NATIONAL CYCLIST Nicholas Paul climaxed his debut performance at the UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup in Cali, Colombia with a victory in the men’s sprint event on Sunday.
Up against Kevin Quintero of the host nation in the final, Paul emerged victorious in two consecutive rides to capture his third gold medal of the meet.
After convincingly winning the first ride, Paul’s front wheel touched Quintero’s back wheel in the second ride which made the Trinidad and Tobago cyclist fall off his bike and void a result.
A few minutes later, Paul returned to the track and executed another dominant display to successfully hold off Quintero and lift the crown.
Following his performance, the 23-year old sprinter said, "It was a great Nations’ Cup for me, getting the three gold medal. It’s my first gold medal in the sprint, keirin and in the kilometre time trial so I’m happy.”
In the semi-final round, the TT Olympian easily defeated Frenchman Rayan Helal in back-to-back rides. Similarly, Paul cruised past Polish cyclist Daniel Rochna in the quarter-finals and Malaysian sprinter Amar Masri in the 1/8 final.
And in the opening round of sprint qualifying – men’s Flying 200 metres – Paul, the world record holder (9.1 seconds), advanced as the fastest qualifier of the 22 cyclists. He clocked 9.66 seconds.
This was Paul’s third gold medal of the meet having won the men’s kilometre time trial and keirin events on Friday and Saturday respectively.
Additionally, TT endurance rider Akil Campbell also struck gold in the men’s elimination race on Saturday.
Following the capture of his first two medals, the Prime Minister congratulated both Paul and Campbell on their achievements.
Dr Rowley posted to his Facebook page, “Congratulations to Nicholas Paul and Akil Campbell for capturing gold medals at the 2021 UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup in Cali, Colombia. Best wishes to the entire team.”