The Latest News for the Trinidad & Tobago Bobsleigh Team. Catch up with the latest events in for our Olympic Bobsleigh Team.

T&T Bobsleigh Now Recruiting Athletes
7st July 2022

T&T Bobsleigh Now Recruiting Athletes

The Trinidad and Tobago Bobsleigh Team are now recruiting new athletes for the Olympic Team. The men’s 2-man squad are now looking for new athletes to join us for the 2022/23 season. If you are interested in joining the team, take a look at the Athlete Recruitment Page for more information.

Trinidad and Tobago Bobsleigh RecruitmentAthlete Recruitment

The team will be running Try-outs in Trinidad and Tobago, USA, and in the United Kingdom. All athletes are welcome to come and give it a try, but recruitment at the moment is running solely for the Men’s 2-man and 4-man team. 

Though there are no set minimum requirements, athletes should be fast, powerful, and ideally heavy. Athletes need to be able to take a 350lb stationary sled and accelerate it to as high a speed as possible on the ice. This requires initial power followed by high top speed. 

It makes sense that the heavier a sled is, the faster it will go downhill. Therefore, it is preferable for athletes to have a bodyweight between 180-240lbs.

Female Bobsleigh Team

We are looking to facilitate the formation of a women’s team. In order to do so, we need a pilot that is capable not only as an athlete to compete with the best in the world, but who is also able to run her team independently, as our men’s team do. 

If you are interested in starting the female contingent, please reach out via our contact page


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T&T Bobsleigh Make Olympic History
7th July 2022

T&T Bobsleigh Make Olympic History

The Trinidad and Tobago bobsleigh team have made history with their performance in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. 

Finishing in 28th place, they are the highest-ranking Winter Olympians from T&T ever. The team of Axel Brown, Shakeel John, and Andre Marcano took to the biggest stage in sport and represented T&T with pride and passion and surprised the world with their performance.

Trinidad and Tobago bobsleigh team make Olympic history

Olympic Games Results

Despite nursing a torn tendon in his knee, Andre was still able to push Axel to a competitive start. The pair knew going in that their chances of a medal were all but none-existent, and even their modest goal of a top-20 was looking hard to achieve with the presence of the injuries. However, the duo was not deterred and thanks to an almost faultless drive by Axel they were able to make up a wealth of time in the track on their immediate competitors.

After the first day of competition the T&T bobsleigh team was ranked in 27th, ahead of Team USA and just behind the Russian Olympic Committee team. This was a badge of honor in itself. For a small Caribbean nation to be at the winter Olympics sandwiched between two power houses of the Games in the USA and Russia is a statement in itself.

At the top of the track on the second day, TTOC president Mr Brian Lewis asked Axel “How does that make you feel” when looking at the T&T sled nestled between that of the USA and Russia. It was clear in that moment the impact this team was having on the landscape of world bobsleigh. But more than that the pride with which Trinis around the world were able to watch their team in the most unlikely of sports.

Final Run of the Olympics

The finishing position of the team was almost inconsequential. Every member of the team, both those on ice but also the huge amount of people that directly helped the team, was able to feel success on a par with a medal. There have been so many hurdles, and at times it looked nearly impossible to create, build and then qualify a team for the Olympics in just 6 months.

However, with the crossing of the finish line, the team was able to put all of that behind them and celebrate their new reality as Olympians! Their finish of 28th place made them the highest finishing Trinis in Winter Olympic History, beating the previous record by almost 10 places. 

What’s Next?

The team will now have to leave the Olympic Village almost immediately because of COVID restrictions, and return to their homes. Axel and Tom Harris will return to England, Andre will go back to his teaching job in New York City, and Shakeel back to Trinidad and Tobago itself. No matter where the team is headed, they’re sure to have a warm heroes welcome!

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Arriving in Beijing for the Olympcis
7th July 2022

Arriving in Beijing for the Olympcis

The Trinidad & Tobago Olympic bobsleigh team have arrived in Beijing and the Games are underway! Before starting the Olympics officially with the opening ceremony, the team needed to unpack the sled, get adjusted to the time-zone and then start learning the track ahead of two days of pre-Games training.

