Palmer pedals to Hong Kong
Dahlia Palmer, Jamaica's Caribbean cycling champion, is on her way to the last leg of her sport's World Cup. She heads to the Hong Kong Velodrome with growing confidence after learning to race the world's best on Milton, Canada and London, England. The Jamaican attributes her improved readiness to the work of her Trinidadian coach, Robert Farrier.
The London leg of the World Cup was in the middle of December and so Palmer trained through the Festive Season to prepare for Hong Kong.
"Since we came back from London, we continued the preparations, we kept at it just the same and keep improving more and more, so that is why we're looking forward to Hong Kong", she remarked from her training base in Trinidad and Tobago.
Her races in Milton and London have helped to teach her the nuances of global competition.
"The more I race against them, the more comfortable I get. So yes, we're looking forward to a better result in Hong Kong," said Palmer, winner of the keirin event at the 2018 Caribbean Championships.
Palmer and coach Farrier will be using the long flight from the Caribbean to Hong Kong to plan for her races there. "On our way to Hong Kong, we plan our race plans and stuff like that, use up the time to calculate races and stuff like that", she explained.
The cyclist had high praise for Farrier.
"I must say he has done a tremendous job so far and I will always be talking about him because when I was down, he was still there for me and even now, he's still there for me and also the people who supported so far", Palmer praised.
Her participation in the World Cup has been supported by the Jamaica Olympic Association and the Jamaica Cycling Federation. Their support has enabled Palmer, a graduate of the University of Trinidad and Tobago and Green Island High School, to target the Tokyo Olympics in two years' time. She's is grateful and happy to represent her country.
"It's always a pleasure knowing that I'm always flying Jamaica flag high", she smiled.
In the keirin, at the Milton leg of the World Cup, Palmer faced Lithuanian star Simona Krupeckaite, the 2009 500m time trial World Champion and world record holder, and 2010 Keirin World Champion, 2015 World keirin runner-up Shanne Braspennincx of Holland and second Keirin 2015 World Track Championships, America's Madalyn Godby, who won a bronze medal at the 2016 Pan American Track Cycling Championships in the team sprint.
In London, she was fourth in a heat of the keirin race won by Hyejin Lee of South Korea and later was again fourth in the repechage round, where Britain's Katy Marchant crossed the line first. Both Lee and Marchant reached the final, where the champion was Australian Stephanie Morton, a triple gold medallist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.