AFTER Dwayne Bravo challenged Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Shamfa Cudjoe to reward the national cyclists, including new world record holder Nicholas Paul, the Minister accepted that challenge saying that they would be rewarded for their efforts.
Paul, 20, pedalled his way into the record books when he clocked 9.1 seconds to break the world flying 200m sprint record on his way to gold at the Pan American Elite Cycling Championships in Bolivia, last weekend.
The trio of Paul, Njisane Phillip and Keron Bramble won gold in the team sprint and Bramble took bronze in the men’s keirin.
Paul, along with some of his team-mates, were honoured for their performances with a celebration held at the Brian Lara Promenade in Port of Spain, yesterday.
A number of people would not have known who was Paul before yesterday’s event, but by the end of the event excited TT citizens were pushing each other in an effort to get autographed t-shirts signed by Paul.
Officials of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, Sport Company of TT and the TT Cycling Federation also attended the event.
The event was also made possible because of National Lotteries Control Board, Bmobile and First Citizens.
The afternoon also included a video tribute by cycling legends including Sir Christopher Hoy of England, and West Indies batting legend Brian Lara.
Bravo entertained the crowd with his popular song Champion and MX Prime sang a number of his songs including his 2017 Road March winning song Full Extreme.
Cudjoe said, “Today we celebrate being the land of champions and I want to thank you all for coming out here and celebrating with us.
“Of course our new sporting policy 2017-2027 allows us to give rewards and incentives to recognise our athletes and those who would have medalled at Pan Am (Games) would receive their rewards and incentives later on this year.
“You better believe DJ Bravo that the Government of TT will be making its contribution to recognise this outstanding achievement, so thank you for the challenge and my brother I tell you ‘We are here for it’.”
Paul, a native of Gasparillo, said he could not accomplish the feat on his own.
“I will just like to say thanks to God, my coach, my mechanic, my team-mates, TT on the whole. It’s a pleasure just being the world record holder and I am just happy to go out there and raise the red, white and black high.”
Mayor of Port of Spain Joel Martinez, who presented a plaque to Paul, congratulated the cyclists for their effort.