Olympian Axel Brown stands in beijing bobsleigh track

Though the training only consisted of four total runs, each one was integral to the teams’ efforts to compete with the best in the world.

Pre-Games Training

Whenever a pilot goes to a new track it is an incredibly high-pressure time for them. They need to learn each corner intricately, and know exactly how they are going to steer every meter of the mile-long track… without ever having seen it before. This process begins with the basics of learning which way the corners go, their length, and the order. From there the pilots will then develop their knowledge and repeat the track numerous times in their mind. As every competitor at the Olympics is extremely experienced, there is a base level of knowledge that aids the process. However, it remains a daunting prospect.

Once the pilot has a basic understanding of the track, they will do a “track walk”, walking inside the track and getting to see the ice up close and get feel for how it might behave, and the impact it will have on the sled. T&T pilot Axel Brown was accompanied by his extremely experienced coach Lee Johnston who has competed in three Olympic Games as an athlete and coached at a further three. Together they were able to come up with a game plan for tacking the first two days of training.

The first run

When time allows, usually a pilot will sit in the sled and be pushed off from the top, or even start from lower down in the track to see the corners before going full speed. But this is the Olympic Games. So, the pairing of Axel Brown and Andre Marcano pushed the sled off full tilt for their first run.

But, not only was this Axel’s first attempt at the track, it was also Andres first ever ride in a bobsleigh! The unlikely event of an athlete never having done the sport he’s at an Olympic Games for shows just how extreme the challenges this team has faced were.

However, apart from a brief incident when braking, the four runs over two days went off without incident. Andre managed to overcome the fears that everyone has after their first runs, and Axel was able to get to grips with the new challenges this track in particular presents.

Opening Ceremony

With Shakeel John arriving just one day before the ceremony took place, the team was finally in full form ready to take to the biggest stage on earth. Led by flag bearer Andre, the team of Axel Brown, Shakeel John, and team manager Tom Harris walked out Infront of thousands of people in the stadium and hundreds of millions watching on TV in what was the biggest moment of any of their lives. Realising life long dreams, and ending a 20 year absence of Trinidad and Tobago at the winter Olympics.

The team must now wait nearly 10 days before they can touch the ice again. Then begins three more days of training, a day off, and then the race!

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Trinidad and Tobago Bobsleigh Qualify for the Olympics
7th July 2022

Trinidad and Tobago Bobsleigh Qualify for the Olympics

The news we have all been waiting for is finally here. It’s the news that you’ve been waiting to hear, but it’s the news we have been dying to announce for almost a month now. With the signature of Team TTO President Mr Brian Lewis, it all became official, Trinidad & Tobago bobsleigh has qualified for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games!


Trinidad and Tobago Bobsleigh Qualify for the Olympics

In order to qualify for the Games, T&T needed to be ranked in the top 19 nations in the world and/or the top 30 sleds. Though the team was ranked 38th after the final race of the season, they knew that it would place them in the necessary top-19 with two spaces to spare, qualifying ahead of Jamaica, and the Netherlands.

Olympic Qualification Process

Over the length of the season all teams in the world have 7 or more races to gain as many points as possible across three different international circuits. After which, the points are compared, and the quota spots are decided and passed to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for approval. Then, the relevant National Olympic Committees confirm whether they wish to claim those spots, nor not. Believe it or not, some countries do opt to  decline their quota spot. The reason being that some NOCs will only send teams with medal chances for example and will set their own strict criteria above that of the IOC, and if their teams do not make it, they wont be allowed to compete.

However, there were no such restrictions for Trinidad & Tobago, and so when Mr Lewis of the TTOC signed the document, and the press release happened the team were finally able to celebrate the life changing news.

IBSF World Rankings

Since the last race in the North American Cup (NAC), the team knew that mathematically they had qualified for the Games. Nonetheless, it was still a nerve-wracking wait. On this Axel Brown the team’s pilot said “Though we knew we had qualified, there were still so many things that could change, and until the form was officially signed, we didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves. I came from an organisation that would change their minds at the drop of a hat, regardless of what it meant to their athletes. Though I knew that wouldn’t happen in T&T, I’ve been forced to be a sceptic.” He continued “Sitting on this news and not being able to tell anyone or celebrate it has been really difficult because understandably all Christmas break, I’ve been asked ‘so did you qualify?’ and I wanted to say ‘yes’ but couldn’t!”

