PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb 14 (Reuters) - German Sandra Kiriasis has quit as coach of the Jamaican bobsleigh team a few days before the start of their competition at the Pyeongchang Olympics, Jamaica Bobsleigh (JBSF) said on Wednesday.
In an echo of the country’s men’s bobsleigh team’s appearance at the 1988 Games which inspired the successful movie “Cool Runnings”, Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell will become Jamaica’s first female Winter Olympians next week.
They will, however, now do it without 2006 Olympic champion Kiriasis.
“Driving coach Sandra Kiriasis has elected not to continue her position with Jamaica Bobsleigh,” the JBSF said in a statement.
“We are deeply disappointed in her decision to leave the programme. We thank her for her invaluable contribution to JBSF and contributing to the success of Jamaica’s first female bobsled Olympic appearance.”
The BBC reported that the departure of Kiriasis, who owns the sled the Jamaicans are planning to compete in, came after she was asked to change her role.
“I have never known such disappointment in this sport, in my life,” Kiriasis was reported as saying.
“The athletes have told me they don’t understand why this has happened as they have no problem with me and we have a good relationship.”
Women’s bobsleigh training begins on Saturday with the opening heats on Tuesday. (Writing by Nick Mulvenney,; Editing by Ed Osmond)