JOHN Jackson believes securing Great Britain’s first European medal for 20 years proves his Great Britain crew are a force to be reckoned with at the forthcoming Winter Olympic Games.

The Trowbridge pilot finished fourth in the final FIBT World Cup race of the season in Konigssee which doubled as the European Championships on Sunday.

Paxcroft Mead pilot Jackson, who along with partner Paula Walker was last week confirmed in Great Britain’s team for the Games in Sochi, which get under way next Friday, guided his crew – including Stuart Benson, Bruce Tasker and Joel Fearon – to just 0.01 of a second behind the third-placed Canadian bob of Lyndon Rush.

With Switzerland's Beat Hefti finishing second behind the USA’s race winner Steven Holcomb, Jackson secured European silver, the first time a British four-man crew had won a medal since 1994.

Jackson, who fought back from a ruptured Achilles tendon sustained during training last summer, also finished second at the World Cup round in Lake Placid prior to Christmas.

He told the Wiltshire Times this week: “We were really pleased with that result.

“We were quick in training all week so to then go and put that into a race was great to do.

“It was also good to finish fourth in a World Cup race and we were only fractionally off the podium so it shows that we are on the pace.

“To get a silver medal in the European Championships when it hasn’t been done by a British crew for 20 years, shows that we are making our mark as a team.’’ Jackson’s crew finished 12th overall in the World Cup series.

Walker and Rebekah Wilson finished 11th in the final women’s World Cup race of the season, ending 12th overall.

  • Don’t miss our Winter Olympics special, with exclusive interviews with John Jackson and Paula Walker: NEXT WEEK