Cyclist Njisane Phillip earned T&T’s second medal at the 16th Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, yesterday, a bronze in the Match Sprint event. At the Pan American Velodrome, Phillip put up a great challenge against the eventual gold medallist Venezuelan Hersony Gadiel Camelon in the semifinal round but lost and had to battle Fabian Hernando of Colombia for the bronze. His time was 10.244 seconds while Camelon completed the race in 10.210 in that round. In his final ride of the day, he crossed in 10.507 to beat another Venezuelan Angel Pulgar (10.935), to bag the bronze for T&T.
Shooter Roger Daniel got T&T’s first medal on Sunday when he secured the silver in the Men’s 10m Air Pistol. Phillip followed up his record breaking ride of 9.977 in the Match Sprint qualifying round with victories over Cuban Alejandro Mainat, USA’s Michael Benjamin Blatchford in the round-of-16 and quarterfinals. The top T&T cyclist outclassed Mainat in their one-off round of 16 heat before he crushed Blatchford in two straight rides in their best-of-three event in 10.620 and 10.252. In tennis, Dexter St Louis battled past Ecuador’s Geovanny Coello 11-7, 12-10, 11-6, 8-11, 16-18, 12-14, 11-9 to secure second spot in the four-player Group G round-robin series to set up a round-of-32 encounter with USA’s Mark Hazinski
On Tuesday night, St Louis was beaten by Paraguay’s Marcelo Aguirre 11-13, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 7-11 as the South American top the group with three wins. In the women’s tournament, T&T Rheann Chung went under to Venezuelan, Ruaida Ezzeddine 5-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 6-11, 8-11 in a virtual battle for second spot Group C. With the loss, Chung ended with four points, one behind Ezzeddine while Ariel Hsing topped the group with six points. At the Vallarta Yacht Club, Andrew Lewis placed 13th and tenth respectively in races five and six in the laser event, to hold the tenth spot. He will get a day off today but will be back in action tomorrow to compete in two more races.
In hockey, Argentina, led by four goals from Maria Noel Barrionuevo, crushed T&T women 11-0.
Augustina Garcia Carla Rebecchi and Delfina Merino added two goals each and Rosario Luchetto, the other for Argentina. Canada blasted Barbados 10-0 in the other Group A match while in Group A, USA crushed host Mexico 5-0 and Chile panked Cuba. In men’s Trap Qualification, Robert John Auerbach was 12th with a mark of 116 with two other competitors, eight adrift of Guatemala’s Jean Pierre Brol and three shy of the last qualifier for the six-man final in Sergio Pinero of Dominican Republic.
On Tuesday afternoon, the beach volleyball pair of Elki Phillip and Ayana Dyette put up a brave showing in a 14-21, 23-21, 15-6 loss to Ecuador’s Vilela and Chila. Today, the T&T men’s hockey team starts its campaign against Canada at the Pan American Hockey Stadium from 10 am TT time while the senior Soca Princesses come up against Mexico in their second match from 9 pm. T&T was beaten by Colombia 1-0 on Tuesday’s opening day.
-Nigel Simon / Rachael King