Winter Olympics 2014: Former sprinter Craig Pickering forced to miss Sochi Games after back injury rules him out of bobsleigh event

Pickering admits he is 'devastated' to miss the competition after suffering a L3-4 acute disc prolapse in his back

Craig Pickering’s wretched sporting career took another unfortunate twist on Friday when he was forced to pull out of the Winter Olympics. The former sprinter was due to compete in the two- and four-man bobsleigh but a back injury suffered at the team’s pre-Games training camp in Germany ended his hopes of becoming a dual Olympian.

Pickering had also missed the London Games with a back injury before switching sports. He did compete in the Beijing Games as part of GB’s 100m relay squad but was responsible for the error that led to the defending champions being disqualified in the heats.

After his London disappointment he successfully switched sports and was set to become only the eighth athlete to represent Britain at both Winter and Summer Olympics . He had been part of John Jackson’s No 1 sled before voluntarily dropping down to Lamin Deen’s second sled. That threatened his double dream but Deen qualified his sled at the final World Cup meeting last month.

The two crews have been preparing in Königssee, where six days ago the 27-year-old Pickering injured his back. He returned to Sport England’s Bisham Abbey centre for treatment but in vain.

 

“Having missed out on competing at the London 2012 Games due to a back injury, I am devastated to have suffered a similar fate just days before the start of the Sochi,” said Pickering. “We worked so hard to qualify the GBR 2 sled for the Games and I’m gutted that I won’t be on the start line with Lamin, John [Baines] and Ben [Simons].”

A replacement will be named shortly. It is likely to be Andrew Matthews, another former sprinter. During his track days Matthews, a  European junior gold medallist, was coached by Linford Christie. He is set to replace Pickering in the four-man with one of the GBR2 sled crewmen doubling up in the two-man.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Travel
Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
travelChic new hotels in 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect