Golden haul for Begg at record-fest

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 18/02/2013
Nicole Begg
SARAH LAWSON
FLYING START: Timaru’s Nicole Begg, right – with Steph Challis, centre, and Christin Kuepper – on her way to winning the senior women’s 1000-metre final. Begg won four of the five titles up for grabs at the national championships in Caroline Bay, proving she is well on the way to recovery.

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Records galore fell at the New Zealand Bank Track Championships in Timaru during the weekend with world champion Peter Michael the star.

The 23-year-old of Palmerston North won his five events in national record time.

Nicole Begg's controversial disqualification from the 10km points race overshadowed Saturday's event but she bounced back yesterday to prove she remains the country's No 1 woman.

While Begg, 25, did not break any of her own records, she was relieved to get through the five events after battling health problems. After being out of serious competition for 16 months she declared herself fit for the world championships in Belgium at the end of August.

Begg had not been beaten at a national championships for nine years and appeared to have comfortably taken the points race with 39 points to Steph Challis's 14.

Challis protested that Begg dipped inside the white line, which Begg had to do to avoid clipping a slower skater's wheel, but that had no sway with the committee and she was disqualified despite winning 18 of the 20 sprints.

The new Caroline Bay rink proved to be a world-class surface with 26 national records in 47 events.

The event also showed skating is in a renaissance of sorts, especially locally, with the new crop showing plenty of potential.

South Canterbury skaters were among those grabbing glory, winning 31 golds and lowering 12 records.

Brett McCormack claimed four gold medals in the masters category while Guy McDonald grabbed three in the junior boys.

South Canterbury's strength in the junior girls was easy to see with Judah Kelly claiming two records, and Analiese Le Roy and Leah McDonald one each.

Le Roy beat home team-mate and rival Kelly to carve four seconds off the junior girls' 1000m race.

Charli Nevin recorded a primary girls' 1000m record, gaining her first title at national level.

Guy McDonald impressed by lowering the decade-old 500m held by Oceania champion Seyia Asami, stopping the clock at 47.602sec, while his sister Leah's record caused a big surprise as she beat more favoured competitors home in the junior girls' 5000m elimination race record by 27sec.

However, she did not earn enough points during the race to win a medal.

The championships finished in disarray yesterday after the event manager Barbara Colville cancelled the relays to the consternation of the locals who looked set to claim more titles and records.

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The scheduled time to finish after rain delays was 4pm, but North Island competitors and officials had flights to catch from Christchurch and called it off before 3pm.

The South Canterbury teams skated and unofficially smashed the women's record for 3000m by 15sec and took 14sec off the junior girls' record.

South Canterbury golds: Nicole Begg (senior/open) 300m time trial, 500m , 1000m, 15,000 elimination Guy McDonald (junior boys) 300m tt, 500m, 1000m, 5000m points Judah Kelly (junior girls) 300m tt, 500m, 5000m points Analiese Le Roy (junior girls) 1000m Charli Nevin (primary girls) 500m, 1000m Roshean O'Connor (primary girls) 300m tt Jan-Hendrick Kuepper (juvenile boys) 300m tt, 500m, 1000m, 2000m Kaylum McAuley (primary boys) 300m tt, 500m, 1000m Brett McCormack (masters) 300m tt, 500m, 1000m, 5000m points Bruce Begg (masters B) 300m, 500m, 1000m Josh Ruwhiu-Watson (senior B) 300tt, 500m

- The Timaru Herald

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