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Paul beats Phillip for keirin gold

Published: 
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Sprint, endurance leave for US today

Rising cycling talent Nicholas Paul gained sweet revenge over his role model and friend Njisane Phillip in the keirin finals of the Fire on Wheels UCI Class II event at the National Cycling Centre (NCC) in Balmain, Couva on Sunday.

Only a day after being beaten by Phillip in the prestigious match sprint final, Paul, a gold medal winner at the Elite Pan American Junior Track Championship at the same venue two years ago, got his revenge by securing the top spot in a final dominated by T&T riders- Phillips, Kwesi Browne, Keron Bramble, Quincy Alexander and himself. Mexican Ishmael Edgar Verdugo was the only other rider to dip below 10.20 seconds barrier to make it to the final.

In the final ride, Paul took the gold medal and valuable UCI points, ahead of Browne and third Bramble, with Verdugo preventing a top-four finish for TT. Alexander who only recently returned to competitive action was fifth while Phillip was sixth.

Afterwards, T&T Cycling Federation president Robert Farrier was high in praise for his riders, saying: “We are one of only a few countries in the world that have five top sprinters clocking 10.2 and under. What is also positive is that we have a mixture of youth and experience, all at an average age of 24 years which puts us in a very good position as we go through the Olympic qualifying process.”

He noted, “The riders all train together under coach Erin Hartwell and therefore there was no real winner at the weekend for them. It was just everyone feeling proud of the other for the performances.”

The riders all received useful UCI points that will go toward their world rankings. Today the country’s sprint and endurance riders, both men and women, will wing out for the United States in search of more UCI points at a series of UCI events.

Farrier was happy with the progress of the riders, as he said, it comes after only eight months of Hartwell being in charge.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Amelia Walsh took the gold in the Women’s keirin, beating Mexico’s Paola Yuli Verdugo into second while Dahlia Palmer of Jamaica was third. In the Men’s Elimination, Akil Campbell took the top spot while the Canadian pair of Derek Gee and Michael Foley secured the other two positions respectively in second and third.

Gee later returned to take the winning spot in the Points Race ahead of Barbadian Jamol Eastman who represented Heatwave Cycle Club. Akil Campbell of the event’s host club PSL secured third.

WALTER ALIBEY
 

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