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article imageJamaica bobsleigh team Sochi-bound

By AFP     Jan 20, 2014 in World

Jamaica's bobsleigh team have been given the nod to compete in the Sochi Olympics, their national Olympic Association (JOA) confirmed on Monday.

It will be the third Winter Games for a team from the sun-drenched Caribbean island who first qualified in 1988 for Calgary, an achievement that later inspired the movie "Cool Runnings."

They last competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Driver Winston Watts and brakeman Marvin Dixon will compete in the two-man bob in the 32-team competition on February 19 and 20.

"The good news was announced today by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (FIBT) and once again, the pride of the country is with our athletes who continue to blaze the trail," the JOA said in a statement.

"It means the world to me," Watts, 46, told BBC Sport.

"I could not fall asleep last night just waiting to hear the news. I had a strong feeling we would get in but you never know."

Watts said he spent £100,000 (121,000 euro/$164,000) of his own money in an attempt to ensure qualification.

He added: "It means the world to Jamaica. We have dominated in summer sports like athletics and now we've qualified for the Winter Olympics."

Their appeal for funds had been echoed on the Team Jamaica Twitter site, @JamaicaOlympics.

Jamaican Chef de Mission Nelson Christian Stokes is scheduled to arrive in Sochi on February 3 and the team - Watts, Dixon, Wayne Blackwood (reserve crew) and Thomas Samuel (coach) - will arrive on February 4.

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