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TT riders earn quarters berth at Pan Am
T&T’s Men’s Team Pursuit riders Varun Maharajh, Govian Gomes, Akile Campbell and Adam Alexander advanced to the quarter-final round of the Elite Pan American Senior Track Championship at the National Cycling Centre in Balmain Couva yesterday when it began at 10am.
The quartet did not disappoint in the 11-team 4000 metres ride, by producing a blistering four minutes and 20 seconds for a seventh position overall and set a new national record in the process.
But their toughest challenge was yet to come, as their seventh-place finish had set them on course for a clash with the United States team at 6pm last evening. The powerful US riders were second in the qualifiers overall with a time of four minutes and 09 seconds.
Coach Robert Farrell said he was hoping that his riders could lower the national record further they set, but could not stress enough on the need for his cyclists to put their everything into the race, if they were to progress in the semi-finals. “It will be tremendously difficult to beat the USA. I believe that if we broke the record we set earlier yesterday, we would have achieved a lot. I think with the same team next year, we will be in the race for the gold medal. This time I feel will serve as much needed experience for the guys” Farrell said.
The US team had to settle for the second position behind Canada in a super quick four minutes and 06 seconds. Argentina and Chile earned the third and fourth positions respectively, while Colombia was fifth in four minutes and 12 seconds.
Meanwhile the Women’s Team Pursuit event was postponed for later today to accommodate the arrival of the Mexican team which was stranded in the Houston Texas yesterday due to the passage of hurricane Harvey.
The TTT women were set to be represented by the Costa siblings of Jessica and Alexi, Chayenne Awai and Christian Farah, all of whom enjoyed an outstanding season to date.
Also yesterday the country’s men’s Team Sprint riders of Njisane Phillip, Nicholas Paul and Kwesi Brown were scheduled to spring into action at 6pm, as well as the women’s Scratch Race where Teniel Campbell and Jessica Costa were expected to ride.
Campbell who has dominated local racing in almost every division she has competed this year, will carry the burden of precious medals in the both races which are considered her pet events.