Tobago’s Men’s Bobsled team is aiming to qualify for the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022 and end a 20-year hiatus from the Games.

The team consisting of Summer Olympic hurdler Mikel Thomas, sprinter Andre Marcano, Axel Brown, and brothers Shomari and Shakeel Brown has been competing on the North American Cup tour and will know whether or not they’ve qualified for the Olympics on January 16.

Their best seven out of eight races in recent months will count towards Olympic qualification.

Right now, the team is comfortably ahead of countries like Italy, Croatia, Israel, and Jamaica and Brown says the team’s chances look good as long as they can stay ahead while also pointing out that they are relatively inexperienced.

“We are currently comfortably ahead of them, but this is elite sport and anything could happen. I understand that a lot of people were not aware T&T had a bobsleigh team, but it only happened realistically three months before the start of the season so this has only existed in a tangible form since July,” Brown told the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

Brown, born to a Trinidadian mother and British father, has also represented Great Britain in the past and says he’s overwhelmed by the response of the Trinidadian public to the team.

“It feels great. I am really excited over not only what we have been able to do on the ice, but also the reception that it’s had. It’s been incredible. To be doing what I am doing still, but having such a warm welcome and such an excited kind of fan base is honestly so validating and lovely…it is exciting that now all of a sudden, the TT population is kind of embracing us and what we are able to do. That’s again, so nice,” he said.

Brown hopes that this team can inspire future generations of Trinidadian bobsledders.

“Going forward into the next four years…hopefully, there are other TT teams that are inspired by what we are doing, but I think we certainly have the athletic pool from which to choose great athletes from but also the four that we’ve got at the moment are doing incredibly well and I am really excited to see what they can do,” Brown added.

 

 

 

Jamaica’s four-man Bobsled team ended 2021 on a high after securing a medal at the North American Cup in Lake Placid, New York.

The team consisting of Shanwayne Stephens, Ashley Watson, Rolando Reid, and Matthew Wekpe got a time of 1:52.87 to finish seventh overall in the Four-Man Bobsled on December 20.

Stephens and Watson also teamed up to finish seventh overall in the Two-Man Bobsled with a time of 1:55.70 on December 15.

Watson, who is also completing his Master’s degree in Physiotherapy, reacted to the achievement on his Instagram page.

“Great way to end our last races of the year with my first ever medal in Bobsleigh. It’s been a long, hard emotional first half of the season. It has been worth the three-plus months graft to have an opportunity to reach the Olympic Games,” he said.

Watson also expressed gratitude to the support staff for the team.

“I’m very proud of the team and hugely thankful for the sponsors, coaches, physio, and people working behind the scenes,” he added.

He says the team will take some time to rest before resuming the season next year.

“Now to go home for a short period to rest before the second half of the season and hopefully the Olympics,” Watson said.

 

Former Munro College athlete and current Jamaican Bobsledder, Rolando Reid, wants to achieve his Olympic dream in bobsled after being unable to do so on the track.

Reid is a member of Jamaica’s four-man bobsleigh team along with teammates Shanwayne Stephens, Matthew Wekpe, Ashley Watson, Nimroy Turgott and Wayne McPherson.

Speaking on the latest episode of On Point on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel, Reid said the pursuit of his original dream to represent the country in track and field at the Olympics was dashed because of injuries.

“For me growing up, I always wanted to represent the country at the senior level in Track and Field at the Olympic Games. However, due to injuries, that wasn’t possible,” said Reid, who revealed that representing Jamaica at the Winter Olympics is his new dream.

“This is my other dream of representing the country at the senior level and making it to the Winter Olympic Games.”

Reid said he has made many sacrifices to get this far.

“I’ve literally dedicated every single thing to this; lost my job in the process and I’m a new father as well so that’s a whole different thing. Giving up time with family just to make this dream a reality so I have given it my all pretty much,” he said.

The former teacher said the team hopes to qualify for the Olympics and set the stage for the next generation of bobsledders.

“We’re setting the pace for the next generation as well. The baton was passed onto us from the older generation, the Disney generation, so we’re just trying to continue that legacy,” said Reid.

When Reid says “Disney Generation” he’s referring to Jamaica’s first four-man bobsleigh team at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, who inspired the 1993 Disney film titled “Cool Runnings.”

The full interview can be seen on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel.

 

 

 

Jamaican bobsledder Audra Segree has expressed happiness with her performances so far this season with teammate Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian.

Segree, a former track and field standout at Holmwood Technical in Jamaica, partnered with Fenlator-Victorian to finish third in the 2-woman Bobsleigh at the North American Cup in Whistler, Canada on November 14th.

That podium finish followed a fourth-place finish a day earlier.

Speaking on an episode of On Point on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel, Segree was pleased with her progress.

“Our performance has been great. We have challenges here and there but we work through it and sort it out. At the end of the day, we’re grateful that we finished on the podium so the start of the journey has been great,” said Segree.

When asked what she has discovered from her early runs that will help her improve throughout the rest of the season, Segree referred to getting things in place at a faster pace.

“Based on our vibe and our energy, we’re getting things together earlier in the season so going forward we’re just cleaning up stuff, being more consistent and putting in more effort and determination to always being at the top to collect points,” she said.

With the 2022 Winter Olympics beginning in Beijing on February 4, Segree explained what the team needs to do to qualify for the games.

“I can’t say how many points we need exactly because we are split up. There is the North American Cup, Europe Cup and World Cup. I think being consistently in the top-five should set us on the right path for the Olympics,” Segree said.

The full interview can be seen on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel.

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