BOBSLEIGH: Walker devastated by 12th at Sochi
AN EMOTIONAL Paula Walker was left searching for answers after finishing 12th at the Winter Olympics.
The 27-year-old, partnered by brakewoman Rebekah Wilson, was 12th in the standings after her first two runs at Sochi 2014 yesterday but was unable to get nearer her top-eight target after times of 58.88 and 58.60 in her final heats today.
Trowbridge-based Walker, who lives with partner and men’s GB1 pilot John Jackson in Paxcroft Mead, finished with an overall time of 3:54.24 as she remained in 12th place.
"I don't know what went wrong really,” Walker told BBC Sport.
“I had a horrible third run and it hasn't got much better. We just need to move on and think about the next Olympics."
She added later: "“No athlete comes in wanting to come 12th at the Olympics but to put it into perspective both Rebekah and I have had a long, long journey in different ways but we have made it to the Olympics and I think we have done ourselves proud.
"With this track the characteristics are such that if you make a mistake before corner six it is game over and I made a monumental mistake between corners two to three.
“It was only to do with me, nothing to do with Rebekah, and we lost about half a second. On the fourth run we just had to come back and I had to make sure I drove it as best as possible.
"I saw my mum in the stands screeching away and she looked like she was having a good time, which is fine. If she is having a good time, I am too.”
Meanwhile, Walker’s tearful teammate Wilson added: "I wanted to do so much better.”
Walker, who became the first-ever British female athlete to be crowned junior world champion when she won gold at Park City, in the USA, in 2011, was competing in her second winter games.
Canada’s Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse retained Olympic gold in dramatic style as they capitalised on a nervy final run from the USA’s Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams to finish top of the pile by just 0.21 seconds.
MORE REACTION TO PAULA WALKER’S SOCHI 2014 PERFORMANCE ONLINE ON WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT AND IN THIS FRIDAY’S WILTSHIRE TIMES. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @WTSport