TRINIDAD AND Tobago’s cycling contingent opened their 2015 Pan American Games account with a fifth place finish in the Men’s Team Sprint event, as action continued at the Cisco Milton Velodrome in Toronto, Canada, yesterday.
The local trio of Jude Codrington, Justin Roberts and Olympian Njisane Phillip missed out on a place in the final after clocking 45.381 seconds in their showing. Codrington rode the opening lap in 18.032 while Roberts contested the second and crossed the finish line at 31.166s followed by Phillip, who completed the final ride. Originally, Quincy Alexander was scheduled to ride the Team Sprint, but due to a recent groin injury sustained in a pre-tournament meet in Mexico two weeks ago, he was unable to compete, so Phillip filled in. In last night’s final after press time, Canada was scheduled to square off against Venezuela.
In other cycling news, endurance rider Varun Maharajh placed ninth in the opening stage of the Men’s Omnium - Scratch Race. He then showed slight improvement by weaning out an eighth place (4:45.842) finish in the second stage, Individual Pursuit.
Maharajh was also expected to face the starter in the Elimination Race last night, but up to press time his results were unavailable. Meanwhile, T&T’s beach volleyball unit of Daneil Williams and Fabiel Whitfield won their first match of the tourney by getting past El Salvador in straight sets (2- 0) at the Chevrolet Centre. In the opening set, the local pair won 21-15 and was then pushed to the limit in the second, but eventually prevailed with a 26-24 result. Having lost their two previous matches against Puerto Rico and Chile respectively, the TT team still has a shot at progressing when they face Mexico in a quarter-final qualifying match today.
The women however, were unable to secure a win yesterday as they lost their third consecutive Pool ‘D’ match against Cuba 0-2. T&T’s Malika Davidson and Ayanna Dyette went down in the opening set 12-21, then faltered once more in the second to lose 9-21. They now challenge for 13th to 16th places when they do battle with the Cayman Islands today.
In field hockey action, the National men’s team drew 2-2 with Cuba in their second Pool ‘MA’ encounter. Cuba opened the scoring from forward Yoandy Blanco in 22nd minute and held the lead to the break. At the resumption, TT’s Akim Toussaint levelled with a strike in the 51st minute. But, his effort was soon wiped away two minutes later when Blanco struck again to retain a Cuban advantage (1-2). TT defender Solomon Eccles then burst into play five minutes after to save face for the Caribbean team with a drawn result.
The TT men play their final preliminary round match against powerhouses and defending Pan Am champions the USA tomorrow.
At the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Kelly-Ann Arrindell continued to be a threat on the waters as she placed 12th in the eighth race of the Women’s Laser Radial, and followed with an impressive fourth place in the race nine. Male sailor Andrew Lewis also had mixed results as he placed seventh in race eight of the Men’s Laser followed up by a ninth place finish in the following race.
And at the Aquatics Centre and Field House, swimmer Dylan Carter was unable to advance to the finals of the Men’s 100m butterfly after placing fifth in 53.89s.
In action for TT today will be the men’s beach volleyball team against Mexico, the women equivalent facing Cayman Islands, Phillip and Roberts facing the starter in the Men’s Flying 200m, Maharajh continuing his prowess in the three remaining stages of Omnium racing, the Men’s Under-23 football team will meet Paraguay, Arrindell and Lewis on the waters in race 11 and Roger Daniel in 50m Pistol qualification.