Caitlin Jong fits a lot into her busy life and this weekend on her home track, Jong will try and fit a national series round victory into her burgeoning season.
Caitlin Jong is busy. Like, really busy.
The 13-year-old rider from Satellite City BMX Club in Darwin races and trains in BMX, mountain bike, on the track in the velodrome, in triathlon and even has a crack at motocross.
Oh, and don’t forget school. That’s a priority too.
But BMX is her first love, the one that she dedicates most of her time to, training many times a week under the watchful eye of her coach Rebekkah Chiam, who just happens to be her mum, mentor and, it seems, taxi service.
“BMX is definitely my favoured sport, the one I do the most and the one I am most competitive in,” Jong explained to BMXA.
“I ride three times a week at Satellite City but if we have private training it’s five times a week.
“I’m busy, that’s for sure. It’s with a lot of difficulty that I balance everything.
“I try to squeeze in as much as I can with school work too. When we travel mum insists on me getting my work done.”
When Jong lines up in her age event on her home track at this weekend’s 3rd round of the BMXA national series, she will be riding with the W5 on her plate, courtesy of a brilliant performance at this month’s world championships in Baku. The result is believed to be the best ever for a female rider from the Northern Territory, something Jong is extremely proud of.
The world champs final (that’s her 4th from left on the podium above) followed a silver medal at this year’s nationals, a third placing in Frankston in the 2nd round of the national series and a win at Penrith in the series’ opener back in February.
Watch Caitlin take out the 13yrs girls race at the 1st round of the 2018 BMXA National Series below:
Heading into this weekend, Jong has lofty goals, but in a showing of maturity beyond her years the determined teen understands dreams don’t always come true.
“I definitely want to come away on top and win five out of five races,” Jong said.
“But if it doesn’t go my way I will try and look back at what I can do better, how I can improve.”
With an attitude like that, it’s no wonder Jong wants to go as far as she can in BMX.
“I really do want to continue with the sport as far as I can,” she said.
“I’d love to be the next Caroline Buchanan. I’ve met Connor Fields and trained with Saya and Kai Sakakibara so I’ve seen what they do and what it takes.”
Jong speaks with humility but it’s clear she has the drive to succeed and it would take a brave pundit to doubt her chances, both this weekend and into the future.