"Hot" and "good" were two Whanganui teenagers impression of the South Korea city of Namwon after they spent nine days in competition at the 2018 Asian Roller Games earlier this month.

Speedskater Renee Teers was part of the four-person New Zealand skate team which entered the Junior Women's Grade (Under 19), with her team mates all from Timaru's South Canterbury club.

Meanwhile, roller hockey exponent Jimi Blinkhorne was joined by veteran Dean Fitness as part of the New Zealand Roller Hockey team entering the Asia-Oceania Championship.

The Kiwis all had the goal to qualifying in their sports for the 2019 World Roller Games in Barcelona.


Back at Whanganui High School this week, Teers and Blinkhorne both said the same thing – competing on the international level is way faster.

Teers would compete in sprint events in the morning at Namwon, then enter the endurance races in the evening.

"It's more controlled about it, they know what they are doing," she said about the skill level of the field compared to national events.

"The sprints were a lot faster.

"I fell in the 15km elimination [race] on track, so it was painful."

Although not reaching the podium at her first overseas event, being one of the younger competitors at age 16, Teers made the final of the 1000m and finished in the Top 10 of the 20km elimination race on the road, and the 1km race on track.

Qualified for Barcelona, her focus now is on harder training and improving her technique, since she has seen the standard required.

"Trying to make everything go better....and try not to fall over."


Given Blinkhorne and his team mate's previous international experience was restricted to Trans-Tasman clashes, the team had set themselves the goal of winning one of their six games in Namwon.

They accomplished that in the 10-1 win over China, with Blinkhorne scoring a hat trick of goals.

"We were a young team," he said.

"It's way different to just playing Aussie. A lot faster.

"Aussie only beat us 5-1, compared to the Trans-Tasman which was 17-2.

"Fitness is key."

The Australians went on to win the tournament, but New Zealand have also qualified for the Barcelona, with Blinkhorne and Teers now focused on preparations so they can be there when the New Zealand flag is carried in for the opening ceremony.