Sochi 2014: GB miss out on medal in four-man bobsleigh

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter in Sochi
Sochi 2014: Great Britain finish fifth in bobsleigh final

Great Britain missed out on a medal in the four-man bobsleigh as host nation Russia won their 13th gold medal of the Winter Olympics.

GBR 1, driven by John Jackson, were fifth, 0.11 seconds off a medal, as Russian pilot Alexander Zubkov, 39, finished 0.09 secs clear of Latvia.

United States won bronze while Lamin Deen and the GBR 2 crew were 19th.

Great Britain finished the Sochi 2014 Games 19th in the medal table, with one gold, one silver and two bronzes.

That haul of four medals equals the total they won at the inaugural Games in 1924.

Britain surpassed their three-medal Sochi target, thanks to Lizzy Yarnold (skeleton gold), the men's curlers (silver) Jenny Jones (snowboard slopestyle bronze) and the bronze won by the women's curling team on Thursday.

Jackson's four-man team of Stuart Benson, Bruce Tasker and Joel Fearon won a historic World Cup silver medal in December and finished second at last month's European Championships.

However, they were ranked 12th in the world heading into the Olympics and lay in seventh position after the first two runs on Saturday.

They climbed to sixth in the penultimate run on Sunday before finishing in fifth.

An analysis of their times from each run showed that they were twice the second quickest sled and were third once - but their opening run, where they were tenth - cost them.

"It's hard to think we've come so close to a medal," Jackson told BBC Sport. "Hopefully this will be enough to secure backing [from UK Sport] so we can continue to progress."

The 36-year-old pilot, who is also a royal marine sergeant, ruptured his Achilles tendon in July and only reached the Olympics after undergoing pioneering surgery.

"For a split second I thought potentially I may not be here [when it happened] but the support I've had from my team-mates since day one has been amazing," said Jackson.

Benson added: "We've always had belief in him and he drove superbly. I hope he stays around for another four years because that will mean I'll be here again."

Jackson told BBC Sport he plans to continue for "another couple of seasons" but is unlikely to compete through to the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, Korea.

GBR 2 pilot Deen, 32, who has been non-committal on his future prior to the Games says he is now determined to carry on in the British programme.

"It's been an amazing experience and although all of the runs didn't go as we would have hoped the guys have been fantastic and I want to come back a better pilot in 2018," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

The British bobsleigh team will now face an anxious wait for UK Sport to announce the amount of funding they will receive for the next four-year period.

Their four-man target was a top-six finish, which they achieved, but the women were 12th when chasing top-eight. A decision is due to be announced in June.