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Wednesday, 20 February, 2002, 10:31 GMT

GB women happy with debut

By BBC Sport Online's Anna Thompson at the women's Olympic bobsleigh

It had taken ten years of hard work for Michelle Coy to make it to the Olympics and not even a back injury was going to stop her at Salt Lake City.

Coy, GB2 driver, realised her dream at Utah Olympic Park on Tuesday when she finished 11th in the first ever women's bobsleigh event.

GB1 were 12th overall after a poor first run scuppered their outside chance for a medal.

"Even if Jackie (the brakewoman) had had to push me in the bobsleigh...I would still have been here"
Michelle Coy

The USA2 crew were the shock gold medal winners, with Germany1 and Germany2 in the silver and bronze positions.

Coy, an RAF supplier, injured her back in training two weeks ago and it has been getting progressively worse.

But she told BBC Sport Online: "There was no way I was going to miss the Olympics.

"Even if Jackie (the brakewoman) had had to push me in the bobsleigh from the start and we finished last, I would still have been here.

"I've been in the sport for ten years and it has been a battle to get it recognised as an Olympic event.

"But to see 15,000 poeple having a brilliant time was great. We are used to crowds of about 100 people."

Jackie Davies, whose father died just weeks before the Olympics, said it had been an amazing atmosphere at the track.

Davies, who could be heading to Afghanistan with her Royal Signals Regiment when she returns to the Army after a year-long sabbatical, said: "It is fantastic to say that I have competed in the Olympics.

"We're pleased that we beat GB1 - although we don't want to gloat too much."

GB1 driver Cheryl Done said she got her foot caught in the brake-steering as she jumped in the sled at the start of the race.

She had to get her foot out again as brakewoman Nicola Gautier was pushing her back in.

Done said: "We lost valuable time and I was disappointed with the first run but we made up for it in the second run."

Gautier only took up the sport three months ago and has been working with Done for just four weeks.

The Sheffield student is a heptathlete and will now switch her focus to training for the Commonwealth Games.

She said: "I still can't believe that I am at the Winter Olympics. I had to pinch myself before the race.

"I'm definitely a convert to bobsleigh and will be back next season."

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