9 May 2016

Seven cyclists confirmed for Paralympics

2:45 pm on 9 May 2016

A team of seven cyclists have been selected to the New Zealand Para-Cycling squad to compete in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Emma Foy, Laura Thompson and Jono Hailstone.

Emma Foy, Laura Thompson and Jono Hailstone. Photo: Paralympics New Zealand

Emma Foy and Laura Thompson triple World Champions will be joined by Paralympian Kate Horan, making her Para-Cycling debut following a switch from Para-Athletics and a silver medal at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.

The squad will include five Paralympic debutants and rising stars on the world stage including Emma Foy, Amanda Cameron, Hannah van Kampen, Byron Raubenheimer and Stephen Hills.

Collectively, the New Zealand Team is aiming to win 18 medals, including 12 gold, across up to 7 different Para-Sports. The team also hopes to retain its London 2012 title of number one in the world, medals per capita.

Emma Foy only entered the sport of Para-Cycling just over three years ago and in that time has made a meteoric rise through the Para-Cycling world, becoming the one to beat internationally. As part of a tandem pairing with Laura Thompson (sighted pilot) they have successful won the World Championships in the Women's 3km Pursuit (track) in 2014 and defended it twice, in 2015 and 2016.

Thompson brings extensive Paralympic Games experience to the team after competing at the London 2012 Paralympic Games as sighted pilot for Phillipa Gray. Thompson and Gray secured gold, silver and bronze medals at London 2012 - including gold and a World Record in the 3km Pursuit.

Kate Horan, already well-known for her silver medal winning performance at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games on the athletics track, will compete in her third Paralympic Games, but her first in the sport of Para-Cycling. Since making the transition to Para-Cycling three years ago Horan has won three individual silver World Championship medals and will be seeking to add a Paralympic gold to her collection in Rio.

Amanda Cameron made her international debut at the 2016 UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships only two months ago, in March. An exceptional performance saw her finish 5th alongside sighted pilot Hannah van Kampen, together setting a personal best in the Women's B 3km Pursuit.

Both Emma Foy and Amanda Cameron will train and compete alternately with sighted pilots Thompson and van Kampen over the next few months, until the final tandem pairing combinations are confirmed in early July.