IN-FORM national cyclist, Nicholas Paul, followed up his world record-breaking performance (9.1 seconds) in the Men’s Sprint (flying 200 metres) qualifiers on Friday by capturing gold in the final against Surinamese Jair Tjon En Fa last evening, at the Pan American Elite Track Championships, in the Cochabamba track in Bolivia.
Paul made light work of his regional counterpart and cruised to victory in two-straight rides of the best-of-three final. In the second race, Paul’s unstoppable burst of speed with approximately 60m to go proved too much for a distantly trailing En Fa.
The 20-year-old’s golden showing projects his Pan American Championship gold medal tally to two; having previously earned top honours in the Men’s Team Sprint event alongside compatriots Njisane Phillip and Men’s Keirin bronze medallist, Keron Bramble.
However, Paul’s pursuit for a hat-trick of regional titles will continue today as he lines up once more in the Kilometre Time Trial.
Speaking with the radiant cyclist yesterday, gold in the Kilo Time Trial is the objective.
“I’m always shooting for the gold, so that’s the plan. A place on the podium in the Kilometre Time Trial would be a great feat for me but, I’m taking it one day at a time,” said the motivated rider.
Following his performance in the Sprints yesterday, he added, “World record or no world record, I just wanted to do my best. It’s been a long journey coming from nothing to something. To my family, coach teammates and TT for the support, I am grateful to everyone.”
In the earlier rounds of the Men’s Sprint, Paul defeated countryman Quincy Alexander in the 1/8 final, Canadian Nick Wammes in the quarter-final, breezed past the experienced Hersony Canelon (Venezuela) in the ‘semis’ and then trumped En Fa in the title race. Chasing the world record however, was one of his personal targets at this year’s Championships.
“Considering the conditions in Bolivia, breaking the world record was one of my objectives at the Pan Am Championships. I really planned on going for it and to have actually done it, is unexplainable. I thought, ‘Why not?’. It really is an unbelievable feeling but I want to ensure I keep settled and focused on my coming events.” said the elated speedster.
Additionally, TT female cyclist Dominique Lovell, clocked a time of 37.728 seconds to sit in sixth position in the Women’s 500m Time Trial. Unfortunately, she would not medal in this event.
Also, Akil Campbell finished fifth in the second of four events in the Men's Omnium - Tempo Race. This result will see Campbell earn 32 points of a maximum 40 towards his overall tally.