Phillip aims to make amends in Keirin
By: JONATHAN RAMNANANSINGH Tuesday, August 7 2012
TRINIDAD and Tobago will be hoping that Semoy Hackett and Kai Selvon could add to the large number of TT athletes that qualified for an Olympic final, when they contest the semi final of the 200m sprint at 3:35pm today at the Olympic Stadium.
Both sprinters (Hackett and Selvon) advanced yesterday. Hackett who missed out on reaching the 100m final, will no doubt be aiming to make it this time around. The Tobagonian clocked 22.81 seconds in Heat Two of the first round to finish second behind Allyson Felix of the United States. She will face the starter’s gun in lane six of semi-final Heat Two. Hackett who has a personal best of 22.55, will have to get close to this if she is to advance.
The 20-year-old Selvon, on the other hand ran a personal best of 22.85 seconds and qualified as the fastest loser. She will also have to better that if she is to make the final eight and give TT any hopes of a second medal.
Meanwhile former Olympian Ayanna Hutchinson said Semoy Hackett ran a very good race in her heat. “Semoy was out there in lane nine and she had nobody to look at which was a bit of a disadvantage. She had to run like that through out the race, and it paid off for her. She will however, have to finish third or go close to her personal best if she is to make the final. This heat will be very competitive”, said Hutchinson.
Meanwhile the fastest male sprint cyclist in the western hemisphere, Njisane Phillip will once again vie for Olympic glory today, when he pedals off in the Keirin event at the Olympic Velodrome from 5am.
Phillip will line up in Heat One of the first round with a list of other seasoned and highly experienced riders. The line-up consists of former world number one sprinter Chris Hoy of Great Britain, Japan’s finest Kazunari Watanabe, Russian Federation’s Sergey Borisov, New Zealander Simon van Velthooven and Spanish rider Juan Peralta Gascon.
In the line-up for the remaining two heats are Colombia’s Fabian Hernando Zapata Puerta and Venezuelan Hersony Canelon. Australia’s Shane Perkins, who ousted Phillip for sprint bronze, will also be contesting in Heat Two along with German veteran Maximilian Levy.
The top 3 from each heat will advance to the second round (semi-finals).
A Keirin race begins with six cyclists behind a motorised bike or a derny. The derny sets the pace for 5.5 laps. However, cyclists are not allowed to past the derny during this time as the derny will reach a maximum speed of 50km/h. At that point, it will leave the track, and will see every man for himself for the next 2.5 laps or 625m.
President of the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation, Rowena Williams was pleased that Phillip had one final opportunity to attain Olympic glory. She admitted that this event may be a bit tougher for the local rider but his chances were still looking positive.
“It’s another one of his (Phillip) pet events and he should execute a good showing for Trinidad and Tobago. It going to be difficult for him but he can come away with a medal, we’re not putting anything past him at this point.
To be in a final (sprint) with the world’s three best riders is in itself a great achievement. This is his last chance and we know he will do his best,” she explained.
The local cycling president revealed that Phillip should be in a good frame of mind to create major upsets in the Keirin.