What’s next

Though the travel plans aren’t yet confirmed, the team who are currently in Calgary on a holding camp, will need to make their way to Beijing in time for the pre-Games training. There are two days of training prior to the opening ceremony which are integral for this team and especially Axel the pilot, in order to get valuable time learning the new track. A lot of the major nations were able to attend a pre-season test event in Beijing in October, where the pilots got 30-40 runs down the track. Axel will need to navigate the new track, and then compete with the best in the world as one of only three teams that did not attend the event!

All being well, the team will leave Calgary on the 27th January, and begin the long journey to the Olympic Games.

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World Class Racing with a Cherry on Top
7th July 2022

World Class Racing with a Cherry on Top

After what felt like an eternity of waiting to be allowed to slide, the team finally got back on the ice in Park City. Despite the long delay and missing crucial practice time the squad were able to deliver in fine fashion come race day, and add a nice little cherry on top in the form of a pair of 4-man races as well.



T&T bobsleigh racing in Olympic Qualifier 

North American Cup Park City

The last time T&T raced in a bobsleigh before this season was at this same track in the 2002 Olympics. It felt good to be sliding in the same place and being able to pick up where they left off. We also spoke with Andrew McNeilly the brakeman of that Olympic team upon arriving in Salt Lake City who was excited to see that not only was T&T back on the ice, but that we were putting down good performances.

Ordinarily a race week is exactly that, a week of practice with two races at the end. But this is no ordinary season. As a result, the race week was condensed down into five training runs over two days, followed by two races in the same day, and rounded off with two 4-man races on the following two days. Combined, that’s four races in three days!

In training Shakeel had been able to get close to Tom’s times at the start, which shows promise for the future. Unfortunately though, he is not heavy enough yet, and we didn’t have enough training runs to work out a strategy with the weight/time trade off. Which meant that Axel and Tom needed to race both races, in the same day. This was a distinct disadvantage over the other teams with a plethora of athletes, but it did not overcome us.

In the first race the pair placed 6th, making up for a slightly less than ideal start time with probably Axel’s best drive to date in the second run. The Brazilian team who are well established at this track and fast starters were able to put down a very solid second run just one sled before Trinidad and Tobago. Both Axel and Tom were aware it would take a lot to catch them, and indeed it came right down to hundredths of a second on the final timing gate to decide the places! Matching their best result of the season, both athletes now needed to rest up, prepare the sled and be ready to go again in just two hours’ time!

Unfortunately, the Brazilian sled was able to do enough in the second race to stay ahead, putting T&T in 7th, but sportsmanship between the two teams saw all four athletes joking about it at the end! After all we are both small bobsleigh nations pushing to compete with the Winter Sport giants!

Trinidad and Tobago 4-man Bobsleigh

It is a nuance of the qualification criteria in the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation that in order to race on the World Cup, pilots must be ranked in both the 4-man and 2-man discipline. So, 4-man in Park City (the easiest track to get down safely in North America) was always our best option to achieve that. Right at the last minute of leaving whistler we were able to source a 4-man sled from one of the two Israel teams who were unable to race.

The priority of the week remained almost exclusively focussed on the 2-man, but we put in one training run on our first day (the minimum required to enter the race), qualified for the race, and then got back in the 2-man. However, that run was not without incident… far from it!

The first training run in the 4-man was also Shomari’s first ever go in a bobsleigh. Loading off the side of a sled is a hard skill and one even extremely experienced athletes often get wrong. So, it was a big ask for him to get it right on his first ever time on ice. As a result, it didn’t go very well. Shomari fell, and was helped in by Tom, who was then sat on Shakeel’s leg the entire way down, and was sat so high he was watching Axel’s lines. However, the good news is that even in these situations the pilot is almost totally unaware of what has happened. The run was smooth and without incident, Axel crossed the finish line and celebrated his first 4-man run as a Trini. It was only when the sled stopped and he heard the grunts and groans from behind that it was apparent something hadn’t gone to plan.

