Sunday 31 March 2008, Adelaide: Time is running out for
skier-turned-cyclist Michael Milton as he struggles to find any improvement
at the first of three qualifying events for the 2008 Paralympic cycling
Battling poor health in the lead-up to the trial camp at Adelaide's
Superdrome, Milton had two chances on the weekend to post a qualifying
time. His best effort over the 3000m Pursuit was 4:13.5, more than 12
seconds slower than the time he needs to make the team.
'I had bronchitis in the two weeks before the trials and that really
knocked my health around. I hardly trained at all in the lead-up and it
showed in my times. My preparation was terrible and I didn't feel strong,'
said a disappointed Milton.
He is also just six months out from major surgery to remove a cancerous
tumour, along with his entire oesophagus and most of his stomach.
'I guess I'm asking a lot of my body after being treated for cancer last
year. I don't expect to be back to full fitness until July but my chances
to make the team end on 24 May so I don't really have a choice,' explained
He has two more chances to record a time that meets the team selection
criteria - on 20-22 April in Sydney and again in Adelaide on 24 May.
'The good news is that only five cyclists have run qualifying times so far
and there are eight spots available on the team. I may not have to actually
record a 4:01.50 time to make it but that's my goal,' Milton said.