BASSENDEAN teenager Alex Myint (16) has been selected as Australia’s first roller speed skater to compete at the 2018 Youth Olympics and he is aiming for a medal finish.
The Chisholm Catholic College Year 11 student will be competing in Buenos Aires from October 6 to 18, after skating at the World Inline Speed Skating Championships in the Netherlands earlier this month.
He placed 15th out of 60 skaters in the 10km road points race, made the 5000m C final on the bank track and earned six points to beat the New Zealand skaters to qualify for the games.
Myint, who is a member and coach at Morley Panthers Roller Skaters club, started speed skating at Morley Rollerdrome in 2010.
Since then, he represented Australia at three Oceania Inline Speed Skating Championships, three Namwon Korea Open Championships and four junior half marathons while competing at seven Australian national competitions.
In 2018, he has won six gold, five silver and three bronze medals.
Myint, who also did ice speed skating, said it was a “dream come true” to be the sole Australian roller speed skater selected for the 2018 Youth Olympics – the first year roller skating had been included.
With no world-standard flat bank track in Australia, Myint said preparation had been hard because skaters could no longer skate at the driving track at Perth Airport, after the RAC ended its lease at the location.
“I was lucky that I was able to train on the bank track in Heerenveen in the Netherlands for four weeks before the world championships with the Australian world coach Desly Hill,” he said.
“We have to train on the roads in industrial areas which can be dangerous with cars suddenly speeding down the roads.”
His short term goals were to win a medal at the Games and place top 10 at the 2019 world championships.
While his long-term goal was to become world champion and continue to do both roller and ice speed skating, he wanted to go to the 2024 Paris Olympics if roller skating was successfully included.
He said it had been difficult to balance training and school over the past 18 months.
“Chisholm have been great in supporting me to attend all the various competitions that I have attended over the last five years,” he said.
“I try to spread my studies over the week and ensure that I have time to relax and unwind on the weekends.”