Lawrence looking for medals despite disruption

Lawrence looking for medals despite disruption

It’s been a season of disruption for the GB1 Men’s Bobsleigh team but Taylor Lawrence insists they’re still in a good place on the eve of the biggest event of the year.

Having enjoyed the country’s most successful non-Olympic campaign in recent history in winning 11 World Cup medals and GB ‘s first 4-man World Championship silverware for 84 years last time out, Lawrence started this season as the only fit member of his crew.

Pilot Brad Hall underwent back surgery in the autumn and fellow brakemen Arran Gulliver and Greg Cackett battled serious groin and hamstring injuries in pre-season, before Gulliver succumbed to a separate hamstring tear prior to Christmas.

It meant they missed races at the start of the season and had to bring a new brakeman (Leon Greenwood) into the lineup after Christmas but it hasn’t stopped them from heading to this week’s World Championships with medal hopes.

“We are in a good place going into the World Champs: everyone feels focused and motivated; we know our kit is running well; people are fitter than they were at the start of the season; and we truly think we will be coming away with more World Championship medals,” said Lawrence.

We as brakeman need consistently fast pushes; Brad needs to drive well; and a bit of luck never hurt anyone. If those three things come together, there’s no reason why we can’t be on the podium again.

“It’s definitely not been an easy year and we would all have loved it to have been a smoother ride but we’re used to dealing with adversity. We’ve come through lots of rough times over the last few years and we’re stronger for it. This is no different.

“There’s no doubt the injuries have made things difficult but we never saw it as playing catch up - we just knew we needed to reset our expectations and play the hand we were dealt. Like any team sport, when the full team is not fully fit it has a knock-on effect and it means that you have to manage expectations.

“We’ve not been able to have the usual number of pushes we would and Brad hasn’t had the amount of early ice time he would have ideally liked to get his eye back in with the driving but we have still managed to come away with a medal in the World Cup this year and we are going into the World Champs with a very positive and optimistic mindset. The crew is still not all at 100% but everyone is as fit as they are going to be and we believe we are good enough to be coming away with medals.”

RST 512

Lawrence & his team won World Championship silver last season

Lawrence slides with Hall in the 2-man competition this Saturday and Sunday before also linking up with Cackett and Greenwood in the 4-man the following weekend.

The 27-year-old has made a huge impact since coming into the programme in 2019, moving from an international novice to one of the best brakemen in the world in next to no time.

The serving Royal Marine has had to carry a heavier workload this season due to those injuries to his team mates but he insists he’s in great shape and ready to help create the kind of success the team had at last season’s World Championships in St Moritz over the next 10 days.

“It was really important for me to hit the ground running this season because I was one of the guys that wasn’t injured this summer,” added Lawrence.

Personally, I know I’m in good shape, pushing well and feeling strong going into the World Champs. Even though summer training as a team was disrupted, I feel like I’ve been in good nick all year and I’ve always aimed to peak for the next two weeks.

“These are the competitions you really want to do well in - they’re what everyone marks up on the calendar at the beginning of the year. We had a taste of that success last season in St Moritz and we want more of it in Winterberg.

“We know we’ve not had the ideal preparation and it’s always tough to beat the Germans on their home ice but we genuinely believe we can be in the medal mix in both disciplines.”

This year’s World Championships take place in Winterberg, Germany from February 22nd - March 3rd, with the schedule as follows:

Thurs 22 Feb
Women's Skeleton Heats 1&2 9am
Men's Skeleton Heats 1&2 1pm

Fri 23 Feb
Women's Skeleton Heats 3&4 11am
Men's Skeleton Heats 3&4 3pm

Sat 24 Feb
Women's Monobob Heats 1&2 8am
2-man Bobsleigh Heats 1&2 12pm
Skeleton Mixed Team Competition 4pm

Sun 25 Feb
Women's Monobob Heats 3&4 8.15am
2-man Bobsleigh Heats 3&4 12.15pm

Fri 1 Mar
Women's Bobsleigh Heats 1&2 2pm

Sat 2 Mar
4-man Bobsleigh Heats 1&2 9am
Women's Bobsleigh Heats 3&4 1.30pm

Sun 3 Mar
4-man Bobsleigh Heats 3&4 1pm

All races will be shown live on the IBSF YouTube channel and website