Posted on Wednesday 6th April, 2022

Key points:

  • New Zealand Para cyclists take home 15 medals from the Oceania Track Championships.
  • All five New Zealand competitors bring home medals.
  • 18-year-old Devon Briggs won four GOLD medals.
  • Tokyo Paralympian Nicole Murray won two GOLD medals.
  • The Oceania Championships are an opportunity for a new generation of Para cycling talent to race alongside Paralympic greats and for selected Para athletes to prepare for the World Championships in Paris, in October.

The Track racing at the Oceania Cycling Championships in Brisbane finished last night, and all five of the Kiwi Para cyclists delivered stellar performances. 

Paralympian #222 Nicole Murray won GOLD in both the Women’s C5 500m Time Trial and 3000m Individual Pursuit. Just last year Murray distinguished herself at her Paralympic Games debut in Tokyo 2020 in these same events, with a personal best time for the Women’s C4-5 500m Time Trial Final and a 4th place finish in the Women’s C5 3000m Individual Pursuit

Paralympian #213 Sarah Ellington also takes home two medals: BRONZE in the Women’s C2 500m Time Trial and SILVER in the 3000m Individual Pursuit. Ellington also won silver at the last World Championships in early 2020 in the Individual Pursuit.

18-year-old Devon Briggs won the Oceania Champion’s jersey on day one in the Men’s C4 Scratch Race, and he followed it up with three more GOLDS in the Men’s C4 1000m Time Trial Men’s C4 4000m Individual Pursuit, and the Men’s C4 Omnium, as well as placing 2nd overall in the Flying 200m.

19-year-old Connor Douglas set a New Zealand Men’s C5 record in a time of 10.961 as he took 1st place in the Para Flying 200m. Douglas also took BRONZE in the Men’s C5 1000m Time Trial and SILVER in the Men’s C5 Omnium.

It was SILVER for 16-year-old Ben Westenberg in the Men’s C5 4000m Individual Pursuit and BRONZE in the Men’s C5 Omnium, as well as a new Personal Best in the Men’s C5 1000m Time Trial.

Coach Damian Wiseman is ecstatic with the performances:

“These five Para athletes have had a fantastic few days of racing here in Brisbane. Our Tokyo Paralympians Nicole and Sarah have started their road to Paris 2024 with some fantastic performances at the Anna Meares Velodrome and they will continue that on the roads in and around Brisbane this coming weekend in the Oceania Road Championships. It is their first international competition since the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and it is great to see them step back onto the podium.

He continues:

“The three development Para athletes have now had their first taste of international racing and I am sure they will be travelling home excited to get started preparing for their next opportunity with everything they have learned here in Brisbane.”

“We’re seeing the next generation of Para cyclists show us just what kind of mark they will make on the international scene.”

Damian Wiseman

Paralympics New Zealand Para Cycling Programme Manager Ryan Hollows explains the importance of the event:

“The Oceania Championships are an invaluable opportunity for international racing experience and to compete alongside Paralympic greats, such as Australian C5 athlete Alistair Donohoe who won multiple medals in Rio and Tokyo and has 20 world medals to his name.”

Nicole Murray and Sarah Ellington will remain in Brisbane for the Oceania Road Cycling Championships which start on April 9th.

(For more detail about the classifications C2, C4 and C5, please see notes.)

Oceania Track Championships results include:

Para athleteRaceAchievement
Nicole MurrayWomen C5 500m Time TrialGold
Nicole MurrayWomen C5 3000m Individual PursuitGold
Sarah EllingtonWomen C2 3000m Individual PursuitSilver
Sarah EllingtonWomen C2 500m Time TrialBronze
Devon BriggsMen C4 1000m Time TrialGold
Devon BriggsMen C4 4000m Individual PursuitGold
Devon BriggsMen C4 Scratch RaceGold
Devon BriggsFlying 200m2nd overall
Devon BriggsMen C4 OmniumGold
Connor DouglasFlying 200m1st overall
NZ Men C5 record
Connor DouglasMen C5 1000m Time TrialBronze
Connor DouglasMen C5 4000m Individual PursuitBronze
Connor DouglasMen C5 scratch raceBronze
Connor DouglasMen C5 OmniumSilver
Ben WestenbergMen C5 4000m Individual PursuitSilver
Ben WestenbergMen C5 1000m Time TrialPersonal Best
Ben WestenbergMen C5 scratch raceSilver
Ben WestenbergMen C5 OmniumBronze

Full results can be found on the AusCycling site.

Notes: About classification in Para cycling

  • Classification groups Para cyclists with an eligible impairment into sports classes, according to how much their impairment affects their ability to carry out the fundamental activities in their sport.
  • Para athletes who are able to use a standard bicycle (with approved adaptations) compete in the five sport classes C1-5, with lower numbers indicating a more severe limitation in lower and/or upper limbs.
  • C2 riders include those with coordination affected at a low level in the arms and body and moderately in the legs, on one side, or the absence of limbs. Riders in this class might use a seated start and have asymmetric power distribution which is low in explosivity.
  • C4 riders include those with coordination affected to a low level on one side, in the lower back and legs, or the absence of limbs. Riders in this class might have a compromised start or delivery of power.
  • C5 riders include those with movement affected at a low level in one arm, moderately affected in one leg, or the absence of all, or part of an arm. Riders in this class might have a compromised start through affected bike handling.