T&T’s Nicholas Paul made it three gold medals out of a possible three when he convincingly swept his UCI training partner, Suriname’s Jair Tjon En Fa in two straight rides of the best of three men’s match sprint final at the Elite Pan American Track Cycling Championship in Lima, Peru at the Villa Deportivan Nacional Velodrome on Saturday night.
With the win against En Fa, Paul added to his gold medal rides in the men’s keirin and the team sprint event with national teammates Kwesi Browne Browne and Zion Pulido.
Starting the day with the semifinals, Paul faced Cristian Ortega in Colombia and won comfortably in two straight of the best of three rides, firstly never trailing on his way to victory in 10.240 seconds with a top speed of 70.312 km/h, and then in the second ride, Paul used a different strategy of sitting back and letting his rival take the lead before powering home over the final lap for victory in 10.290.
In the other semifinal, En Fa won his first ride against another Colombian Kevin Santiago Quintero in a similar fashion leading all from start to finish in 10.228 seconds with a top speed of 70.394 km/hr.
En Fa, like Paul, used a different plan of attack for his second ride and opted to trail Quintero for most of the first lap before taking charge and storming to victory in 10.167 seconds with a top speed of 70.817 km/hr.
Quintero took the bronze medal with a similar win over Ortega in two straight rides. 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 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 who he defeated 2-0
The triple gold by Paul follows his double gold at the UCI Nations Cup in Colombia, and gold, silver and bronze each at the just concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
In the women’s Individual Pursuit Teniel Campbell had to settle for the silver medal to Canada’s Adele Desagnes.
This is after Campbell lined up against 14 other cyclists and ended the qualifying stage with the second best time of three minutes, 37.939 with Desagnes the top qualifier going into their showdown for the gold and silver medal. Canadian Ruby West ended with bronze.
It was the second medal for Teniel after she got bronze in the women’s Elimination Race behind Canadian Sarah Van Dam and Mexican Yareli Acevedo.
In the Men’s Omnium, T&T’s Akil Campbell was in the third spot overall, but in a tight battle for the gold medal following the completion of three of the four races with 102 points, to trail Mexico’s Ricardo Pena (110) and Canada’s Dylan Bibic (102).
The quartet of Colombian Juan Esteban Arango with 98 points, Venezuelan Angel Pulgar (94), USA’s Peter Moore with 92 as well as Argentina’s Ivan Ruiz with 86 were all still in medal contention ahead of the final event, the Points Race.
However in the fourth and final Omnium ride, the Points Race, Bibic turned the screws on his rivals and won to take home ten valuable points followed by Pena (six), Pulgar (four) and Barbadian Jamol Eastmond (two).
With his win in the final event, Bibic took the gold medal ahead of Pena and Pulgar, with Campbell slipping to the ninth spot.
In the opening Scratch Race (40 laps) Campbell competing among the seven riders who started on the blue band as compared to the seven who began on the railings was a second-placed finisher behind USA’s Peter Moore.
Venezuelan Angel Pulgar ended in the third spot in the 10km Scratch Race with Cuban Alejandro Parra in the fourth spot followed by Mexico’s Ricardo Pena and Canada’s Dylan Bibic.
Then lining up in the Tempo Race, Campbell won lap ten which was a sprint, but eventually got over the finish line in the fourth spot with 21 points, to trail Pena (31 points), Colombian Juan Estrada Arango (26), and Bibic (25) while Moore was fifth with 20 points, the same as Pulgar, who ended sixth.
And, in the Elimination Race Campbell had to settle for the sixth spot behind Eastmond, Arango, Argentina’s Ivan Ruiz, Mexico’s Pena, and Canada’s Bibic.
And in the fourth and final Omnium ride, the Points Race, Bibic won to take home ten points followed by Pena (six), Pulgar (four) and Eastmond (two).
Akil had won a bronze in the men’s Scratch 15km (60 laps) race, with USA’s Grant Koontz taking gold while Canadian Dylan Bibic took silver.
T&T’s other cyclist in action on Saturday, Sylese Christian ended in the 18th spot of 20 entrants in the 500m Time Trial in 37.703 seconds.
This was Christian second event after she was eliminated in the women’s sprint qualifying round after she clocked 12.575 seconds at a speed of 57.256 kilometres per hour for the 24th best time overall earlier in the week.