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Teagan’s take on YOG

By Mark Etheridge

Our newly crowned world girls BMX champion Teagan O’Keeffe still has a third and last cycling race at the inuagural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and is enjoying the opportunity of a lifetime.

O’Keeffe won her world BMX title in Pietermaritzburg a few weeks back and has already competed in the mountain bike and BMX sections of the cycling competition in Singapore and now it’s the unfamiliar road time trial to go.

“It is not my discipline so I really can’t predict how I will do because it is also not a lot of the others girls’ fortes either. I have done quite a bit of road training with my BMX coach when I was in Switzerland but we were just using it as base training… but I will give it my best of course.

“As far as me competing in the three different disciplines goes, it has been really crazy. For me to have to compete in my first ever mtb race at an Olympic level was not easy but I tried. I feel that the MTB training and racing, compromised my leg speed for the BMX race and that frustrated me because I had to race feeling dead tired and my performance was affected. I dont understand why we had to do the MTB race before the BMX but that was the way it went.”

Seventeen-year-old O’Keeffe, a matric pupil from Kloof in KwaZulu-Natal is already setting her sights on her next competition. “That will be the Grand Nationals in PMB in South Africa and then internationally I would like to go and race the super cross BMX race in Frejus,in the south of France in October if I get funding. I raced that race last year and it was really a fun event!

The youngster also raved about the Youth Olympics experience. “You cannot believe the experience. Back home not much was spoken about the Youth Olympics here in Singapore. The government has spent $300 million and it is huge beyond words. We have been so spoilt and been treated like royalty. The opening ceremony was better than I ever expected.