Updated: 02/16/2014 01:57 | By Agence France-Presse

World champ Pittman relishing bobsleigh switch

Double 400m hurdles world champion Jana Pittman said Saturday she was revelling in her new sport after swapping the athletics track for a new career in the Australian bobsleigh team.


World champ Pittman relishing bobsleigh switch

Australia's Jana Pittman and Astrid Radjenovic practice during a women Bobsleigh training session on February 6, 2014 at the Sanki sliding center in Rosa Khutor, Russia - by Lionel Bonaventure

Pittman won gold at the 2003 and 2007 world athletics championships but said her previous experiences of competing at Summer Olympics were completely different from the Winter Games.

"It's great, I really love the team atmosphere. Our Aussie team is very small, so it's very intimate and you know everyone," she said after a practice session.

"I just love that small team environment, it's really nice."

The 31-year-old said: "Every Olympics I've gone to previously I have been hoping for a medal win, while this time it's all about just supporting Astrid (Radjenovic) as best I can."

Pittman, who competed at the Sydney Games in 2000 and in Athens four years later, added that she is happy to play understudy to her teammate, who is the team's pilot.

"I love that because I was almost ready to retire. I really didn't want the whole shemozzle with individual sport any more," she said.

"I might go again, I don't know yet, but I just love the fact that there is someone else who can take the main, I guess in some ways, stress of it, but also the accolades when we do well."

Radjenovic said she was happy to have Pittman as her brakewoman.

"I've had a couple of strong brakewomen before, but not for a while, she said. "So it's really good to have Jana here because she's definitely got that strength and power at the back, which is what you need to be competitive."

Radjenovic, also 31, added that she considered the extra media attention that Pittman brought was good for the sport.

"I never brought her (Pittman) into the sport for that reason, she's purely here for her athletic skills," she said. "But it has benefited me a little bit in helping us buy a new sled through sponsorship.

"I don't know how long I will continue so, for me, it's more about trying to develop the sport and her bringing some attention to it will probably help future athletes."

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