By Mike Rowbottom

John Jackson_30_SeptSeptember 30 - British Bobsleigh has announced its team selections for the upcoming FIBT (Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing) competition season.

GBR 1 will be piloted by John Jackson (pictured top, front), who came tenth in the 2012 World Championships, and pushed by John Baines, Bruce Tasker, Joel Fearon and Stu Benson.

Pilots Will Golder and Lamin Deen, in GBR 2 and GBR 3, will be competing against each other during the first four Europa Cup races for the other World Cup slot.

Olly Biddulph, who came fifth in the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games, will start the season in the North America Cup, followed by the Junior World Championships from December 17-22 in Cesana, Italy.

The women's GBR 1 team will be led by 2011 junior world champion Paula Walker, paired once again with experienced brakewoman Gillian Cooke, who won the 2009 World Championships with driver Nicola Minichiello – now retired-  with newcomer Kelly Denyer moving up to joint the crew.

The second British team is driven by Victoria Olaoye, while Mica McNeill, who took silver in last season's Winter Youth Olympic Games, will be competing in the North America Cup.

GB Performance Director John Anderson commented: "It was always our intention to develop internal competition for selection to the highest level of competition – that is the only way we will ensure that our progress is continued.

"Both Golder and Deen know what is expected of them. After a series of four races the leader in the world rankings will step up to the World Cup and world championships.

Paula Walker_30_SeptPaula Walker (front) will lead the Great Britain 1 women's team

"This is the first time for many years that British Bobsleigh can have this strength in depth.

"Our women's programme is starting to take shape with two crews looking to establish themselves ready for an assault on Olympic qualification.

"Young McNeill is an exciting prospect and is looking to build on her excellent result at the Youth Olympics.

"GBR1 are now established as a crew who can on their day produce a high level performance.

"I know that we will be looking to make that next step up and start to put pressure on the world's top five."

The Performance team will be joined this year by the former Swiss head coach, Dominik Scherer, as head technical coach, accompanied by Reto Mieier, one of the world's leading bobsleigh mechanics.

Lee Johnson has now taken up full-time responsibility for development of GB junior programmes.

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