Norfolk cyclist finishes seventh in women’s 500m time trial at Commonwealth Games

England's Victoria Williamson during the Womens 500m Time Trial at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire. England's Victoria Williamson during the Womens 500m Time Trial at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.

Friday, July 25, 2014
9:01 AM

Victoria Williamson was determined to accentuate the positives after making a Commonwealth Games debut that seemed unlikely just a few weeks ago.

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Hevingham cyclist Victoria Williamson.Hevingham cyclist Victoria Williamson.

The Norfolk cyclist, part of the British team that won world team sprint bronze last year, finished seventh in the women’s 500m time trial, her time just over two seconds off Australian gold medallist Anna Meares.

But just making the start line at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome was an achievement according the 20-year old former world junior medallist.

“It was tough, I found it really hard actually but I am pleased with it because a couple of weeks ago I was in hospital and I never thought I’d be here for a minute,” she said.

“I have had a week to get back into training and do the possibly biggest race of my life, so I can’t have too many complaints about how it’s turned out.

England's John McGuiness (middle) Stuart Airey and Norfolk's Jamie Chestney (right) in action during their Men's triples match against the Falkland Islands at the Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.England's John McGuiness (middle) Stuart Airey and Norfolk's Jamie Chestney (right) in action during their Men's triples match against the Falkland Islands at the Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

“I have been very, very ill in hospital and I’d rather not think about it or talk about it now, I am just glad to be out and be on my bike. I was lucky to even be here but I gave my all, unfortunately it is nowhere near my best but that’s all I had.

“I was never going to be on form, I have lost so much but I can’t complain. I have gone from having a couple of weeks completely off to a week and a half of training. You don’t win medals when that happens.”

Williamson only switched her interests from athletics to cycling five years ago and her progress has been rapid. And she’ll be back on the track for the women’s sprint later this week – where Australian Meares, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, will again be the one to beat.

“I’ve got a day off now which I really need and then it’s back to the action,” she added. “I’m just trying to enjoy the experience.

“It’s my first Games and it’s a learning experience for me. I’m disappointed that I’m not really fit but I’m trying to take as much from being here as possible as I look towards the future.

“As an athlete you have to learn to cope with injuries and illnesses.”

• Jamie Chestney could have done without a stressful end to day one of his Commonwealth Games campaign but he admits England’s men’s triples outfit will be all the better for their early test.

Skip Chestney and teammates Stuart Airey and John McGuinness made light work of their first opponents in Glasgow, romping to a 31-8 win over the Falkland Islands.

But things became a lot more difficult in the afternoon heat in Scotland as they came up against a stubborn Malaysian outfit, who led 13-12 with two ends remaining.

The 27-year-old remained calm though and eventually ensured England claimed a tight 15-13 victory to end their first day of Glasgow 2014 with two wins from two.

Things didn’t come as easy for England on a tricky rink against Malaysia but Chestney insists his triples outfit will only be stronger for coming out on top.

“We certainly faced a tougher test against Malaysia,” he said. “We were scrapping around a bit on the rink and we didn’t find it quite as well as we did in the morning.

“We managed to dig in and get the win somehow, things didn’t quite go our way but we were expecting a tough match and came through it.

“Wins are wins, we just need to keep winning. We managed to get some shots against the Falkland Islands and topping that up with another win was the most important thing.”

Commonwealth veteran Ellen Falkner, who hails from Wisbech, began her fourth Games with a win in the women’s fours alongside Sophie Tolchard, Sian Honnor and Jamie-Lea Winch.

The quartet got off to a fantastic start against Canada, racing into a 10-0 lead after just three ends – eventually winning 21-11.

• Day two of the Games brings more action for athletes from Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

Fakenham bowls player Jamie Chestney continues as part of Team England’s triples team. The 27-year-old will be in round three action between 8.45am and 2pm before returning for round four between 3.45pm and 9.45pm.

Wisbech-born Ellen Falkner also returns to the rink for fours action, with the 35-year-old in round three and four action at the same times as Chestney.

Bury St Edmunds swimmer Chris Walker-Hebborn will be in relay action, with the 4x100m freestyle relay heats between 10.30am and midday, and the final between 7pm and 9.15pm if the team qualifies.

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