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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

Tokyo 2020 #1YearToGo

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Cartan Global | Tokyo 2020

T&T OLYMPIC TEAM TTO PARTNERS

An­oth­er fan­tas­tic gold medal per­for­mance from cy­clist Nicholas Paul in the men's sprint fi­nal at the Pan Amer­i­can Games in Li­ma, Pe­ru on Sat­ur­day night.

He swept com­pa­tri­ot Njisane Phillip in two straight rides at the Na­tion­al Cy­cling Velo­drome, end­ing T&T's 48-year wait for a Pan Am Games sprint cham­pi­on.

They did a vic­to­ry lap to­geth­er with the na­tion­al flag in cel­e­bra­tion of their gold and sil­ver medal achieve­ments. Their per­for­mances im­proved T&T's medal haul to four, thanks to gold in the Men's Team Sprint cour­tesy Paul, Phillip and Keron Bram­ble on Thurs­day night and a bronze from box­er Michael Alexan­der, who re­ceived his medal on Fri­day evening from T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Bri­an Lewis dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion cer­e­mo­ny at the Miguel Grau Col­i­se­um.

The show­down for the top spot on the podi­um in the men's sprint event lived-up to all ex­pec­ta­tions be­tween T&T's best wheels­men.

Na­tion­al cy­cling tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Erin Hartwell stood back and proud­ly watched as his two rid­ers mount­ed their re­spec­tive bikes with as­sis­tance from oth­er tech­ni­cal staff mem­bers.

Paul was the win­ner of the first ride in the best-in-three fi­nal, beat­ing his train­ing part­ner by a com­fort­able mar­gin to go in­to race two with the phys­i­o­log­i­cal ad­van­tage.

In the sec­ond race, both were again wheeled out by Hartwell's sup­port staff and it was Paul out­pac­ing Phillip who slowed with some half lap to go sur­round­ing the gold. He crossed the fin­ish line and clapped his team­mate on his im­pres­sive vic­to­ry.

There was a bit of dra­ma in the semi­fi­nal round af­ter both lo­cal cy­clists ini­tial­ly swept their re­spec­tive best-in-three races.

Paul de­feat­ed Colom­bian Kevin Quin­tero in two close­ly-matched races while Phillip com­fort­ably elim­i­nat­ed Venezue­lan Her­sony Canelon, win­ning races one and two by some mar­gin.

How­ev­er, there was a protest against Paul for a lane in­fringe­ment and he was rel­e­gat­ed there­by race two be­ing award­ed to Quin­tero.

It was some tense mo­ments for the T&T sup­port­ers all dressed in their red, white and black while in­tense­ly grip­ping the na­tion­al flag but Paul seemed un­af­fect­ed by the turn of events.

He mount­ed his bike as­sist­ed by na­tion­al cy­cling tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Hartwell, stayed with his strat­e­gy, out­raced the Colom­bian to the line in the de­cid­ing ride and emerged the clear win­ner, earn­ing the right to race his com­pa­tri­ot Phillip for the gold, co­in­ci­den­tal­ly af­ter do­ing their pre-race warm-up rou­tine to­geth­er.

Phillip be­came tied as the most suc­cess­ful T&T cy­clist at the Games ever since its in­cep­tion in 1951. With his bronze and sil­ver medals re­spec­tive­ly in the 2011 and 2015 edi­tions, added to his gold in the men's Team Sprint on Thurs­day night, Phillip is now even on medal count with T&T's leg­end Roger Gib­bon. Sports Hall of Fame in­ductee, Gib­bon, se­cured his four-medal tal­ly in the 1963 Sao Pao­lo and 1967 Win­nipeg Games.

Ad­di­tion­al­ly, T&T has a long and rich his­to­ry in the match sprint with the pair of Gib­bon and Leslie King shar­ing three gold medals across three con­sec­u­tive Pan Am Games from 1963 to 1971.

The event's bronze was se­cured by Quin­tero af­ter he swept Canelon.

Al­so on the track was T&T's Alexi Cos­ta, who was in ninth place in the women's om­ni­um with 76 points. She first earned 26 points in the open­ing event, the 30-lap scratch race fol­low­ing her eighth-place fin­ish, in the tem­po race, she was ninth and award­ed 24 points while in the elim­i­na­tion race, she was placed eighth and got 26 points. Her fi­nal event, the points race came af­ter press time.

