Updated: Friday, 7th August 2020 @ 1:30pm

Withington’s Lamin Deen leads Team GB’s bobsleigh squad to top ten finish at European Cup meeting in Switzerland

Withington’s Lamin Deen leads Team GB’s bobsleigh squad to top ten finish at European Cup meeting in Switzerland

By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent 

Team GB bobsleigh pilot Lamin Deen believes his four man squad have outdone even their own expectations by finishing eighth at the European Cup meet in St Moritz. 

Deen, and teammates Richard Sharman, Dave Smith and Keith McLaughlin ended the GB season on a high in the Swiss Alps on January 15.

Team Deen were as high as third in the first heat following a near-perfect run in the British bob, which is maintained at The Manchester College’s Openshaw campus. 

Lamin said: “It’s really good to get a top eight finish.  It’s even better considering our target is just to make the top 20!” 

“We might have finished higher if it weren’t for my inexperience as a pilot – on the following runs we hit a few places we shouldn’t have which affected the time.” 

The first ever Youth Winter Olympic Games are currently taking place in Innsbruck, Austria for 14-19 year olds. 

Olly Biddulph, Mica McNeil and Kirsten Emery will be leading teams in the 2 person bobsleigh event finals tomorrow for Great Britain. 

Emery and McNeill's teams have both posted times good enough for bronze medals in the heats. 

“The idea of a Youth Winter Olympics is fantastic.  It’s definitely the right way for winter sports to go,” says Lamin. 

“There is a lot of young talent in the bob squads that will make the step up to the full GB squad.”  

He believes that GB are hindered however by their rivals quicker introduction to the sport. 

“If you look at countries like Germany, Switzerland, Canada – they’re riding from 9 or 10 years old.  We can’t compete with that at the moment because our guys couldn’t step foot in a bob until they were 18 until a short while ago.”  

What next then for Lamin? 

“I’m heading to Austria next week to work with the army team – no doubt they will want me to share my experience and expertise, haha!  After that I’ve got the tri service competition to look forward to.”  

This happens in Igls, Austria, 5-11 March.  Squads from all three Armed Forces face off against each other for bragging rights only. 

“It’s very competitive without a doubt.  I’ll be racing against some of my GB teammates and friends from the other forces.”  

Lamin and the rest of the GB squad are looking for sponsorship to help fulfil their Winter Olympic dream at Sochi 2014.  The team are self funded and receive no governing body financial assistance. 

Contact him via www.britishbobsleighteam.co.uk and follow the squad’s progress on Twitter @team_deen