New World Record – Mark Colbourne ( GBR ) – Men’s C1 3km Individual Pursuit Qualifying © Christina Kelkel
Mark Colbourne Breaks World Record and Qualifies for C1 Individual Pursuit Final!
Mark Colbourne has broken the C1 3k Individual Pursuit world record with a blistering time of 3.53.970 and will battle for gold with Zhang Yu Li of China in the final this evening!
Mark had a good clean start to the race and remained composed as he applied the pressure to Argentinian Rodrigo Fernando Lopez, gradually building his speed to lap Lopez at 1000m to go.
The current World Champion punched the air in delight as he crossed the finish line to a rapturous welcome from the crowd, and he’s looking stronger and more determined than ever to achieve his dream of Paralympic gold.
Speaking after the race, Mark said: “It was good, obviously this event suits my physiology I suppose, you know, the longer events.”
“Yesterday I was very proud to be the first medallist for Paralympic GB. However, this event is certainly more my bag really, so I’m looking forward to the final later on”
When asked whether he was surprised to break the world record by seven seconds, Mark explained: “No, not really. The schedule we had was just under four minutes and I think the crowd certainly helped me on. So a big thanks to the crowd.”
Para-Cycling Track at London 2012 Paralympic Games – Mark Colbourne 1k TT C1-2-3 © Christina Kelkel
Mark Colbourne wins Great Britain’s first Paralympic medal as he takes Silver in the 1Km Time Trial on Day 1 of London Paralympic Games!
Mark Colbourne has achieved what would have been thought impossible three years ago after breaking his back in a paragliding accident; winning a silver medal in the 1km Time Trial, setting a new personal best time and gaining Great Britain’s first medal of the London 2012 Paralympic Games!
Mark was the penultimate rider to take to the boards for the C1-C3 1km time trial, and despite the pressure of it being his first Paralympic event he looked every inch the focussed, determined athlete ready to give it his all. He looked the epitome of calm as he took to the starting block and didn’t disappoint the crowd as he rode a very fast kilometre, finishing with a factored time of 1.08.471 in second place. Li Zhang Yu of China won gold with a C1 world record of 1.05.021.
Despite knowing he was guaranteed a place on the podium, he still had the nerve-wracking wait for final rider Rodrigo Fernandez Lopez from Argentina to race before he’d know whether he had won a silver or a bronze Paralympic medal on home soil.
Lopez started well but finished with a time of 1.10.689 seconds, confirming Mark’s hopes of securing his first ever Paralympic silver medal in front of a home crowd. His elation didn’t stop there, as shortly after finishing he was told he’d not only beaten his personal best time for the kilometre, but he had also won Great Britain’s first Paralympic medal of the games so far!
Speaking after his silver-medal win, Mark recalls how he felt after his paragliding accident in 2009, “I didn’t even know if I would ever walk again due to the damage that had been caused to my spine. It was a very slow and worrying time for me and my family”
“We have worked for the last eight months towards this and big thanks to all the coaches who got me in the best shape possible. I’m very happy”
The silver medal has certainly given him the belief that he can go for gold in C1 3k Pursuit tomorrow.
Silver; Mark Colbourne (GBR) – Gold; Li Zhang Yu (China)- Bronze; Tobias Graf (GER) – Men’s C1-2-3 1km Time Trial – TT © Christina Kelkel
Pan-American Games - Guadalajara - Mexico
Last week was very crazy and very intense! It was time for the PanAm Games in Mexico!!!
This track is brand new and its SUPER fast, believe me when I say it could be one of the fastest tracks in the whole world, the track is in a place with great altitude (Guadalajara, Mexico) and it’s a nice indoor track. I think it’s perfect for someone who’s planning to break a World Record.
The races were so much fun to watch, the first day Colombia broke the PanAm Record in the Team Pursuit (4.59) and they won the gold medal against the Chilean team, while the women from Venezuela won the Team Sprint against Colombia, Mexico came 3rd with a team led by the veteran Nancy Contreras.
It was good to see Njisane Phillip (Trinidad & Tobago) break the PanAm Record in the 200 metres (9.91) in the morning of the second day of competition, he’s very friendly and knows how to get the crowd going crazy. He calls himself “the black Mexican” and all the people in Mexico love him. Unfortunately, he lost in the semifinals against Hersony Gadiel Canelon from Venezuela and had to race from the bronze medal. The final podium: 1st Hersony Gadiel Canelon (VEN), 2nd Fabian Puerta (COL), 3rd Njisane Phillip (TRI)
Another great race to watch was the men’s omnium with Juan Esteban Arango from Colombia dominating the field from start to finish, he was never lower than top 5 in all six events of this tough race and won 3 events to finish with 13 points, Luis Mancilla (CHI) was 2nd with 20 points and Walter Perez (ARG) 3rd with 28pts.
In the women’s Team Pursuit Canada was the one who took the highest place in the podium posting a time of 3:21.448 with Laura Brown, Stephanie Roorda and Jasmin Glaesser (who is German and got her Canadian citizenship just weeks before the event). 2nd and 3rd places went to Cuba and Colombia.
Sofia Arreola Omnium - PanAms 2011 - Image Copyright Nancy Arreola
Of course my favorite event to watch was the women’s ommnium as my sister Sofia was riding for Mexico, if the crowd was going crazy with Njisane Phillip I don’t know how to describe it when Sofi was riding. The track was completely full and you could hear all the audience screaming “Sofia, Sofia, Sofia” and “si se puede, si se puede!” (its Spanish for “you can do it”). It was fantastic to be there, and it was a great experience for Sofi to be able to race this big event in her home country.
She started with the 250 flying lap and finished 4th behind Cuba, Venezuela and Canada but in the points race she was super aggressive all day and managed to get away with 10 laps to go and lapped the field at the very last moment, it was such an epic moment and the audience went wild!
After that it was time for the elimination race, Sofia was now in 2nd place in the overall standings and again gave us a great performance, she pulled at the front the whole race and at the end Angie Gonzalez from Venezuela beat her in the sprint. It was good, 3 events done and 3 to go and she was sitting in 2nd place with a good advantage.
The first event of the second day was the individual pursuit, she didn’t post a good time and finished 4th again, so the overall standings were close and Stephanie Roorda from Canada had a chance to move her from her second place so in the scratch race it was all or nothing because Sofi is not good in the 500mts so if she wanted to keep her silver medal she had to win the scratch.
The race started with many attacks but nothing that would last, the average speed was very high because everyone wanted to finish in a good position. With 6 laps to go Sofi took control of the bunch again, pulling on the front all the way to the finish and setting a very high speed. It was impressive, no one could pass her and she won the scratch as Venezuela, Cuba and Colombia finished far behind.
That put Sofia only one point away from the gold medal with only the 500mts to go and now with huge advantage on the 3rd and 4th place. Marlies Mejia from Cuba posted a very fast time in the 500mts (35.1) finishing first and that result put her in the top 3 in the final classification.
Sofia Arreola with her Silver medal PanAms 2011 - Image ©Copyright Nancy Arreola
Women’s omnium results: 1st Angie Gonzales (VEN), 2nd Sofia Arreola (MEX), 3rd Marlies Mejia (CUB)
This is just the start of the track season, the World Cups start next month in Astana!! It’s going to be super fun to see which riders qualify for the London Olympics because nothing is written in stone yet!