Craig Pickering in GB's Bobsleigh World Championships team

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Pickering ready for Bobsleigh challenge

Former sprinter Craig Pickering has been selected for the GB Bobsleigh World Championship squad just over a month after switching sports.

Pickering, 26, finished 19th alongside pilot John Jackson on his World Cup debut last week but it was enough to convince selectors of his ability.

"Competing at the Bobsleigh Worlds means so much to me," said Pickering.

"On a personal level, this is recognition of the hard work I have been putting in the bobsleigh track."

Pickering, who will compete in the two-man competition, continued: "Although I have only been involved in the sport for a short period of time, I understand the importance of World Championships, having gone to four different ones in athletics."

The former European indoor 60m silver medallists admits he is "far from the finished article" but hopes to continue his dramatic improvements in a bid to keep in contention for a place at next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

"It is always an honour to represent your country, especially so at such an historic location as St Moritz in Switzerland," said Pickering.

"I hope to continue making big steps forwards, as my performance levels have yet to reach anywhere near the levels I expect from myself.

"Competing in the two-man at the World Championships, the aim will be to break the top-15."

His two-man pilot John Jackson, who was at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics added: "It's a great credit to our programme and the athletes we have to be able to start amongst the world's best.

GB bobsleigh duo win Youth Olympic silver

"The starts and finishes are only going to get better the longer and harder we work together and there's no reason we cannot be the fastest starting crew in the world come Sochi 2014."

The women's team will be led by Paula Walker and former long jumper and 2009 bobsleigh world champion Gillian Cooke.

The pair have impressed on the World Cup tour this season and were on course for a podium finish in Altenberg, Germany before a crash saw their chances slip away.

"I am really pleased to be selected yet again for another World Championships," said Walker.

"No longer are we in a system where it is a given right that we go and we have real depth in our programme."

Four athletes, including 2012 Youth Olympic silver medallist Mica McNeill have been named in contention for the women's two-man GBR 2 team.

There is a strong possibility that Great Britain could enter a third bobsleigh though if they can remain ahead of Russia in the world standings until 22 January.

"Every single athlete we have selected deserves to be there and selections were a very difficult task as we have great strength in depth right now," GB Bobsleighexternal-link performance director Gary Anderson told BBC Sport.

"That said we all know that this is part of a long-term process toward Sochi in 2014 where we want to be the best prepared physically, technically, mentally and tactically we can be."

Top Stories