Winning feeling gives Leigh a high in New Zealand
Star young athlete Leigh Hoffman showed his potential with outstanding results at the Oceania Track Championships in New Zealand with victories in Under-19 events
TWO gold medals and spades of confidence have been the returns for promising young athlete Leigh Hoffman after the recent Oceania Track Championships in New Zealand.
The experience and results proved a big winner for the up-and-coming athlete.
On the opening day Hoffman teamed with fellow Aussies Thomas Cornish and Brodie Aamodt to win the team sprint.
He backed that up on the third day to produce a stunning set of rides to beat Cornish to claim his second gold medal at the event.
Hoffman said it was a fantastic feeling to compete well at that level.
''Our Australian team with a fellow WA rider and NSW rider qualified fastest (team sprint) beating NZ by about two seconds which is quite a lot.
''Then in the gold final we won. It was surreal to ride in the Australian kit representing Australia and a great feeling on the podium.''
With confidence rising from a successful opening Hoffman was ready for the second day of racing which was the 200m qualifying and matched sprints.
''I qualified first fastest in the Under-19 men's with a time of 10.459s, just missing out on the allcomers record,'' he said.
''This time put me in a positive mindset for the rest of the day as I was not expecting this good a time at this point of the year.
''I got to the gold/silver final against Tom Cornish but had never beaten him before.
''I rode smart and beat him in two rounds. It was a brilliant feeling to finally win as all last year I was mid pack and hadn't got a chance to stand on the podium.''
The final day of racing was the keirin where Hoffman qualified for the final after making top three in his heat.
''In the final I didn't ride as great as I had hoped, a slight hesitation nearing the final lap and I finished in fourth.
''But overall I'm extremely pleased with my efforts at the championships. And special thanks to new SASI coach Lynne Munro too.''
SASI Head Coach Brett Aitken praised Hoffman's results.
''We are excited to see him take those steps,'' he said.
''He had really good times in qualifying and wasn't far off an Aussie record. He is definitely one to watch.''