Hackney cyclist Tao keeping his 2020 Olympic dream alive

16-year-old scoops medals at British Championships

Cyclist Tao Geoghegan Hart, of Hackney Homes’ Nightingale Estate Cycle Club is en route to achieving his 2020 Olympic dream after winning a series of medals at the British Championships.

The 16-year-old scooped two silvers and a bronze at the championships in Manchester and was more than delighted with the result.

“I was so happy with my medals,” he said.

“I had to work really hard for them and it seems quite strange but the medal I am most proud of is the bronze.

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“That medal came in an under-18 race, so I was competing against cyclists that were two years older than me.

“To medal against them shows how far I have come and how far I can go.”

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Starting his career on estates and parks in Hackney just two years ago, Geoghegan Hart has come a long way participating in both national and international races, and recently represented Great Britain at European Youth Olympic Games in Turkey.

“I had a great time at the Youth Olympics and I took a lot from the experience,” he said.

“Although some of my performances weren’t the best, it was very hot and I was only two hundredths of a second off a bronze medal in the time trials, which is a positive.”

Geoghegan Hart, who will become a Mossbourne pupil later this month, was introduced to competitive cycling at the Cycle Club Hackney on the Nightingale Estate and is determined to show that he has what it takes to represent his country at a senior level.

“My dream is to make the 2020 Olympic Games,” he said.

“By then I will be 25 years old and hopefully at the top of my sport.”

For now though, Geoghegan Hart is happy to be chosen for the British Olympic Training Programme, which helps 12 potential Olympians develop and reach their goals.

“I have loved being part of the Olympic Training Programme and I have really taken a lot from the experience and having professional coaches help me develop,” he said.

“However, next year the 12 cyclists get cut down to just four, which is a big leap.

“Hopefully I can show that I have what it takes to be part of that four, which will then form the Olympic Development Squad.

“If I manage to get there then I will get extra coaching and be able to go on coaching camps every month.”

Geoghegan Hart also said that he expected the new velodrome built for the 2012 Games to have a massive impact on the local cycling scene.

“Having the new velodrome built so near to where I live provides a great opportunity for cyclists,” he said.

“It’s really great racing on an international scale and representing your local borough.”

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