Bobsleigh ace Fiona desperate to return

Head injuries: Barnsley born Fiona Harrison.

Head injuries: Barnsley born Fiona Harrison.

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SOUTH Yorkshire bobsleigh driver Fiona Harrison is ‘desperate to get back on a sled’ despite suffering head injuries in a serious crash in Germany in which her team-mate Serita Shone sustained a spinal injury.

SOUTH Yorkshire bobsleigh driver Fiona Harrison is ‘desperate to get back on a sled’ despite suffering head injuries in a serious crash in Germany in which her team-mate Serita Shone sustained a spinal injury.

Barnsley-born Harrison is in good spirits in hospital in Winterburg, according to her former race partner and Sheffield’s former world champion Nicola Minichiello, who is now the head of development for the International Bobsleigh Federation.

Minichiello said: “I have spoken to Fiona and she has already been trying to persuade the doctors to let her race again in the GB Championships this weekend.

“Crashing is part and parcel of a sport in which you constantly have to push the edge, but fatalities and serious injuries are a million to one. It just seems Fiona’s and Serita’s accident was an unfortunate twist of fate.”

British Bobsleigh performance director Gary Anderson said: “I can confirm they were injured during a training run for the British Championships.

“Serita has had spinal surgery and is still under sedation. My focus now is on the two athletes and their families.”

Harrison was Minichiello’s brake-woman for 18 months but moved up to the driver’s position when Minichiello retired after the Vancouver Winter Games, in which Minichiello herself walked away from a 100mph crash.

Both 29-year-old Harrison and 22-year-old Shone are, like Minichiello, former heptathletes.

Minichiello added: “Fiona has huge potential in the sport and she is going to be really successful. She has to get back in now and recover her concentration. It is the first week of what is going to be a very long season.”

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