Emily van der Heyden: In line for world arena
STU PIDDINGTON Last updated 05:00 08/03/2011SharePrint Text Size STU PIDDINGTON/ The Timaru HeraldHOT WHEELS: Inline skater Emily van der Heyden may soon be on the world stage if she keeps up her rapid improvement.Relevant offersWaimate inline skater Emily van der Heyden has proved she is the best junior girl skater in New Zealand and could also be a bolter for the Junior World Speedskating Championships in Korea.

In the 300m junior time trial at the New Zealand Bank Track Championships in Hastings, van der Heyden clocked 30.266 seconds, taking 0.84sec off the 2002 record.

In fact, only senior skaters Nicole Begg and Mexican Daniela Rosales, in 29.861sec, were faster than the 14-year-old.

Van der Heyden’s rise to the top has been extraordinary, the teenager having started skating only three years ago.

Just 11 months ago, on the same Hastings track, she finished 16th out of 22 in a time of 33.016sec at the Junior Oceania Championships.

That race was won by Renee Nyman in a time of 30.297sec, so van der Heyden has also eclipsed her time.

Much interest will now centre on the selections for the world championships.

The age criterion has moved out to 20, from 18, but van der Heyden, who turns 15 in October, has proven better than other older competitors on a number of occasions.

Her coach, Cheryl Begg, said van der Heyden just gets better with every competition.

“She just goes up another level and the harder the competition, the better she is.”

Begg said once the new track is laid on Caroline Bay there will no stopping van der Heyden.

“Then she will really learn how to go fast.”

On her form the New Zealand selectors would have trouble looking past her.

The weather caused the biggest headache in Hastings, with only the 300m time trial and the 10,000m open points elimination races for men and women completed before the championships were abandoned.

Of the 14 races decided, South Canterbury and Whanganui shared the honours in winning three titles each.

Former world champion Nicole Begg broke her own records in the open ladies 300m with a 29.011sec effort. She also had a comfortable win in the the open 10,000m points elimination race, lapping the field with training partner Samantha Michael.

Two of the top men in the recent Tour of Timaru were also among the medals. Hutt Valley youngster Ollie Jones took out the open men’s 10,000 points elimination while Antony Nalder won the senior men’s 300m time trial with 26.338sec.

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