Last update: 12-Dec-2013 11:32 pm
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Njisane writes history in Manchester
Olympian Njisane Phillip created history when he became the first ever T&T cyclist to earn a medal at a UCI World Cup, as he took silver in the men’s sprint event on the final day of the world meet in Manchester, England, yesterday.
In the end, after a brilliant run which saw him twice defeat the likes of Briton Matthew Crampton in the process, the 22-year-old Olympic keirin finalist eventually finished behind the familiar face of Germany’s finest sprint cyclist, Robert Forstemann in the final.
Forstemann won the event with two straight wins against Phillip in the final. Prior to the title sprints, Phillip was nearly flawless with his successes over Crampton, after defeating Michael D’Almeida of France in two straight rides in the quarterfinal, and Valentin Savitsky (Russia) in the preliminary event. He qualified with the third fastest time.
It was a big boost from Phillip’s 12th placed finish in the second round of one of his favoured events, the kierin, after taking fourth in the second of two heats, on Saturday.
His performance summoned praise from Minister of Sport Anil Roberts, who said his steady incline in the sport continued to put T&T on the world map.
“Once again, Njisane has proven to himself and the world that he is a force to be reckoned with. His performance at the 2012 Olympic Games was his introduction. Now he’s a headline act,” said Roberts.
The Minister added, “Congratulations to the young man and his team on this achievement for Trinidad and Tobago. Cycling is definitely one of the podium sports being targeted for the 2016 Olympics and with the construction of the Velodrome in Couva proceeding at a good pace, we can expect to produce more world class cyclists and even bid to host a World Cup event in the near future.”
T&T’s other representative Varun Maharajh took a 17th placed overall finish in the omnium event. He, however, clocked two personal best times in the omnium 4k individual pursuit (4:52.818) and the omnium 1k time trial (1:07.807).
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