Mean­while, Ear­li­er in the Men's Team Pur­suit, T&T's Tyler Cole, Jov­ian Gomez, Kemp Orosco and Jabari White­man com­pet­ing in heat one, cov­ered the 4,000m dis­tance in a time of 4:24.216 in the qual­i­fi­ca­tion round. How­ev­er, their time was not quick enough to qual­i­fy in ei­ther of the medal races.

Rac­ing for gold will be the Unit­ed States, which pro­gressed with the fastest time of 4:03.796, and Colom­bia with 4:07.152. Bat­tling for bronze will be Chile ((4:07.393) and Mex­i­co (4:11.384).

In Hock­ey

T&T hock­ey men were plagued by the same prob­lems in their fi­nal pre­lim­i­nary round Pool A match and sank to their third con­sec­u­tive de­feat.

The na­tion­al team went un­der to Chile, still un­able to con­vert its penal­ty cor­ners. T&T had four chances in the match-up with vet­er­an Kwand­wane Browne tak­ing three and Teague Mar­cano the oth­er but three at­tempts were saved by Chil­ian goal-keep­er Adri­an Hen­riquez. Browne had one more try for a con­so­la­tion goal in the fourth pe­ri­od but it missed the tar­get.

Un­like Chile who com­plet­ed its lone field goal in the first pe­ri­od thanks to Mar­tin Ro­driguez (14.10) and then con­nect­ed its lone penal­ty cor­ner with Juan Amoroso's shot in 36.23 go­ing past T&T keep­er Kar­los Stephen.

T&T will now play the win­ner of Pool B, Cana­da, which is un­de­feat­ed thus far in the com­pe­ti­tion.

In Shoot­ing

Robert Auer­bach Jr end­ed the qual­i­fi­ca­tion round in the men's skeet tied in 10th place not good enough to ad­vance to the fi­nal.

En­ter­ing day two of the qual­i­fy­ing round, Auer­bach was in 21st place af­ter unim­pres­sive rounds of 23 and 21, re­spec­tive­ly on the first day. He made a vast im­prove­ment on day two reg­is­ter­ing scores of 24, 25 and 24 to have an over­all score of 117, the same as Cana­di­an Richard McBride (25, 21, 23, 24, 24), just three shots off the fi­nal qual­i­fy­ing spot.

An­oth­er lo­cal shoot­er Mar­sha Bullen-Jones was al­so in­volved at the range and she too did not make the cut to com­pete in the fi­nal of the women's 25m rapid fire pis­tol event, af­ter plac­ing 26th fol­low­ing stage two of the qual­i­fi­ca­tion round.

The lo­cal shoot­er end­ed with a score of 497, en­ter­ing the sec­ond stage in 26th place with a score of 266 from the pre­ci­sion phase. On Sat­ur­day morn­ing, she scored 231 in the rapid phase to add to her to­tal to fin­ish down the or­der in an event which had 27 par­tic­i­pants. On­ly the top six shoot­ers ad­vanced to the fi­nal round.

In Sail­ing

There was no rac­ing as no wind kept the fleet ashore in­clud­ing T&T sailors Kel­ly-Ann Ar­rindell and An­drew Lewis, who were to open com­pe­ti­tion in their re­spec­tive Women's and Men's Dinghy Open Se­ries.

Races one and two for both sailors were post­poned un­til Sun­day with the hope that the wind will play along.

Sun­day's sched­ule

Open Wa­ter Swim­ming

Women's 10km - Ja­da Cha­toor, 10 am

Cy­cling-Track

Men's Keirin

Round 1 Heat 2 - Kwe­si Browne, 12:18 pm

Women's Madi­son (30km with 12 sprints) Fi­nal - Alexi Cos­ta, Te­niel Camp­bell, 12.42 pm

Men's Madi­son (50km with 30 sprints) Fi­nal - Ak­il Camp­bell, Tyler Cole, 7.54 pm

Sail­ing

Women's Dinghy Open Se­ries - Kel­ly-Ann Ar­rindell (Race 1 & 2), 1 pm

Men's Dinghy Open Se­ries - An­drew Lewis (Race 1 & 2), 1.10 pm

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