National cyclists Njisane Phillip and Quincy Alexander are expressing confidence that they can do this country proud at the XX Commonwealth Games which begins on Wednesday in Glasgow, Scotland. Both athletes declared they have the fire power to match up against the best in the Commonwealth and ultimately clinch victories for T&T.
Phillip would compete in the keirin while Alexander will challenge for top honours in the kilometre time trial. The duo would be seeking to emulate the golden performances of local hero Roger Gibbon, who captured gold medals in the kilometre time trial and match sprint events in 1966.
Phillip assures the national community that the issues related to his health scare back in January were firmly behind him.
He said, “This is like the first major race of the season for me. Summer time races didn’t go as planned because of my preparations for the Commonwealth Games, but now things are starting to shape up. I have a positive mindset because the Games are big, other than the Olympics and we are definitely trying to bring back home some hardware. It’s been a long time since cycling has been able to get a medal in Commonwealth Games. So we are definitely trying to get on top that podium.”
Alexander believed once he and Phillip have the right chemistry as national teammates, with a common mission, they could provide physical and psychological support to each other for them to achieve the results that the T&T public would expect. Alexander made it clear however, that medalling at the Games would by no means be an easy feat.
“We would be coming up against guys from Australia, New Zealand, England, Wales and Scotland. The Games are important and are of a high calibre. Both Njisane and I have prepared properly. Although we have different camps we both have really good coaches”, said Alexander.
Phillip revealed that because of poor facilities in Pennsylvania, USA, he had to break camp and move back to California, USA during his preparations for the Games.
“It’s been a little stressful mentally. It’s something I had to adjust to and get ready. Right now I’m definitely in a better state of mind. I’m just feeling excited to race, however, it turns out. But I’m definitely going to do my best–put my strong foot forward and do my best for T&T,” he said.
Asked about his process of recovery and physical readiness citing his health scare back in January, Phillip explained that the healing had gone so well that his body feels as sharp as it did last November, when he competed in Manchester, England at the UCI World Cup and won T&T’s first medal ever, a silver.
Commenting on his cycling-mate Alexander, Phillip said he was at the elite level and knew how to execute and they look forward to connecting with one another on Saturday at the Commonwealth Games Village.