Medals are coming home

Waipā and King Country riders are bringing 11 medals home from the Para Cycling Track World Championships in Brazil.

Ōtorohanga’s Nicole Murray, now based in Cambridge, won five – gold, two silvers and two bronze.

Two Cambridge riders, Devon Briggs set a world record – then broke it – on his way to collecting gold, a silver and two bronze medals and Anna Taylor picked up a silver and a bronze.

Nicole Murray.

Rio de Janeiro 2024 was the first track cycling event of the Paralympic Year and one of the final opportunities to secure qualification points for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games to be staged in August and September.

New Zealand sent five athletes – the other two were Ben Westenberg (Tauranga) and Cambridge’s Nick Blincoe.

Briggs, 20, bettered the world record in his C3 Kilo qualifier, and then bettered it in the final.

Devon Briggs at 2024 Para-Cycling Track World Championships – Rio de Janeiro/ Brazil

“I came into the day wanting to get the world record and we smashed it out of the park,” he said on the night of his win. “And to come in again tonight, breaking my own world record and getting rainbows on top of that, I’m so stoked.”

Murray claimed a gold, silver, and a bronze medal on the last day – Monday. She made the podium for every event she entered.

Briggs, who attended Cambridge High School, finished the final day with a second bronze and a siler to bring his haul to four. The bronze was not without cost, as another rider clipped his bike, causing him to crash toward the end of the race.

Briggs escaped without major injury and received the bronze medal as the athlete who caused the crash was disqualified.

The medal total was one better than the previous best of 10 at the last word champs.

Nicole Murray

from left, Ben Westenberg (Tauranga), Nick Blincoe (Cambridge), Anna Taylor (Cambridge), Devon Briggs (Cambridge), Nicole Murray (Otorohanga). Photo: Paralympics New Zealand.

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