Radjenovic equals Australian Winter Olympics best in Sochi

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Former SUSF Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder Astrid Radjenovic (nee Loch-Wilkinson) and partner Jana Pittman have equaled Australia’s best result in the women’s bobsleigh by finishing 14th overall on day 12 at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Heading into their second day of competition in 14th position after two solid runs on the Sanki Sliding Center track, Radjenovic and Pittman experienced a difficult third run overnight after their sled  hit some paneling on the side of the track midway down the course. The mistake saw them drop back to 15th position.

“We were just so unlucky that first run, really unlucky, but that’s bobsleigh,’’ Radjenovic said.

“I hit the luge wall out of corner two, just had a little tap (coming out of the corner) and went skidding and hit the luge wall. That happens sometimes, it didn’t happen in training.’’

Rather than being deterred, Radjenovic and Pittman used the poor run as motivation for their fourth and final run of the competition.  It was their best performance at the Games.

“It’s one of my things, if I have a bad run; I always make the next one a cracker,’’ Radjenovic, a three-time Olympian said.

“The second run was so much faster, that’s what we would have liked on every run. That would have topped off our night.

“We made sure our start was better and I tried to be more relaxed and made sure I got corner two right. I just really tried to let the sled run on its own. You sometimes have to get rid of your nerves and adrenalin from the push and be very smooth with the steering.

“That’s the difficult thing with being a pilot, you have to be really pumped for the push and as soon as you sit in the sled you have to be really relaxed.’’

Radjenovic’s 14th place finish with Pittman equals the best Australian result at an Olympics for the women’s bobsleigh – a record Radjenovic set back in 2006 in Torino with Kylie Reed.

There will be no SUSF athletes competing on day 13 in Sochi. On day 14, SUSF EAP scholarship holder Lavinia Chrystal will compete in the women’s slalom alpine skiing event at approximately 11.45pm on Friday (AEDT).