Para team tops despite travel strains to NZL

Adding to an excellent performance of the South African team on Day 1 of the UCI Oceania track championships in Invercargill, New Zealand, was an equally impressive performance on Day 2.

In the 3000-metre pursuit event, Roxy Burns claimed 3rd place (C4 class), Jaco Nel 2nd place (C2 class) and Juan Wilken 4th place (C3 class).  Adding to his previous day's performance, Jaco Nel also established a new South African record (C2) for the pursuit event.

The star performer in the 4000m pursuit event was Janos Plekker, with his SA record-beating 3rd place finish in the closely-contested C4 class).  Dane Wilson finished 4th in his C5 class and Stephan Herholdt 5th in his C4 class.

This set of achievements is made more remarkable by the fact that the team had to deal with the seriously debilitating effects of jet lag and general travel weariness, with little time to acclimatise on their arrival in New Zealand.

Team coach Elrick Kulsen, could not have given more praise for the team in his report-back to the South African Para-cycling Commission.  The big challenge now, says Elrick, is to maintain the competition readiness of the riders who will be selected to participate in the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in February 2012.

Also challenging, will be the selection of the sprint team for the World Championships - who should ride, and in what sequence are the big questions.

RESULTS

Women – 3000m Individual Pursuit (C4)
1 Susan Powell (AUS) 4:10.348
2 Alexandra Green (AUS) 4:24.094
3 Roxy Burns (RSA) 4:45.472
 
Men – 3000m Individual Pursuit (C2)
1 Stephen Hills (NZL) 4:11.100
2 Jaco Nel (RSA) 4:15.783
3 Tetsuya Tanaka (JPN) 4:31.261
 
Men – 3000 m Individual Pursuit (C3)
1 Davis Nicholas (AUS) 3:41.931
2 Nathan Smith (NZL) 3:51.522
3 Masaki Fujita (JPN) 3:55.120
4 Juan Wilken (RSA) 4:21.153
 
Men – 4000m Individual Pursuit (C4)
1 Ryan Hughes (AUS) 5:00.323
2 Masashi Ishi (JPN) 5:03.436
3 Janos Plekker (RSA) 5:12.817
 
Men – 4000 m Individual Pursuit (C5)
1 Michael Gallagher (AUS) 4:45.013
2 Chris Ross (NZL) 4:57.988
3 Takahiro Abe (JPN) 5:06.376
4 Dane Wilson (RSA) 5:20.044