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Bobsleigh boys ready to tackle PyeongChang

Published 25 January 2018 (AEDT)

© olympics.com.au

BOBSLEIGH: Sochi 2014 Olympian Lucas Mata will return to the Olympic track joined by crew mates David Mari, Hayden Smith and Lachlan Reidy in the men’s bobsleigh events at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games.

29-year-old Mata will pilot both the 2-man and 4-man events and said 2018 Olympic selection comes after four years of hard work, following his Olympic debut as a brakeman in the 4-man event at Sochi.

“To be honest it doesn’t feel real yet. It definitely feels different, my job is now 55 seconds now rather than just 5, so the nerves are a little higher,” Mata said.

Mata who reigns from Perth, said his first Games experience was new, exciting and at times distracting. He now knows the process and is heading into his second Olympic campaign more prepared.

“In the last 4 years I have become smarter as an athlete, I know how my body reacts to training and such a long competition season,” Mata said.

“The crew has taken shape slowly over the past 4 years with some key members not being around anymore but I think this crew can really do some damage on the big stage.”

Joining Mata in the 2-man event will be 22-year-old David Mari and the pair will combine with Lachlan Reidy and Hayden Smith to contest the 4-man.

“I am honoured to be selected as part of an incredible cohort of athletes,” David Mari said.

“I can't wait to walk into the opening Ceremony knowing all that we as a team have overcome and achieved to be there. It will be a moment of pure excitement, which I anticipate dearly.”

With 30 crews competing in both events the competition will be hotly contested but Mata is remaining optimistic.

“We always race to win, but we are also realistic. I think we can finish between 15th and 20th which would be massive for us. Anything more is just a bonus.”

The Aussie crew have been fortunate enough to race twice on the Olympic track, once at the test event and again for training week in October.

“I know the track and have some good track notes. The track itself is awesome, it’s fun and it’s a great facility so I cannot wait to compete on it at the big stage,” Mata said.

The Australian men’s bobsleigh 2man crew will compete on Days 9 (February 18) and 10 (February 19), with the 4man crew to follow on Day 15 and 16 (February 24-25) at the Alpensia Sliding Centre.

Ashleigh Knight

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