Cooke given brakeman role in bob

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Edinburgh’s former World champion Gillian Cooke has won back her place as brakeman in Britain’s top two-man bobsleigh team GBR1 to contest the forthcoming World Cup events and World Championships following team trials at the GB training camp in St Moritz.

Watsonian Cooke, who will be 30 on Wednesday, is a former British international long jumper and four times Scottish champion as well as a Scottish Commonwealth Games representative in both pole vault and long jump.

Along with driver Nicola 
Minichiello, she captured the World bobsleigh title at Lake Placid, USA in 2009 but the pair crashed in the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010 and Minichiello subsequently retired due to the injury she incurred.

Cooke, who also suffered a long-term injury but has battled back to fitness, then had an unsuccessful spell at converting to a driver.

But she has now returned to her successful pushing role and will partner driver Paula Walker, a former World junior champion, as they embark on a campaign which they hope will eventually lead to the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.

The British pair, who have Kelly Deynyer as back-up, will head off soon to Calgary to prepare for the first World Cup event in Salt Lake City in 
November.

Among the squad for the 
British men’s bob is the former Scottish international sprinter Stu Benson.