This year’s Elite Pan American Track Championship is 19 year old Teniel Campbell’s first time in the senior elite Pan Am division and she is eager to make her mark.
Campbell is a champion at the 2017 Elite Under-23 National Track Cycling Championships with gold medals in the Women’s Omnium and Individual Pursuit. In the latter, Campbell clocked a time of three minutes 55:44 seconds to surpass her previous best of three minutes 56:86 seconds in the Elite Under-23 National Track Cycling 2015.
Now, she is eligible to participate with older athletes, some who are Olympians. Although her competitors are more experienced, she said to Newsday yesterday, “I feel pretty confident. I’m way stronger and faster than I was two years before. I’m hoping to take home the gold.”
Her coach, Elisha Greene, has her on a strict training regimen which she believes will take her to the next level. She wakes up between 4-5 am every morning to go cycling on the road. Then her evenings are interchanged with going to the gym or more cycling. She said that some of her training sessions left her her in pain but she is hoping the hard work will put her in good stead when the Pan Am Track Championships pedal off today at the National Cycling Centre, Couva.
Campbell will be competing against riders from Argentina, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Brazil, Barbados, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Canada, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela. She will be taking part in a variety of events including the Stretch Race, the Omnium Points Race, Keirin and the Individual Pursuit. She remains calm and collected despite facing a tough task versus some world class riders.
“I don’t look up to the girls there as superior to me,” Campbell said. She believes once she rides smartly, she can defeat her rivals.
The national athlete hopes to progress in the career of cycling and has her sights set on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan as well as competing in the World Cup and World Championships.
She hopes her achievements are an inspiration to the younger generation of female cyclists and wants everyone to see that female cycling is on the rise and that women can win too.
Also representing this country on the women’s team for the championship are Alexi Costa, Jessica Costa, Cheyenne Awai, Alexandra Bovell and Christiane Farah.
In the men’s team are Njisane Phillip, Nicholas Paul, Kwesi Browne, Keron Bramble, Quincy Alexander, Akil Campbell, Varun Maharaj, Lorenzo Orosco, Jovian Gomez, Gevan Samuel and Adam Alexander.