Updated: Tuesday, 17th September 2019 @ 1:06pm

Manchester have 'ready-made replacement' for British bobsleigh in Lamin Deen as Jackson out of action

Manchester have 'ready-made replacement' for British bobsleigh in Lamin Deen as Jackson out of action

By Ben Baker

British Bobsleigh might be sweating over the fitness of their No.1 pilot John Jackson, but Olympian Henry Nwume believes they shouldn’t be too concerned with Manchester’s Lamin Deen a ready-made replacement.

Jackson piloted Great Britain’s four-man bobsleigh to one of their most successful campaign last season, recording four top-six finishes during the World Cup campaign and also finished just 0.07 seconds off a podium place at February’s World Championships as they came fifth.

All this pointed to an improvement on the 17th-place finish Team GB achieved in that event at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics next year in Russia – where Nwume and Jackson made up half of the quartet.

However that has since been put into jeopardy with 36-year-old Jackson rupturing an Achilles tendon in training meaning he will be out until at least November – three months before the start of the Sochi Olympics.

And while Nwume is keeping his fingers crossed that Jackson will recover, he admits he will not be losing any sleep in the meantime with Deen more than capable of filling Jackson’s shoes.

“There has been a series of good results since Vancouver and certainly in the last two seasons,” said Nwume, speaking at a ‘nearest and dearest’ programme in Nottingham, specifically designed to support the friends and families of Team GB in the run up to and during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

“So we are very excited about the future but unfortunately John Jackson did his Achilles which is devastating not only for him but for the rest of the squad.

“But he is going to undergo a medical procedure and there I a hope that he could be back by November and if that is so we will move forward with him.

“But otherwise we have Lamin Deen who is an excellent driver in GB 2 and he will step up and we have full confidence in him to do that.

“The strength of the squad that we have right now is so good that we do have a ready-made replacement in Lamin and that is a great position to be in.

“Lamin is a fantastic driver in his own right and has had to be patient behind John but this could open the door for him – however unfortunate it is – and he has everything about him to make that spot his own and show the world what he can do.”

Deen drove the GB 2 bob to eighth-place last season in the four-man European Cup.

And Nwume is confident that the 32-year-old is more than ready to make the step up.

“Lamin got some great results with the GB 2 bob this season and has been showing us in training just what he is about,” he added.

“There is a big step up but I have faith that Lamin is ready and he will show everyone what he can do next season now he has a chance.”

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Picture courtesy of Andrew Ferguson, with thanks.

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