WINTER OLYMPICS: Crawley’s Bradley Hall aiming for rare medal at bobsleigh in South Korea

No Caption ABCDE SUS-180602-122800002
No Caption ABCDE SUS-180602-122800002

Former Crawley AC star Bradley Hall wants to shake-off any humorous references to popular film Cool Runnings and to clinch a bobsleigh medal for Team GB.

The local sportsman is now a full-time bobsleigher and has been selected as pilot to lead the Great Britain two-man and four-man teams.

Team GB athlete Bradley Hall attended the adidas kitting out sessions at Stockport this week, ahead of the Winter Olympics hopeful taking to the slopes of Pyeongchang, South Korea.'Picture by Charlie Goldsmith SUS-180602-122747002

Team GB athlete Bradley Hall attended the adidas kitting out sessions at Stockport this week, ahead of the Winter Olympics hopeful taking to the slopes of Pyeongchang, South Korea.'Picture by Charlie Goldsmith SUS-180602-122747002

This season so far has been good with Hall and his colleagues gaining a bronze medal at the four-man version at the World Cup in Utah, USA.

They have regularly finished in the top ten and believe they can improve upon the fifth place achieved by their Team GB predecessors four years ago.

GB’s last bobsleigh medal came in 1998, with a bronze. But they may soon receive another one retrospectively because of the Russian team’s involvement of doping in Sochi in 2014.

Former multi-eventer Hall is probably better known in his home town as a decathlete.

He competed at the National Championships and among his achievements he broke into the top-five under-23s discus throwers in the country.

However following in the footsteps of Crawley’s own Olympic double gold medallist at the decathlon, Daley Thompson, was not for him.

Hall, 27, lived with his parents in Bewbush and went to school at Hazelwick in Three Bridges before going on to Collyer’s in Horsham.

He then studied sport science at Brunel University.

Hall now lives in Bath where British Bobsleigh is based and where he practices push-starts but travels overseas to Europe and the USA to practise sledding.

He admitted people do often crack jokes about comedy film Cool Runnings which was about the first ever Jamaican bobsleigh team which took part in the 1988 Winter Olympics.

The Team GB star revealed: “It’s the first thing people always mention. asking where our lucky eggs are!”

Hall explained how he came to switch from athletics to bosleighing.

He said: “I stopped competing six or seven years ago as there were too many injuries. I had problems with my shins and back.”

He said: “I went to the Power 2 Podium trials and tested for seven or eight different physical sports.

“I was actually selected for the skeleton as I got to the last ten, and I went to compete in Lillehammer in Norway and was absolutely useless.

“I didn’t last long as my head kept on smashing against the floor.

“I was called one week later to try out the bobsleigh and went along to the testing at Loughborough.

“I went for a summer of training and integrated with the team and kept doing well.

“I just missed out on the last Olympics but for the last four years I have been driver/pilot.”

The event is a demanding one, requiring speed and strength and concentration as the sled reaches speeds of just under 100mph.

Hall revealed: “It’s tricky as a pilot, your head is thrown from side to side and you experience pressures of six-times the force of gravity.

“We are the fastest at starts that Team GB as ever had and I am hoping for a medal first time around!”

The Games in PyeongChang in South Korea start on Friday, February 9 and finish on Sunday, February 25.