T&T’s Akil Campbell doubled this country’s gold medal tally at the International Cycling Union (UCI) Tissot Track Cycling Nation Cup at the Alcides Nieto Patino Velodrome in Cali, Colombia on Friday night.
Following countryman Nicholas Paul’s triumph earlier on the night in the Kilometre Time Trial, Campbell, the brother of top national women’s cyclist Teniel Campbell who competed at the Tokyo Olympics stole the spotlight in the night’s final event after he overcame a fall to take the gold medal on his competition debut.
With six riders left in the Elimination Race from the field of 14 which began, Campbell who was in the fifth position at that time came into contact with a cyclist in front of him and fell to the track.
However, the T&T cyclist got back on his bike, got back in the race and managed to power his way to the eventual gold medal ahead of Belgium’s Kenny de Ketele while Chile’s Cristian Arriagada Pizarro took third.
Campbell’s win ties with the winners from the two previous legs of the UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup in Italy’s Carloalberto Giordani and Japan’s Eiya Hashimoto at the top of the overall standings.
In the men’s Time Trial, Paul secured T&T’s s first victory of the day as he was the only rider to break the one minute mark with a time of 59.994 seconds.
Paul moved joint-top of the World Cup standings with Germany’s Felix Gross, who won the first event in Hong Kong.
Patryk Rajkowski earned Poland its fourth silver in Cali with a time of one minute, 00.240sec, while Santiago Ramírez Morales of Colombia was third in 1:00.464.
Earlier on Friday, the 22-year-old Paul who made his Olympic debut in Tokyo produced the fastest time of the Time Trial preliminaries.
Paul, who holds the world record for the flying 200 metres event in a time of 9.100 seconds in 2019, was on Friday in ominous form as he returned home in a time of 59.378 seconds at an average speed of 60.629.
Rajkowski was the second-fastest rider on the day in 59.960 and an average speed of 60.040.
Hometown hero Ramirez produced the third-fastest time in 1:00.577, much to the delight of the fans, but he required more power for the final.
The other finishers in the final were Canadian Ryan Dodyk in fourth followed by Dominik Topinka of Czech Republic, India’s Ronaldo Laitonjam, Canadian Ethan Ogrodniczuk, and Mexico's Juan Carlos Ruiz.
Paul's time made him the fastest T&T rider at the Nations Cup and is only bettered by his own ride of 59.241 which was a national record.
He crossed the 250m mark at 18.394 seconds and was quick to the halfway mark in a time of 31.162.
On Saturday morning, Paul qualified from heat one of the First Round of the Keirin heats while Keron Bramble missed out on being among the top two automatic qualifiers in heat three.
In heat one, Paul sped to victory in 10.105 seconds, the fastest time of all competitors in the heat, and was joined as an automatic qualifier by a rival, Colombia’s Kevin Quintero from heat one.
However, in heat in heat three, Bramble who also made his Olympic debut in Tokyo crossed the line in the third spot behind Rajkowski who won in 10.403, and India's Esow Esow.
Bramble then had a chance to advance from heat three of four of the repechage round one when he came up against Czech Republic's Robin Wagner, Ecuadorean Cristian Gutierrez and Madagascar's Ridwan Sahrom.
But once again, Bramble failed to secure his passage to the next phase (8:04 pm on Saturday) with another third-place finish behind qualifier Wagner (10.726) and Ridwan.
The final is also carded for Saturday night from 9:44 pm. On Sunday, Paul faces the starter in the Match Sprint, alongside Quincy Alexander.
By competing at this leg of the Nations Cup, T&T has guaranteed itself a spot at the UCI Track Cycling Championship which pedals off in France from October 20 - 24.