T&T cyclist Nicholas Paul sprinted to his second gold medal of the Elite Pan American Track Cycling Championship in Lima, Peru by winning the Men’s keirin final at the Villa Deportivan Nacional Velodrom on Thursday night.
His countryman Kwesi Browne secured the fifth-place finish in the race but capped off a remarkable display by the T&T duo which came hours after the brother and sister pair of Akil and Teniel Campbell got the bronze medals each in the Scratch Race and the Elimination Race, respectively.
On Wednesday, Paul helped the T&T sprint team, which also include Browne and Zion Pulido to the gold medal in the Team Sprint in a blistering time of 43.86 seconds to better the Canadian silver medallists Tyler Rorke, Nick Wammes and James Hedgcock. Team Colombia was third.
But on Friday he made another bold step toward another medal by qualifying for the semifinal of the match sprint, which will take place today. Last night, Paul produced another commanding performance to defeat Brazilian Joao Vitor in the quarterfinal.
Continuing from his gold, silver and bronze medals performances at the recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England in the keirin, match sprint and kilometre time trials, Paul made an early statement from the qualifying heats of the keirin where he cruised to the semifinals by winning heat two.
Browne was equally impressive in heat five to earn a semifinal berth, but the two were stacked in the same semifinal heat on Thursday night which Paul won to earn a berth in the final, along with Browne, who was third.
In the final, which took place later Thursday night, Paul pushed for the early lead upon the exit of the derny, and he maintained it to the end, despite the challenges of the other riders. He crossed the finish line ahead of second-place Kevin Quintero of Colombia and third Santiago Ramirez, who is also from Colombia.
Suriname’s Jair Tjon En Fa took the fourth position while Browne sealed the fifth spot.
Paul’s semifinal placing in the match sprint yesterday came after he delivered the fastest time in the flying 200-metre sprints at 9.444.
Browne also booked his entry into the match sprints with a time of 10.251 with Quincy Alexander at 10.397, but both perished in the 1/8 round. Browne went down to Ryan Dodyk of Canada in one ride and Alexander was beaten by Nick Wammes, the Canadian who had the third fastest time in the flying 200 metres.
Paul, on the other hand, easily disposed of the USA’s Evan Boone to seal a quarter-final ride-off against Joao Vitor of Brazil.