Top international debut for Hannah Pascoe
Para cycling head performance coach Stu MacDonald has labelled Southland athlete Hannah Pascoe's international debut as one of the highlights of New Zealand's track world championship campaign.
Blind athlete Hannah Pascoe and sighted pilot Nina Wollaston only came together as a tandem combination late last year and were competing internationally for the first time at the Para Cycling world championships in Rio.
The pair picked up fifth placings in both the individual pursuit and the sprint and showed great development throughout, MacDonald said.
“A highlight on the final day of racing was the tandem pairing of Hannah Pascoe and Nina Wollaston (sighted pilot) racing in the sprint event for the first time nationally and internationally.," he said.
"It was incredibly ballsy and to finish fifth was the icing on the cake. They committed to their plan, enjoyed it and learnt a lot."
Overall, the New Zealand team will return home with silver medals to Nicole Murray in the women's C5 3km individual pursuit and two-time Paralympian Kate Horan in the women's C4 500m time trial.
There was also a fourth-placed finish for the tandem pairing of Amanda Cameron and Hannah van Kampen, along with multiple personal bests, including one for former Para swimmer turned cyclist Nikita Howarth.
“Overall for the week we have had some highs with the two silver medals and had some
really good performances and executions – and a few lows," MacDonald said.
"But the resilience that the team has shown is a true testament to their professionalism. With them all being reasonably new at this level of competition I am really happy with where they are this far out from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.”