Jamaica are trying to qualify a women's team for the Olympics at Pyeongchang 2018 for the first time ©Facebook

A bid by Jamaican women's bobsleigh team to qualify for the Winter Olympic Games for the first time has received a boost after they signed a new sponsorship deal.

Marubeni Corporation,  a Japanese trading company and one of major shareholder in Jamaica Public Service Company Limited, has agreed to back the campaign of driver Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and brakewoman Carrie Russell to make it to Pyeongchang 2018. 

Fenlator-Victorian competed for the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The 30-year-old from New Jersey piloted USA-3 and was joined by Lolo Jones, the former world indoor 60 metres hurdles champion, finishing 11th.

Fenlator-Victorian qualifies for Jamaica as her father Cosman is from the Caribbean island.

She had considered retiring after Sochi 2014 but has now decided to carry on with the aim of leading the first Jamaican women's bobsleigh team at Pyeongchang 2018.

Fenlator-Victorian joined the team in July 2016 shortly after the Jamaican Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (JBF) launched their initiative to qualify a women's team for Pyeongchang 2018. 

Last year they signed a pact with another Japanese company, the Shitamachi Bobsleigh project, guaranteeing them three “high-quality”.

Since then, Fenlator-Victorian and Russell have been competing internationally.

Their best result was finishing third in a leg of the North American Cup at Lake Placid last January.

Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell finished third in the North American Cup at Lake Placid in January ©Twitter
Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell finished third in the North American Cup at Lake Placid in January ©Twitter

The new partnership with Marubeni Corporation will allow Fenlator-Victorian and Russell to compete more internationally in the new season. 

"This partnership has gone a long way to motivating the team, not just as competitors attempting to qualify for the Winter Olympics in 2018 but it has also given them renewed energy and commitment for the task at hand," said Nelson Stokes, chairman and President of the JBF. 

"Whether or not we qualify for the Winter Olympics or win a medal, the journey up to this point has once again put Jamaica on the world stage and confirmed that our size as a nation is not a limiting factor to our capabilities and our ability to achieve greatness."

Jamaica launched their bobsleigh programme in 1987 - powered by the country's sprinting pedigree - and competed at the Winter Olympics in Calgary the following year.

Their team failed to finish in the four-man event, but were the inspiration for the iconic 1993 Hollywood film Cool Runnings.

The team's participation at Sochi 2014 was their first appearance in the Olympics in 12 years.

Winston Watt and Marvin Dixon finished 29th in the two-man event.