Minichiello & Cooke become Britain’s first women bobsleigh world champions

21 February 2009

Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke became the first British women to win a Bobsleigh World Championship title when they won gold in Lake Placid this afternoon (Saturday).

The pair had been second at the halfway mark overnight after two of the four runs that make up the World Championships – four-hundredths of a second behind leaders Shauna Rohbock and Elana Meyers of the USA.

But the Brits produced an outstanding third run to head the field and followed that up with another solid performance on the fourth and final run to capture the world crown.

Their first and second runs on Friday were both the second fastest in the field and their third and fourth runs today were the fastest third and fourth runs of the competition.

It wrapped up an outstanding season for the Brits – with less than a year to go to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Minichiello, who does some of her training at the University of Bath, finished the World Cup series in third place overall, winning a silver and two bronzes in the eight race series. She also won bronze at the European Championships.

In 2005 Minichiello and Jackie Davies (now Jackie Gunn) won the silver medal at the World Championships in Calgary, becoming the first British women to claim a Bobsleigh World Championship medal.

World Championship results
Gold: Nicola Minichiello/Gillian Cooke (GBR) – 3:48.22
Silver: Shauna Rohbock/Elana Meyers (USA) – 3:48.60
Bronze: Cathleen Martini/Janine Tischer (GER) – 3:48.84

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Posted: Saturday 21st February 2009

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