Nonetheless, the team was qualified for the race and we entered race day treating it as just training. Our sole aim was to cross the finish line in last place, bag our necessary points and move on. For the most part we did exactly that. Shomari started sat inside the sled, and the team pushed with three people. However, with the disqualification of one of the USA sleds in the first race, T&T wasn’t last. Then, in the second race we beat one team (Australia) and were just 0.03 seconds off beating team Israel (which would have been ironic, given our sled). The fact that our group of three pushers and one along for the ride were able to beat anyone after just three runs ever, in a rented sled, shows that this team works well together and it bodes well for the future.

Finishing up

The team now head to Lake Placid, New York in order to finish up the North American Cup, and with a good set of results complete our Olympic qualification. Leaving Park City, we are currently comfortably qualified for the Olympics in the international ranking system. So, if we can maintain our position through another triple race then we will have stamped our ticket to Beijing.

As you might remember from before, Lake Placid is one of, if not the hardest track in the world (Axel rates it as the hardest). So, performing well here will be no easy task, especially with another triple header. But the team is up to the task and looking to finish strong!

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Racing and Waiting
7th July 2022

Racing and Waiting

The competitive season has begun! After finding their feet in Lake Placid, the team arrived in whistler where the bobsleigh proper could begin.  


Though it seems that travel this season will not go without incident. A delay to the first flight meant that our bags were not loaded onto the second plane. So, we were left without bags for almost two days. That included all sliding kit, and everyone’s clothes. The silver lining however was an airline paid shopping spree in the Nike outlet 5 minutes before it closed. No bags, coupled with the sled not arriving until 2hrs before the first training made for a tense start, but we got on the ice.

Trinidad and Tobago Bobsleigh Team in North American Cup

Whistler North American Cup

The Whistler track, home of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics is by far the fastest track in the world. Considered one of the top three hardest tracks in the world to drive (alongside Lake Placid, and Altenberg). But the team were not phased. Everyone was happy to have our sled back, and all of our tools. Its hard to express the feeling of safety and comfort that having a world class sled and our garage full of equipment provides. Add to that a new brakeman, and we were ready for business.

Lewis Prentice is a serving member of the RAF, and is joining the team in an administrative and assistant role. However, in “paid sliding” (runs that are not affiliated to the international federation) he was able to jump in the back of the sled. Often seen as an inglorious job, the first runs behind a pilot at a track he’s never driven, Lewis was more than keen. Axel and Lewis slid together in a military training week back in early 2020 so the pairing wasn’t entirely new.

There were then two weeks of official training available for the team to get ready for their races. Though the first day we started from “Start 2”, slightly lower in the track, by the second day we were sending it off the top. What a feeling it was to fly through the “Gold Rush Trail” section of the track at over 90mph (145.38kph was our best). We gradually improved throughout the two weeks, and went into the race with high spirits. Though unfortunately we needed to send Adam home, Tom was able to step up and complete all of the training runs and every run of the three back-to-back races! 


The entire North American Cup has been front loaded to finish before Christmas. This gives us the opportunity to race in Europe if we need more qualification points, but it also means fewer border crossings for the circuit. However, the down side of that is that the races are pushed together. In this case, 3 races in 3 days. That’s something no one on the circuit has done before, let alone this newly formed team.

However, good start times, top-notch equipment, and a competitive drive meant that the Trini sled, representing T&T for the first time in 20 years, came down in 6th place in the first race. Unfortunately, Axel was dealing with a small tightness which hampered their second push, moving them from 5th down to 6th it was nonetheless the best result for Axel as a pilot, the best result for Tom as a brakeman, and as far as we’re aware, the highest ever finish for a T&T sled. Surrounded by only big-name nations like Canada, USA, China, and Korea, it was a statement race for the Island sled and let the world know, “we’re here, and we’re competitive”

The pair backed that up the next day with an 8th place, hitting PB’s on the start, and top speed! An almost ideal start to the racing season, when the goal was top-10 coming in.
However, on the third day, disaster struck. Coming around corner 6 a fraction too long, the sled rolled over to its left and we crashed. We were therefore left to ride the rest of the mile long track (a further 10 corners) upside down. Unfortunately, as the upturned sled and its two unlucky passengers didn’t cross the finish line the team was disqualified from the race. However, the priority of course became athlete safety, not race numbers. Axel was assessed for a concussion, and Tom treated for the burns. Although we slide on ice, the friction at the speeds we do is enough to remove the skin from whatever touches the ice. Though we wear Kevlar protective shirts, it still wasn’t enough to stop Tom from receiving a roughly 1-inch burn on his shoulder, Axel was cleared and negative for a concussion.

