TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO FLIES ON THE LIMA CYCLING TRACK
Nicholas Paul and Njianse Philip became just the third cycling teammates in history to win the gold and the silver medals in the Men’s Sprint competition at the Pan American Games.
Just as in the Team Sprint, the speed of Trinidad and Tobago’s cyclists once again made the Velodrome in the Videna sports complex roar in the individual Men’s Sprint event on Saturday night. Nicholas Paul and Njianse Philip dazzled the crowd on the way to gold and silver medals for their country respectively.
The islanders showed that their incredibly hard work to develop and attract cycling talent to the country has paid off, now celebrating their first two gold medals in Track Cycling in their history at Pan Am Games.
“I knew it was going to be complicated so I knew I had to be ahead of Njianse, I tried to create as much distance as possible and not run out of energy, my partner is a true winner,” said Paul.
Nicholas Paul began as Philip’s partner just three years ago, and they have dominated events within track cycling ever since, especially in the sprint events, where they have formed an unbeatable pair in the Americas. Paul, who is nine years younger than his teammate Njianse at 19-years old, set the new Pan Am Games record in the Sprint event with a time of 9.808 seconds in the qualifying round.
Njianse Philip, who is competing at his third Pan American Games and set the previous record of 9.977 seconds at Guadalajara 2011, won the silver medal. Philip and his family have been a key piece for the development of cycling in Trinidad and Tobago, contributing to the construction of a velodrome where talents such as Nicholas Paul and Kwesi Browne, who will compete in the Keirin event, have been reformed into champions.
“I’m not really a big star, and I am proud to be part of this team and that’s how I am. Being able to accomplish what we did here today is because of the hard work of our team behind the scenes. We don’t think of individual accomplishments today, we think of the team. I used to be alone, but now we have more ready for the future. We hope to win more medals and know this isn’t just a personal achievement. We will continue working so that in the next Pan American Games, Trinidad and Tobago will win the Omnium, Keirin and the Team Pursuit. The sky is the limit,” concluded Njianse Philip.