1 year ago by Tom Soladay

Olivia Ray doubles down on gold

Auckland native wins Scratch and Elimination events at New Zealand track champs

The 2021 season is still young and already our young kiwi Olivia Ray is racking up the wins. On Wednesday night, the current national criterium champ won the Elite Women’s 10 km Scratch Race at the New Zealand National Track Championships. Sporting the blue colors of her native Auckland region, Ray won the final sprint at the end of the 40 lap event in nailbiting fashion, passing runner up McKenzie Milne in the final straight.

“I’m very pleased,” said Ray. “I won the event back in 2018, so it was quite nostalgic. I love racing on the track, it’s so intense and the scratch is like a mini criterium. Guess you could say I’m really missing America!

“In the final laps, I had to be diligent to see if someone was going to attack. My tactics were simple, ‘do the least amount of work’ which for me is a struggle, but being patient and waiting for the last two laps was and always will be my plan. I live a sprinter’s life.”

As Ray likes to put it, she’s a “confused athlete” which means she’ll compete in both sprinting and endurance events at the national event. If the Scratch Race is any indication, you can count on her challenging for each one of the remaining seven gold medals on offer.

Watch the final six laps from the Scratch Race:

Podium ceremony:

Scratch Race Results

1 RAY Olivia
2 MILNE McKenzie
5 HODGES Jessie
6 BOTHA Bryony
8 KING Courtney
9 QUINLAN Hannah

*UPDATE – February 26, 2021*

Ray wins the Elimination Race to make it two gold medals in as many days. Keep an eye on our Kiwi in the blue colors of Auckland.

Elimination Race results

1 RAY Olivia
2 BOTHA Bryony
3 KING Courtney