Olympics-Former track champion Pittman in Sochi bobsleigh bid

MELBOURNE, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Former hurdles world champion Jana Pittman plans to swap the track for a half-pipe and break into Australia's bobsleigh team for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Pittman, who won the world 400 metres hurdles titles in 2003 and 2007 despite being plagued with injuries throughout her career, will bid for the brakeman's role behind two-time Olympian Astrid Radjenovic in the two-woman team for Sochi.

"Astrid is only a tenth, two-tenths of a second off the leaders so she has been looking for someone with a lot of speed and power for a while," the 30-year-old Pittman told local media.

"If we can train well - I am committed to it 100 per cent - hopefully we can become top six at the Olympics.

"It's a very different sport. I have the physical attributes, it's just now whether I can put it together in the split second we take off."

Pittman will head to Europe at the end of the month to trial with Radjenovic, herself a former sprinter and hurdler, and expects to be competing against three other hopefuls.

Her move follows American hurdler Lolo Jones's successful transition into the sport, having been named in the U.S. women's bobsled team weeks after trying her hand.

Pittman was heartbroken to miss out on Olympic athletics trials for London after suffering a foot injury and has since mulled taking up rowing, but suggested her new bobsleigh mission had put all other plans on the back-burner.

"Astrid thinks once I get down a sled I'll never want to go back - it'll be this Winter Olympics followed by the next one so we'll just have to wait and see," she said. (Writing by Ian Ransom; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

MOST POPULAR IN SPORTS