Paralympics 2012

Nel sets career best on track

2012-08-30 19:19
Jaco Nel (File)

London - Jaco Nel produced a personal best time in the men’s cycling individual C1-2-3 time trial event at the London Paralympic Games on Thursday.

As with the Olympics, track cycling at the Velodrome is one of the most popular and well-supported events and the 6 000 capacity crowd cheered every remarkable feat achieved by the cyclists on the opening day of competition.

Riding in the C2 category, Nel set a temporary Paralympic record in the 1km sprint, clocking one minute, 18.488 seconds (1:18.488), but his record was short-lived as Tobias Graf of Germany, who rode immediately after him, set a new C2 world record of 1:15.858.

Nel, who joined in the encouragement and hand-clapping which propelled Graf to his world record, said he was thrilled to have achieved his best time, even though he had been hoping for a 1:16 performance.

“I’ve been practicing my starts a lot, so it paid off as I went out quite fast,” the South African said after finishing 11th overall in the event which featured three different classifications (C1, C2 and C3).

“The last 500m is the hardest part for me because to stay on the bike, keep my balance and stay inside the track is the most difficult thing in the world.

“I can’t control my body after the first 500m - it just goes all over the place.”

Nel suffered a permanent brain stem injury after he was involved in a fight seven years ago and only began training and racing competitively after the incident.

The 250m track, laid with siberian pine and built especially for London 2012, was designed in such a way that the track geometry, temperature and environmental conditions would induce record-breaking speeds.

“The Velodrome track is ultra-fast,” Nel said.

“I’ve been training in Majorca where the conditions were much hotter and I thought that track was faster, but my times are better here.”

The 35-year-old will be back at the Velodrome on Friday, in the individual C2 pursuit qualifying event, where two opposing riders start on either side of the track.

The winner is the rider who either catches the other, or records the fastest time over the full distance of four kilometres.

Nel will also compete in the road time trial at Britain’s Formula One and MotoGP racing track next week.

“I’m looking forward to racing at Brands Hatch but I would much rather be riding a motorbike.

“Still, as that won’t be happening, I’ll give it my best shot.”

Read more on:    paralympics 2012  |  cycling


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Breaking News


Do South Africa's Olympians and Paralympians deserve equal monetary rewards for winning gold, silver and bronze medals in London?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.