Oaklands bobsleigher spurred on by disappointment

THEY SAY that the worst place to finish at an Olympics is fourth but Frances Slater is remaining positive despite watching a medal slip through her fingers at the Winter Youth Games in Austria.

Slater, who attends Oaklands College, and Kirsten Emery sat fifth after their first run in the two-woman bobsleigh in Innsbruck but a second of 55.92seconds put them in the medal positions for much of the latter stages.

However the British duo eventually had to settle for fourth while their teammates and training partners Mica McNeill and Jazmin Sawyers took silver in between two Dutch crews in Austria.

And Slater, whose overall time of 1:52.34minutes was 0.19seconds away from bronze, admitted that she took some consolation from watching McNeill and Sawyers climb the podium.

“Bobsleigh is always close, you never know how it’s going to go until everyone is finished,” said Slater.

“We didn’t have a good first run so to have had a great second one is just a great feeling. We would have been really disappointed if we had come here and had two bad runs.

“To come fourth is never nice because you are missing out on a medal but it’s better than fifth and we’re so happy with our second run.

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“And most of all we are delighted for Mica and Jazmin, we wanted one of us to get a medal and they’ve done fantastically well.”

And, while Herts Phoenix sprinter Slater might have missed out on her own slice of history, the 17-year-old was adamant that the result will act as a massive boost, not only for her, but also for the future of the sport in Britain.

“This is going to be huge for the sport and will bring a lot of publicity to it, especially with people who didn’t know about it before,” she added.

“They’re going to see what we have done at such a young age, everyone is going to want to get involved and give bobsleigh a try.

“This was definitely the biggest competition of my life so far, the support we had at the start was just fantastic.”

The British Olympic Association prepares and leads British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It works in partnership with sport National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic values. www.olympics.org.uk