September 11, 2016 (Rio de Janeiro, BRA) – Canada added a third medal in cycling at the Paralympic Games on Saturday, with Tristen Chernove of Cranbrooke, BC, winning bronze in the Men’s 1000 metre Time Trial. This is Chernove’s second medal, after winning a silver medal in the Individual Pursuit.
Chernove’s time of one minute and 14.716 seconds is a new Paralympic record for his C2 category. When time factors were added for the blended C1, C2 and C3 categories, Chernove finished third in the overall standings, behind C1 rider Li Zhangyu of China, who set a world record in C1, and Arnoud Nijhuis of Netherlands, also C1, who took silver. Ross Wilson of Edmonton finished 15th and Michael Sametz of Calgary was 17th.
“I was really nervous about getting on my bike,” admitted Chernove, “because I’m so tired from lack of sleep, I haven’t slept for three days. So I was really doubting myself. I got through the ride and got a medal, which is wonderful, but I’m far from riding at my performance level. So I’ve to get back on top of what I’m capable of for the road events. All I could do was trust in my body, that all the training and all the work the coaches have done with me and the muscle memory would pay off. [After being diagnosed in 2009] I only thought of cycling as a way to delay my degeneration, and because it is something I love, and it was my passion for cycling that got me to this level. I do this because riding bikes is glorious. So it’s just a wonderful gift that this has happened.”
Ross Wilson said “I made a really hard effort to get started out of the gate and thought it went really well. I had a bit of a wobble on the third lap, I was pulling on the bars a little too much and had the wheels slide a bit, but I was able to get back on and really empty the tank on the last lap. I’m really proud of that, and overall I felt it was ‘job done’ and I can’t complain.”
Michael Sametz commented, “It was hard after racing last night as well, but I just went all out. Usually I’m not a great starter, so I end up picking it up at the end. It’s funny, when I was 14 and started racing, I told people my goal was to go to Rio, so it’s pretty incredible.”