GB bobsleighers win silver & bronze in Americas Cup

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Mica McNeill
Pilot Mica McNeill won silver at the 2012 Youth Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria

British bobsleighers won silver and bronze medals in the season-opening Americas Cup event in Park City, USA.

Youth Olympian Mica McNeill and Sian Huxtable finished second in the two-man competition behind USA's Winter Olympic bronze medallist Jamie Greuble.

Lamin Deen piloted Britain to bronze in Saturday's men's four-man race.

"We have some really exciting potential in the squad right now," said GB Bobsleigh performance director Gary Anderson.

2014-15 Bobsleigh World Cup schedule
Lake Placid, USA - 8-13 DecSt. Moritz, Switzerland - 19-25 Jan
Calgary, Canada - 15-20 DecLa Plagne, France - 26 Jan-1 Feb
Altenberg, Germany - 5-11 JanIgls, Austria - 2-8 Feb
Königssee, Germany - 12-18 JanSochi, Russia - 10-15 Feb

Canadian Kaillie Humphries and USA's Elana Meyers-Taylor became the first women pilots to race internationally in a sanctioned four-man bobsleigh competition.

In September, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation, the sport's governing body, announced a major rule change allowing women to compete in the event.

Humphries and Meyers-Taylor finished sixth and seventh respectively in Park City and, if they compete in two more events, will qualify for the top-tier World Cup circuit beginning in Lake Placid on 12 December.

F1 technology powering GB Bobsleigh

Leading British pilot John Jackson, part of the GB four-man bob that finished fifth at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics,external-link will miss much of this season with a recurrence of an Achilles problem, while partner Paula Walkerexternal-link is taking a break because she is pregnant.

"It's been a great start to the season and there's a great feeling amongst the squad," said Anderson, who recently signed a new contract taking him through to the 2018 Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

"After Sochi we had a comprehensive review of our operations and everything is geared to winning a medal in 2018."

At the season-opening Europa Cup event in Innsbruck - the same tier as the Americas Cup - Youth Olympic pilot Olly Biddulph claimed a career-best finish of 12th.

Fellow Briton Nikki McSweeney, who was McNeill's breakman when the pair won world junior bronzeexternal-link in 2013, came 10th in her debut as a pilot alongside Codie Burnett in the two-man event.

Athletes are bidding for places in the British World Cup squad with positions available for two males - in the two-man and four-man bob - and two females in the two-man event.

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