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Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) is pleased to announce the selection of the New Zealand Para Cycling Team to compete at the 2018 UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships (Rio de Janiero, Brazil) from 22 – 25 March.
The team of 9 Para cyclists is headlined by four Paralympians including Rio 2016 Paralympic gold and bronze medallist Nikita Howarth (Waikato), Beijing 2008 silver medallist Kate Horan (Wellington) and Rio 2016 debutants Amanda Cameron (Waikato) and Hannah van Kampen (Waikato). They will be joined by Sarah Ellington (Auckland), Nicole Murray (Waikato), Nick Blincoe (Auckland) and the new tandem pairing of Hannah Pascoe (Southland) and Nina Wollaston (Waikato).
Stu MacDonald (PNZ Para Cycling Head Performance Coach) said, “We are thrilled with the quality and experience of the Team we announced today. While many of the Team will be aiming for podium finishes, we also have a group of Para cyclists that will be making their international debut and looking to build their experience as we continue to work towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.” He continues, “We have a large development squad of Para cyclists that will be watching on from New Zealand as their role models take to the track in Rio, aiming to be the next Para cyclist to be selected to the elite Team and make their international debut in the future.”
Nikita Howarth, who is well known for her speed and determination in the pool made a change to the sport of Para cycling in January this year. She will now be returning to Rio de Janiero a city she is very familiar with. However, this time Howarth will make her international debut on the track. Howarth competed in her first national cycling competition in early December at the Southland Track Championships producing personal best times and achieving her goal of racing as hard and fast as she could.
Rio 2016 and Beijing 2008 Paralympian Kate Horan (Wellington) will bring a wealth of experience to the Team as she returns to international competition after taking time out after the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Horan will be looking to test herself in the Rio Velodrome where she finished in 4th place last year.
Paralympians Amanda Cameron (Waikato) and her sighted pilot Hannah van Kampen (Waikato) will go into the UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships with confidence as they return to a venue where they produced incredible performances to place 6th and 8th on debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games after less than a year as a tandem pairing. At this month’s Southland Track Championships they produced a personal best in the 1km Time Trial – the same time they clocked at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Para cyclist Sarah Ellington (Auckland) will compete in only her second international competition after making her debut at the UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships in September. Ellington will bring this experience to the velodrome in Rio where she will compete in the Women’s 500m Individual Pursuit.
Four Para cyclists will be making their international debut in Rio de Janiero. The new tandem pairing of Hannah Pascoe (Southland) and her sighted pilot Nina Wollaston (Waikato) will be looking to gain valuable international experience as a new pairing. Pascoe has a strong sporting background and has previously ran numerous marathons. In June she switched her focus to Para cycling. Wollaston has only recently transferred from the Cycling New Zealand Women’s Track Endurance Programme to race the tandem bike as a sighted pilot with Pascoe.
Waikato based Para cyclist Nicole Murray (Waikato) and Auckland based Nick Blincoe (Auckland) have both in the Para Cycling Programme for a number of years, competing at a variety of national competitions. The UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships will provide both Murray and Blincoe with the opportunity to see where they sit internationally as they take on the world’s best in Rio.
The New Zealand Para Cycling Team includes:
|Kate Horan||C4||Limb deficiency (left below the knee amputee)||Wellington||Wellington|
|Nikita Howarth||C4||Bilateral upper limb deficiency||Waikato||Cambridge|
|Sarah Ellington||C3||Loss of muscle power (Incomplete paraplegia)||Auckland||Auckland|
|Amanda Cameron and Hannah Van Kampen (sighted pilot)||B/VI||Visual and hearing impairment (Cameron only)||Waikato / Waikato||Cambridge / Cambridge|
|Hannah Pascoe and Nina Wollaston (sighted pilot)||B/VI||Visual impairment (Pascoe only)||Southland / Waikato||Invercargill / Cambridge|
|Nicole Murray||C5||Limb deficiency (left wrist amputee)||Waikato|
|Nick Blincoe||C4||Loss of muscle power (complete right arm)||Auckland||Auckland|
Pictured below; Kate Horan, Nikita Howarth, Amanda Cameron and Hannah van Kampen during the Southland Track Championships on December 01, 2017 in Invercargill, New Zealand. Photo Credit: Dianne Manson.