Crashes happen. They’re an unfortunate part of the sport we do. Though its incredibly unfortunate this happened in a race, both athletes are fine and ready to continue. The sled took a bit of damage, but we were able to fix that in a couple of days and get ready to move to Park City. Olympic qualification takes into account the best 7 (out of 8) races a pilot has. So, this won’t affect our points for the Olympics, but removes our margin for error going forward.

Moving on

It has become tradition at this point that travel days simply will not go smoothly. Here’s a brief recount of the 16hr travel day that was supposed to take 5 hours. Rain in Seattle stopped our plane from leaving Vancouver, so they pulled everyone off the plane to wait in the airport. One hour later we boarded and flew to Seattle. We had of course missed our original connection, so boarded the next where we sat for an hour, only to find out that we had to disembark again, for the second time in one day, as the plane was damaged. We then board a different plane to sit on it for another hour to find out that it too was damaged, but could fly. By the time we landed we had also missed our car rental companies opening hours. Meanwhile there was the small matter of our house rental company cancelling our booking for no apparent reason mere hours before check in, and needing to find a new house to stay in for 20 days, on the fly!

But that’s not all folks. The resin used to fix the sled post-crash needed to cure, so we missed the first day of training, but we were able to join in the second and get things moving. However, we were the lucky ones. Because of the same weather that delayed our flights, the other teams’ sleds were not able to leave Whistler. As a result, the IBSF cancelled all bobsleigh training siting that if some sleds can’t train, then no one is allowed to.

So, at the time of writing, almost a week after arriving in Park City, we still do not know when or even if the sleds will arrive. So, we have had to sit and wait, and will remain waiting until something changes. It is entirely out of our control and incredibly frustrating. But the qualification road to the Olympics was never going to be easy. Perhaps the most frustrating part of all is that two new athletes flew out to Park City. Shomari, Shakeel’s brother, as well as Andre Marcano. Andre works full time and was only able to get one weekend to try and slide, and was unable to get in a sled at any point in his visit. However, in that time the team bonded well and we were able to cover every aspect of bobsleigh except the sliding itself!

 Hopefully we can get back to racing as soon as possible, as Park City is one of the most fun tracks to drive in the world. But until then, we will train, relax, and be as ready as we can to hit the ground running.


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A New Era of Bobsleigh for Trinidad and Tobago
7th July 2022

A New Era of Bobsleigh for Trinidad and Tobago

A lot has happened in the 2021 bobsleigh off-season, with perhaps nothing more notable than the introduction of an entire new team to the international race circuit. 


Axel Brown's move to compete for Trinidad & Tobago from Great Britain has been lingering in the background for some time, but has finally come to fruition. Though there isnt much time if the team are to qualify for the Olympics in February, they have their minds set on it, and now have a federation and structure under which to compete. 

Bobsleigh Athlete Axel Brown interview with ttt live Trinidad & Tobago

The first hurdle for the move was for Axel to gain his passport through his mother having been born in T&T. On June 17th Axel and his mother went to the high commission and started the process. Since then, there has been a seemingly never-ending list of things that needed to happen, all in an agonisingly short period of time. The deadline for an athlete to change nation, and for a new federation to be recognised was the 30th September, the same day Axel flew to T&T. meaning that there was just 3 short months to remotely manifest an entire bobsleigh federation, its structure, its policies, its staff, and file all the relevant paperwork with the international federation.

In an effort to not bore you with the details, we did it. But it came right down to the wire with the last parts being submitted the night of the 30th! However, even then, the job was far from done. Though there now existed a team to have athletes compete under, there wasn’t a team! Axel therefore began a two-week recruitment trip in T&T trying to find athletes (more on them later), as well as meeting the amazing legal team in Port of Spain, without whom none of this would have been remotely possible.

