Sei Daniel, Nijsane Phillip and Kwesi Browne completed a satisfactory weekend for Trinidad and Tobago cyclists with four more medals between them in the sprint and keirin events as the Milton International Challenge in Canada concluded yesterday.
Daniel, T&T’s main sprint prospect for the Pan Am Junior Championships later this year, boosted his confidence with gold and bronze in the junior sprint and keirin. In the sprint, he beat the event’s fastest qualifier, Nick Wammes of Canada in straight rides in the final on Saturday evening.
On his way to that triumph, Daniel also all set a personal best of 11.713 seconds in the qualifying Flying 200 metres ride. Wammes had topped the list in 11.406.
In the quarter-finals, Daniel came up against another Canadian, Jake Allaire and won in straight rides to move to the semi-finals where he also needed just two rides to get past Lucas Taylor to set up his successful final showdown with Wammes.
Daniel also got to the 1-6 final in the Junior keirin yesterday after placing second in heat two and then finished third behind Wammes and Taylor.
Phillip, meanwhile, coming off a difficult 2014 in which he struggled to find top form following kidney problems early in the year, started 2015 in more positive fashion by getting on the medal rostrum on Saturday.
He rebounded from his semi-final loss to training partner and Canadian champion Hugo Barrette in straight rides, by beating another Canadian, Evan Carey, also in straight rides in the bronze medal ride-off.
Barrette went on to win gold, coming from a ride down to beat Joseph Veloce who had qualified with the fastest time.
“Njisane is on his way back and he is moving in the right direction,” Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation president Robert Farrier told the Express yesterday. Farrier, who is at the meet being held at the new 250-metre track as an observer, added that Phillip, who used the event to sharpen up technically, “was very much pleased with this weekend.”
Phillip was also down to compete in the keirin but scratched from the event.
Yesterday, Browne battled to the bronze in the keirin behind Veloce and Barrette.
Browne qualified for the second round after winning heat two, while teammate Keron Bramble went into the repechage after finishing third in heat one. Bramble was second in heat one of the repechage but was eventually disqualified in the rideoff for seventh to 12th places.
Also yesterday, Varun Maharajh finished fourth in the omnium series of six races. In the women’s keirin, both Aziza Brown (third) and Jodi Goodridge (fifth) went into the repechage after failing to gain one of the two automatic qualifying spots. Keiana Lester finished bottom of the field in heat three and Kollyn St George was fifth in heat four.
Brown and Goodridge then finished one-two in heat two of the repechage, while Lester and St George were third and fourth in heat four. Only Brown advanced to the second round where she was fourth and in the rideoff for seventh to 12th places she ended 11th.
“For these kids, it was a great experience. They were all competitive,” said president Farrier.
Up to press time yesterday, T&T had won five medals, having also copped gold in the men’s team sprint on the opening day of competition on Friday through Phillip, Browne and Bramble.
Next up for the national cyclists will be the Cali, Colombia leg of the UCI’s World Cup series where Phillip, Browne and Bramble will be