NATIONAL Olympic-bound cyclist Nicholas Paul secured a silver medal in the men's 200-metre sprint on Saturday at the 2021 International Belgian Track Meeting, after he was beaten by world champion Jason Kenny of Great Britain.
At the Eddy Merckx Cycling Center in Ghent, Belgium, on Saturday, Paul moved into the final after beating his Surinamese team-mate and training partner Jair Tjon En Fa at the last-four stage.
The TTO athlete's outing ended on an impressive and fair note, as he lost to Kenny – the multiple 2016 Olympic cycling gold medallist. Paul clocked 10.030 in the first race. However, Kenny recovered and forced the final into a third race as his picked up a win in 10.040 seconds.
Kenny won the deciding race in 10.278 seconds to claim gold. Tjon En Fa got the bronze.
Paul and TTO team-mate Kwesi Browne opened their account at the three-day meet on Friday, with Paul breezing into an automatic qualifying spot in the quarter-final round after a 9.858 finish – the third fastest time.
Browne also advanced after placing 17th out of 28 qualifiers in 10.406 seconds. Briton Jack Carlin topped the qualifying round in 9.775 seconds.
Browne bowed out in the last-16, losing to Daan Kool of the Netherlands, who ended in 10.835 seconds.
Paul clocked 10.802 seconds, in his quarter-final to advance over Lithuania's Svajunas Jonauskas.
In his final challenge on Friday, Paul was paired against Jai Angsuthasawit of Thailand, and won the deciding race in 10.242 seconds after they won one apiece.
Paul returned on Saturday, with another strong display in the semifinal round against his training partner Jair Tjon En Fa of Suriname, winning the first race in 10.140 seconds. Although Tjon En Fa clawed back into the contest, winning the second race in 10.164 seconds, Paul advanced to the gold medal match with a win in 10.171 seconds.