By Mark Etheridge
Beijing Paralympian Roxy Burns took gold in both her track cycling events at the national championships in Pietermaritzburg that wrapped up this weekend.
Para-cycling was included in the programme at Alexandra Park.
Participating in the C4 category, Burns 500 and 3000-metre events to defend the titles she won in Bellville last year.
“I got double gold and the national titles for both my events,” said Burns after arriving back in Cape Town.
“The 500 was a great result for an outdoor track. It was a chilly day and there was a wind, but I felt good even though It was a weird sized track. Then in the 3000m I think the track size messed with my pacing (doing six and a half laps instead of 12!) so I didn’t ride a good time, even though I felt good.
“Champs were well organised and well supported, next up are the London Paralympics,” she concluded.
C2 rider Jaco Nel was another para-cyclist in action at the champs, along with Dane Wilson, Hannes Visser and Irish Matcheke.
In the C5 class, Wilson claimed gold in the time trial, beating Hannes Visser and Irish Matcheke into second and third places respectively. Wilson’s performance in the time trial almost equalled his recent World Championship time, recorded in Los Angeles in February this year, which is remarkable, given the outdoor, concrete design of the Pietermaritzburg track.
Seventeen-year-old Visser stamped his mark in the championship results by claiming gold in the pursuit event.
A newcomer to the country’s para-cycling community, 18-year old Siobhan Walker competed in her first national championships as a recently classified C3 rider. Her time trial result was most encouraging for a first time, and with training and increased stamina she’s sure to build from the base provided by the 2012 championships.