What on the surface looked like a fun two week break in the Caribbean was in fact full of 12-hour days dealing with everything from athlete recruitment, TV and radio appearances, to meetings with ministers, and a mountain of admin which still needed to be completed for the IBSF (International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation). All of which was conducted in 35-degree heat, the absolute antithesis of a bobsleigh environment!

The Athletes

Since the inception of the idea of competing for T&T, the situation of the push athletes has been a tricky one. How do you recruit athletes for a sport they have never had any exposure to, and do all of that remotely across the Atlantic with a travel ban in place? The answer, with extreme difficulty!

The plan was to have two British athletes change nation along with Axel, in order to keep the team progressing from where we left off last season, whilst also allowing the new Trini athletes time to learn the sport and catch up. But again, this wasn’t without incident. Firstly, it would require the British athletes Tom Harris and Adam Hames to forgo their eligibility for Team GB Olympic selection, as well as fulfilling the criteria for the IBSF to allow them to compete for a country they don’t have a passport for. Under international bobsleigh rules, an athlete can compete for any nation at every event except the Olympics. The nation of the sled is just defined by the pilot. It speaks to the character of Adam and Tom that they would stick with the Axe Racing team, and value teamwork and finishing what we started above their own individual success.

Then, to the important matter of the Trini athletes. The best brakemen often come from fast, powerful track and field athletes. Of which, T&T has an abundance. The first place to start therefore was at the local athletics team, and at the national track and field stadium. Again, turning up at a training session with a set of timing clocks and saying to people “want to try-out for a bobsleigh team” met with a lot of mixed reactions!

Though reception across the islands to there being a bobsleigh team was resoundingly positive, and the number of eager participants a lot more than anticipated, there were still a lot of hurdles to cross.

  • Are they athletic enough to compete?
  • Are they athletic, and are they vaccinated?
  • Are they athletic, vaccinated, and have a USA + Canada Visa?
  • Are they athletic, vaccinated, with visas, and able to leave in less than 2 weeks’ time?

The recruitment pool soon whittled down. So far in fact that there was just one athlete able to meet all the criteria for the first stint in Lake Placid! Enter, Shakeel John. Shakeel and his brother Shomari are both track athletes, that met the physical standard as well as being eager and excited to get on board. Though Shomari didn’t have a US visa in time, he will be joining the team later in the season.

Lake Placid

So, with a slight sense of trepidation, Axel and Shakeel boarded their flight to the USA to begin the season proper. For Shakeel it was a large step into the unknown. A new sport, a new team, a new part of the world… a much colder part of the world! For Axel, a return to a world he knows well, but with a whole new context, responsibility, and purpose.

For a man that has never seen snow, nor dealt with the cold, Shak took to the sport like a duck to water. He took on the push coaching incredibly quickly and was able to lean on his raw speed and athleticism to adapt to a new range of skills. In just a matter of three practice push sessions his technique was promising, and his leg speed unrivalled in the IBSF small nations training camp we were taking part in.

The second week of the camp saw the team finally do some bobsleigh. An idea that almost seemed novel at this point. Swimming through a mountain of bureaucracy all summer long, the idea of actually doing the sport had almost become a second thought. Though the team’s sled had been shipped directly to the location of the first race, the team were able to rent a sled to slide in for the first week. It was sufficient for Axel to get his eye back in for driving, and for Shak to earn his stripes as a brakeman. 

The sliding went off without a hitch. Driving down what is widely regarded as the hardest track in the world, the fledgling Trini team impressed and finished the week on the top of all the small nations at the camp. Partly down to Axel’s experience here from two seasons prior, but also due to an unrivalled team camaraderie. Though new, Shak fit in well and it was as though the team unit had never been separated from last season.

The next stop is Whistler, where the team will have their first races of the season, and learn the fastest track in the world! Although, due to visa and vaccination reasons no native Trinidad & Tobago athletes are allowed to enter Canada, Axel, Adam, Tom, and team support Lewis Prentice will carry the torch until we return to the USA and can reunite with the Trinis!

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