Nelson on fast track for world spot

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 21/02/2013
jono nelson
NATASHA MARTIN/ Fairfax NZ
OUTSTANDING SPORTSPERSON WITH A DISABILITY: Jono Nelson.

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The next three months are set to define Timaru handcyclist Jono Nelson's career.

The 29-year-old heads to the Gold Coast on Friday for round two of the Australian Handcycling Series, hoping to break the BikeNZ mark for a trip to the world championships.

Nelson must average over 32.8kmh for the 15km time trial to be eligible to go to Canada.

"Paralympics New Zealand have said this is the most important four months in my career."

The handcyclist has two opportunities to make the championships as he will return to Australia for their nationals in April. Nelson has been working hard as he chases his goal and is upbeat about his chances.

"I'm feeling good as I've been averaging 33kmh in practice."

If he goes quicker than ever before and makes the mark, he could also secure BikeNZ funding. The weather could also favour Nelson as rather than high temperatures, thunderstorms were forecast.

"It is funny but I have done my fastest time in the rain, so I am not too concerned."

Nelson is also enjoying working under his new handcycle specialist coach, John Rich, of Tauranga.

"John specialises in coaching handcyclists and it is working really well."

Nelson said it was very important to get under the time to qualify for the world championships as it would give him a world ranking.

"Then I would know where I really stand, as my ultimate goal is Rio in 2016."

Nelson will also compete in the 50km road race.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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