Olympics-Bobsleigh-Hurdler Jones, sprinter Williams in U.S. team

Reuters

Jan 19 (Reuters) - London Olympics gold medallist Lauryn Williams and former hurdling world champion Lolo Jones have been included in the United States bobsleigh team for next month's Sochi Winter Games.

Williams and Jones will join an elite group of athletes to represent their country at the Summer and Winter Olympics after being chosen as female push athletes.

The pair were among a total of nine push athletes who were selected along with six drivers for the women's and men's bobsled events in Sochi.

"This is the deepest field of push athletes we've ever had," the U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation (USBSF) chief executive Darrin Steele said in a statement on Sunday.

"We knew heading into the season that the Olympic selection was going to be extremely difficult. It's a good problem to have, but it meant that some outstanding athletes would not make the Olympic Team."

Jamie Greubel, Elana Meyers and Jazmine Fenlator earned spots as the top-three ranked U.S. pilots in the international standings while Jones, Williams and Aja Evans were nominated as the women's push athletes.

Jones, a two-time world indoor hurdles champion, was the favourite to win gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics but tripped and fell on the penultimate hurdle.

The Iowan later decided to try her hand at winter sports and helped recruit Williams, a former world 100 meters champion who retired from the track less than a year after winning Olympic gold as part of the 4x100m relay team at the 2012 London Games.

A mix of veterans and first-time Olympians make up the U.S. men's bobsled roster, where Steven Holcomb and Nick Cunningham will pilot the two sleds entered for four-man race in Sochi.

Holcomb, Cunningham and Cory Butner will drive the three sleds entered for the two-man event.

Holcomb's seasoned push crew comprises Curt Tomasevicz, Steve Langton and Chris Fogt while Cunningham's push athletes will be Justin Olsen, Johnny Quinn and Dallas Robinson. (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry)

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