Bobsleigh pilot Brad Hall believes Great Britain can be “consistently up there in the medals” at the Winter Olympics if the sport receives a boost in funding for the next four-year cycle.
He guided the 4-man crew to sixth at Beijing 2022, 0.63 seconds off the podium places, after they had disappointed in the 2-man event. Hall’s men had been tipped as medal contenders before the Games, having regularly challenged on the World Cup circuit, but they just came up short.
The entire bobsleigh set-up received just £120,000 from UK Sport in the build-up to Beijing, while its sister sport skeleton - which comes under the control of the same governing body - was given £6,425,000 on the back of medals at every Games since 2002, until this year.
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Part of their lack of funding is down to bad luck, after the Sochi 2014 4-man crew were finally given their bronze medals in 2019 after Russian athletes had their results scrapped because of doping scandals. The other part was due to an investigation into allegations of misconduct at the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association - which eventually found no evidence of wrongdoing.
It meant the crews largely had to fund themselves, with Hall and his team-mates Nick Gleeson, Greg Cackett and Ben Simons having to work other jobs to get to Beijing, while Taylor Lawrence was effectively on loan from the Royal Marines.
Hall believes they have untapped potential but says if they are to move up to another level, funding needs to be addressed.
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"We can hold our heads up high and know that our performance was good," said Hall.
"We did the best we can and sixth place for a small nation that doesn't have its own ice track or much funding is definitely something to be very proud of.
"I believe if we get the backing that we need then the sky's the limit and we will be consistently up there in the medals again. We've got to wait and see what happens."
UK Sport is likely to review the Games before announcing funding commitments for Milan-Cortina in 2026.
- Friedrich defends four-man gold in German one-two, Hall’s Team GB sled in sixth
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- 'Gutting to watch' - Rutherford left devastated by Hall and Gleeson crash
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Watch every moment of Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on discovery+
Hall and Gleeson point to gap in funding after opening day two-man bobsleigh disappointment
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