Paige Paterson

Paige Paterson

Friday, August 31, 2012

Junior Worlds 2012 Wrap up

Last week was the Junior World Track Cycling championships. I left everything out on the track and came away with a Silver and a Bronze medal. I'm incredibly proud of the NZ team, a record medal tally of 10 medals (7 of them silver) and every one of my teammates have shown that they have an exciting riding future ahead of them!

First up was the Team sprint with my teammate Victoria Steel from Christchurch. We had absolutely no expectations coming into this event but went out there with a goal of setting a new New Zealand record. We ended up smashing the record by 0.6 seconds even surprising ourselves with a time of 35.25 seconds and qualifying in 2nd spot! This time was 0.2s outside the current World record at the time, but then the Russians came through and set a new World Record. In the finals we set an even faster New Zealand record of 35.22 seconds, but the Russians also went one better and set another world record of 34.15s. On night one, the NZ team picked up 3 silver medals..not a bad start at all
. On the same night 4 new World Records were set which demonstrates the fast track we have in Invercargill, and also the quality of the 185 riders from 24 nations that had made the trip down-under!  Here is the link to a video of our team sprint final: 

Thanking the crowd for their support after the Team Sprint
Next up was the Sprints. I qualified in top spot making me the fastest u19 Women in the WORLD over 200m!! I was stoked about this because I normally win on tactics rather than shear speed. After making my way through several rounds to the semi finals, I found myself up against Caitlin Ward of Australia. This was sure to be a close one! On the day her tactics outdid mine and she was the one to advance through to the gold medal ride off. In the bronze medal ride off, I raced Jennifer Valente of the USA who was current world champion in the scratch race and beat me in a sprint ride last year, so it was going to be another tough race. I was really happy with the way I picked myself back up after a loss in the semi’s, to beat her in the ride off and walk away with a bronze medal. Here is the link to a video of my sprint final and interview: 

The Sprint Podium
The keirin was on the 2nd to last day of competition and I was really looking forward to it, as I thought this would be my best shot for a Gold medal! I made my way comfortably through the qualifying rounds, to the final at night. I don’t really know how to explain it from here on… I was coming around the outside in the last lap – almost certain for a medal and then I was taken up the track by a Russian and a USA rider, to leave me out of medal contention, and guttered. But that’s keirin racing for you, you’ve got to have a bit of luck and on that night it didn’t exactly go my way. On a more positive note I have just been invited to race keirin’s in Japan later this year or mid next year! This has always been my dream as Japan is the mecca of keirin racing where people bet on you and it is the next biggest thing after horse betting! Here is the link to a video of the keirin final: - I am the Kiwi closest to the front of the race when we are behind the motorbike.

On the last day of racing was the 500m Time Trial. This race was the least of my priorities but I was going out there to do a personal best time. I rode a different bike for this event and I posted a new Personal Best of 36.0 seconds, just 0.1 secs outside the NZ record which placed me in 5th overall.

In alot of pain during the 500m Time Trial

There was plenty of media attention at the championships and here are some articles on me:

Focused during the Sprints

When reflecting on the event, after coming away with the results I wasn’t quite hoping for but still in the top 5 in the world, for all 4 events, I am very happy with the way I conducted myself off the bike. I feel that the things that I learnt this week from defeat, will far outweigh what I would have learnt from winning. From here, my junior days are over and I’m really looking forward to stepping up into the elites. Coming up are the Oceania Championships at the end of November.  It would be exciting if so soon from leaving the junior ranks, I am selected into the NZ team for this, but there are other excellent women sprinters in NZ so it is a tough ask.

I would like to thank everybody who has believed in me, supported me, and helped me to where I have got to today. I couldn't have done it without you. To my coaches, teammates, and the support staff, thank you for making this 3 month campaign loads of fun and one I will never forget!

For now, a bit of time to relax and catch up with friends but I'm back to reality, school work – national secondary school hockey tournament next week, and wishing my Junior Worlds campaign was starting all over again..

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