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First Kiwi Paralympic medallist is a cyclist
Aug 31st, 12. Fiona Southorn from Northland opened up the New Zealand medal count at the London Paralympics with a bronze medal from her Individual Pursuit event.
In the opening day of competition, the 44 year old qualified 3rd fastest in the C5 heats and faced off against Great Britain's Crystal Lake in the bronze medal ride off.
Southorn, in her third Paralympic Games, disappointed the crowd but thrilled the Kiwi team when she beat the Brit by 6.5sec lead.
The Brits had more to celebrate in the gold medal ride-off when race favourite Sarah Storey delivered a gold medal performance ahead of Anna Harkowska of Poland.
The other Kiwi perfoming at the velodrome today was 37 year old Nathan Smith from Wanganui. In his Paralympic debut event, the men's C3 Kilo, he placed 23rd. Smith, who is the brother of All Black Conrad Smith, raced this event as a practise run for his favoured event, tonight's Individual Pursuit.
"My coach [Brendon Cameron] thinks experiencing six thousand screaming fans in the velodrome might be a good idea before I race in my Pursuit," told Paralympics New Zealand before competition started.
Both Smith and Southorn will be back on the velodrome in the coming days, along with fellow Kiwi paracyclists Chris Ross, Phillipa Gray and Laura Thompson. These cyclists are also all racing on the road later in the games, as is Susan Reid.
Jayne Parsons withdraws from Games
http://www.paralympics.org.nz 25th August, 2012
Kiwi Paralympic cyclist Jayne Parsons was still visibly upset as she described the moment when she knew her injury had got the better of her and she’d have to withdraw from the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
“There’s just not enough power in my legs” said fifty year old Parsons after she failed her final pre games fitness test.
The lure of tandem being included in the Commonwealth Games in two year’s time might be too much to throw the bike away all together.
“I didn’t come to London thinking this was going to be the end of the road, but at this stage we will just have to wait and see.”
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