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18th Jan 2022

Jamaican four-man bobsled team qualifies for 2022 Winter Olympics

Charlie Herbert

It’s the first time Jamaica has had a four-man bobsled team at the games in 24 years

The Jamaican four-man bobsled team has qualified for the Winter Olympics in Beijing next month.

The team snatched the final entry place in the 28-sled field based on this season’s international results, meaning that they will have a four-man team at the Olympics for the first time since the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

The qualification also means that for the first time ever, Jamaica will compete in three different bobsleigh events, with the country also represented in the two-man and the women’s monobob.

In a tweet, Team Jamaica said that it will be “fire on ice” when they arrive in Beijing.

The four-man team has yet to be named but it’s expected that Shanwayne Stephens will pilot the sled at the Olympics. Rolando Reid, Ashley Watson and Matthew Wekpe have been alongside Stephens for all of this season’s races and are likely to join him.

Watson confirmed that he would be representing Jamaica at the games, writing in a post on Facebook: “A childhood dream has come a reality.

“I gave up on this dream a few years back although I knew the elite athlete in me hasn’t died yet and had unfinished business.

“Blood, sweat and tears went into this and it has paid off! Best day of my sporting career!

“I was honoured to selected to compete in 13 out of the 16 races this season and gave it all I had.”

He added that it was time to “stay focused” and “show what we are capable of doing on the biggest stage there is.”

And, in a nod to the famous Cool Runnings, he added ‘#luckyegg’ at the end.

They won’t be the only Jamaican representatives at the games though. For just the second time, the country will have a skier at the games, with British-born Benjamin Alexander set to compete in the giant slalom event.

Eurosport reports that the 38-year-old, who grew up in Northamptonshire, only took up the sport in 2016 and does not have a full-time coach but secured his place in Beijing with a seventh placed finish at the Cape Verde National Ski Championships in January.

It will be the first time that Jamaica has an athlete competing in alpine skiing.

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