Sochi 2014: Dave Coleman eyes Team GB bobsleigh place

Kent's Coleman holds Sochi ambition

Former discus thrower Dave Coleman hopes to be selected in Great Britain's bobsleigh squad next week.

The 27-year-old from Tonbridge missed out on London 2012 but could travel to Sochi for next year's Winter Olympics.

Coleman heads to Latvia with the GB squad and is looking to be selected as a brakeman for the upcoming season.

"To be going from a summer sport to potentially a Winter Olympics in the space of 12 months is a radical change," he told BBC South East Today.

"The shortlist consists of 10 people. There are various different aspects but if everything goes right it is a realistic opportunity.

"It is a combination of getting the right people on the right sleds and in the right positions.

"My strength is my strength, as opposed to others who are more sprint-based athletes. They are obviously quicker with top-end speed.

"It is more a combination of everything - the strength, power and speed."

Great Britain have two quota slots in both two-man and four-man bobsleighs for the 2013-2014 FIBT World Cup Series, which begins in Calgary in November.

They must be ranked in the top 20 crews in the world at the end of the qualification period on 19 January next year in order to secure a place at Sochi 2014.

"Ideally I'd like to get into the Great Britain two sled or, if possible, the one," said Coleman.

"At the World Champs in St Moritz we came 23rd and so it is not unrealistic to be ranked in the top 20.

"I was fortunate to race in the four-man at the test event in Sochi and I think we came 21st so again, that puts us in quite good stead.

"The driver has got experience and we are a fairly new crew so there are a lot of positives going ahead.

"If that goes to plan we will go off to compete in Sochi. Competing for your country is the main aim."

Coleman spent 15 years throwing discus but missed out on selection the Olympic Games and, after he looked into taking up a new sport, subsequently applied to join the GB bobsleigh programme.

"In 2011 I was throwing discus and had managed to get a personal best of 56-and-a-half metres," he said.

"That put me in quite good stead going into the London Games but things didn't go to plan. I threw in the Olympic Stadium as part of the University Championships and I got a silver medal.

"I was looking for a new challenge. I spoke to a few people and bobsleigh came along.

"They had a talent identification section on their website. I looked at the challenges and thought I could have a stab at most of them.

"Within 24 hours of sending an email I was invited and it has been a whirlwind since then."