The Rio 2018 Para-Cycling Track World Championship has kicked off on Thursday (March 22) morning at the Barra Olympic Park’s Velodrome, in Rio de Janeiro. The event is the first to count points toward the qualifying rankings for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. An opening ceremony was held and the first qualification races of the individual pursuit 3000m took place shortly thereafter. The first finals will happen from 3pm (Brazil’s time).
“The countries that will participate in the World Championships will not only win medals in the next coming days but also start the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. We will see here a lot of athletes who won medals in the Rio 2016 Paralympics. I want to thank the organization for providing us with great facilities for our athletes to compete”, said José Manuel Pelaez, a Vice President for the UCI.
Jose Luiz Vasconcellos, president of the Brazilian Cycling Confederation (CBC), which is in charge of the event, highlighted that this is the first time Brazil hosts a World Para-Cycling Championships. “It is with great satisfatction that we hold this competition here at the Velodrome. It shows us the strengthening of cycling in Brazil, which is with a record-breaking young delegation”, said.
President of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee, Mizael Conrado also underlined the usage of the Rio Olympic Velodrome two years after the Paralympics. “There will be certainly amazing four days of competititon of the highest level and really well organized, as we have seen thus far.”
The first qualification events took place on the morning. Men and women raced on the individual pursuit 3000m. In the women’s C2 race, the Dutch Alyda Norbruis and the Chinese Zeng Sini were the two best and will fight for the gold medal in the afternoon, while Daniela Florez (Colombia) and Amanda Reid (Australia) will compete for the bronze medal. In the women’s C3 event, Denise Schindler (Germany) and the british Megan Giglia will clash for the first place. The third-place contest will feature Simone Kennedy (Australia) and Jamie Whitmore (USA).
In the men’s C1 event, Canadian Ross Wilson will face the Spanish Ricardo Argiles in the gold-medal race, while Chinese Li Zhangyu and the Dutch Arnoud Nijhuis will face each other. The men’s C2 will feature the three-time Rio 2016 Paralympic medalist Tristen Chernove against Liang Guihua in the gold-medal contest. Going for the bronze medal will be Arslan Gilmutdinov (Russia) and Australia’s Darren Hicks.
Lastly, the men’s C3 finished the morning field of competition with David Nicholas (Australia) and Diederick Schelfhout (Belgium) on top of the standings. The bronze medal race will be between Joseph Berenyi (USA) and Spain’s Eduardo Asensio.
Para-Cycling is the third sport with most meals of the Paralympic Games, after Athletics and Swimming. The World Championship has three trials for each category – Tandem (for blinds), C1,C2,C3,C4 and C5 (for physical disabled and amputed) – for men and women. Besides that, there is also a sprint trial with mixed teams.
Check the schedule for Thursday (22):
9:30am – Opening Ceremony
10am to 1:45pm – Qualifying
Individual pursuit 3000m C2 – women
Individual pursuit 3000m C3 – women
Individual pursuit 3000m C1 – men
Individual pursuit 3000m C2 – men
Individual pursuit 3000m C3 – men
3pm to 8:50 pm – Finals
Time Trial 500m C5 – women
Time Trial 500m C4 – women
Time Trial 1000m C5 – men
Time Trial 1000m C4 – men
Individual Pursuit 3000m C1 – women
Individual Pursuit 3000m C2 – women
Individual Pursuit 3000m C3 – women
Individual Pursuit 3000m C1 – men
Individual Pursuit 3000m C2 – men
Individual Pursuit 3000m C3 – men
What: Para-Cycling Track World Championship
Where: Barra Olympic Park’s Velodrome
When: From March 22 to March 25
Competition times: Morning sessions: from 10am and afternoon sessions from 3pm
*Gates will be open at 9am
Barra Olympic Park main entrance – Gate 28 – Embaixador Abelardo Bueno avenue