Winter Olympics 2018: Bruce Tasker blow can inspire GB bobsleigh, says John Jackson

Great Britain's four-man bobsleigh team finished fifth at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi
Great Britain's four-man bobsleigh team finished fifth at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi
XXIII Olympic Winter Games
Venue: Pyeongchang, South Korea Dates: 9-25 February
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Bruce Tasker's withdrawal from Winter Olympics contention after a minor stroke can inspire his Great Britain bobsleigh team-mates says John Jackson.

Jackson and 30-year-old Welshman Tasker were part of the four-man team that finished fifth at Sochi 2014, although that could be upgraded to bronze due to Russian athletes being disqualified.

But Jackson says Tasker's "heartache" can inspire success in Pyeongchang.

"It's going to give that extra oomph to the guys in the sled," Jackson said.

"It's put that little bit more of a challenge towards the guys and hopefully they can step up.

"The good thing with the Great Britain team at the moment is that they have got strength in depth... so although he [Tasker] will be missed, the guys that are put in will also do a very good job."

In line for 2014 bronze

Jackson, Tasker, Joel Fearon and Stuart Benson are in line for a bronze medal after the disqualification of two Russian teams from the 2014 Games.

The Russian athletes can appeal against the decision, but if the disqualification is upheld the GB team is likely to be upgraded.

While that could provide some solace for Tasker, Jackson admits missing the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, is a huge blow.

"I'm heartbroken for Bruce, he's put in so much work since 2014 and for this to happen to him just weeks before the final selection it's just heartbreaking for him," added Englishman Jackson.

"I think sports like bobsleigh that are hard - contact sports like rugby, martial arts, that sort of thing - I think it comes to a point where your body sometimes tells you that you're ready to finish rather than you're coming to a natural end where you make that decision."

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