Young man on a mission

World champs bronze; now for Uganda.

World champs bronze; now for Uganda.

WHEELS ON FIRE: Gisborne triathlete Josiah Ney will put triathlon competing on hold when he heads to Uganda as part of a Mangapapa Church missionary team. Ney won bronze in his age group at the world champs on the Gold Coast last week. It followed younger brother Matthew — also going to Uganda — winning the Year 8 boys’ multisport race at the AIMS Games International Sporting Championships in Tauranga. Picture by Paul Rickard

A bronze medal-winning performance in the 16 to 19 years division at the world triathlon age-group championships on the Gold Coast on Thursday; sitting history and stats school exams yesterday; and preparing to leave tomorrow for Uganda as part of a church missionary team . . . Gisborne Boys’ High School student Josiah Ney is a busy lad.

“It’s been an interesting schedule lately,” said the 18-year-old.

“Going to the Gold Coast for my race at this level, I had no expectations around placings.

“I thought top-10 would be good, top-five amazing . . to get third was awesome.

“My training had gone well and on the day I was feeling good.”

So good Ney had opened a 15-second lead at the end of the swim leg.

“I pulled away after 200 metres of the 750-metre swim and swam solo for the rest of the swim.

“I didn’t really want to ride solo so it was good when the chasing bunch of around five joined me, and we worked together before the run.

“I was pretty confident in my running, thinking I could outrun these guys.

“But I’d never raced in that heat, around 28 degrees, especially after training in the cold here. That (heat) hurt.

“I was way back on the run but worked my way up to fourth with another guy with 500m to go.

“I managed to go past him and tried to catch second but couldn’t.”

While in Australia, Ney managed to get in some study “but not a lot as we had race preparations and racing briefs to attend etc, but yeah, I did a little study”.

“When I came home I managed to cram in some more before the exams.”

Did it pay off?

“I haven’t got my history marks yet but my stat marks were good.”

Ney is off to Waikato University next year to study sport and human performance, and also hopes to “crack” the Cambridge-based New Zealand junior elite squad.

“That’s a goal and after spending three weeks in Uganda, I’ve got a Tinman race abut three weeks after I arrive home.

“Five weeks after that I’ve got some Future Champs races.

“But the focus now is on going to Uganda.”

Ney, his parents Patrick and Kate, brothers Caleb (15) and Matthew (13) — both are also promising triathletes — and four other members of the Mangapapa Church youth group will be working with children on the Ssese Islands at the northwest part of Lake Victoria.

They have been on a major fundraising mission this year to pay for airfares to take them to the other side of the world.

Kate and Patrick Ney have contacts in Uganda from when they lived there in the late 1990s.

The couple did missionary work in Uganda and Tanzania and spent three and a half years on the Ssese Islands.

Te Puni Kokiri is sponsoring two of the group and Josiah’s mum said the local community had been extremely generous.

A bronze medal-winning performance in the 16 to 19 years division at the world triathlon age-group championships on the Gold Coast on Thursday; sitting history and stats school exams yesterday; and preparing to leave tomorrow for Uganda as part of a church missionary team . . . Gisborne Boys’ High School student Josiah Ney is a busy lad.

“It’s been an interesting schedule lately,” said the 18-year-old.

“Going to the Gold Coast for my race at this level, I had no expectations around placings.

“I thought top-10 would be good, top-five amazing . . to get third was awesome.

“My training had gone well and on the day I was feeling good.”

So good Ney had opened a 15-second lead at the end of the swim leg.

“I pulled away after 200 metres of the 750-metre swim and swam solo for the rest of the swim.

“I didn’t really want to ride solo so it was good when the chasing bunch of around five joined me, and we worked together before the run.

“I was pretty confident in my running, thinking I could outrun these guys.

“But I’d never raced in that heat, around 28 degrees, especially after training in the cold here. That (heat) hurt.

“I was way back on the run but worked my way up to fourth with another guy with 500m to go.

“I managed to go past him and tried to catch second but couldn’t.”

While in Australia, Ney managed to get in some study “but not a lot as we had race preparations and racing briefs to attend etc, but yeah, I did a little study”.

“When I came home I managed to cram in some more before the exams.”

Did it pay off?

“I haven’t got my history marks yet but my stat marks were good.”

Ney is off to Waikato University next year to study sport and human performance, and also hopes to “crack” the Cambridge-based New Zealand junior elite squad.

“That’s a goal and after spending three weeks in Uganda, I’ve got a Tinman race abut three weeks after I arrive home.

“Five weeks after that I’ve got some Future Champs races.

“But the focus now is on going to Uganda.”

Ney, his parents Patrick and Kate, brothers Caleb (15) and Matthew (13) — both are also promising triathletes — and four other members of the Mangapapa Church youth group will be working with children on the Ssese Islands at the northwest part of Lake Victoria.

They have been on a major fundraising mission this year to pay for airfares to take them to the other side of the world.

Kate and Patrick Ney have contacts in Uganda from when they lived there in the late 1990s.

The couple did missionary work in Uganda and Tanzania and spent three and a half years on the Ssese Islands.

Te Puni Kokiri is sponsoring two of the group and Josiah’s mum said the local community had been extremely generous.

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