Wallace bags Jr Pan Am Cycling silver as Trinidad and Tobago add more medals

TT rider Jadian Neaves, right, with his bronze medal at the Jr Pan Am Championships in Peru. -
TT rider Jadian Neaves, right, with his bronze medal at the Jr Pan Am Championships in Peru. -

Trinidad and Tobago added three more medals to their haul at the 2024 Junior Pan American Track Cycling Championships when action continued along the Velodrome Videna San Luis track in Lima, Peru, on June 21.

Lone female representative Makaira Wallace captured her first Junior Pan Am medal when she battled to a deserving women’s sprint silver. TT's Jadian Neaves and Danell James also rode to bronze in their respective men points race and keirin events.

After bossing her way through the rounds in an event-filled day, Wallace, 18, showed grit in the gold-medal race, but succumbed to World Junior keirin champion Stefany Cuadrado Florez of Colombia in straight rides.

In the first of two rides, Florez made an early move on Wallace just before the bell for the final lap and the TT sprinter couldn’t catch up.

In the second race, Florez led early but Wallace took control in the second half. Despite Wallace’s lead, Florez’s experience showed as she pumped her legs and caught Wallace with just over 50m to go.

In the first round of women’s sprint qualifying – flying 200m, Wallace had a wonder start as she set a new national elite and junior record in a time of 11.361 seconds.

TT rider Makaira Wallace -

She qualified as the second fastest rider, behind Cuadrado, who clocked a blistering 11.075s. Wallace went on to defeat Chilean Naharai Neira Carrasco in straight rides in the quarter-final, to set up a semi-final meeting against Colombian Mariana Perez, whom she breezed past in back-to-back rides.

Neaves rode a gruelling 60 laps around the track to grab a third-place finish. During the race, Neaves kept pace throughout and made sure he was not eliminated as the race progressed. This was also his first Junior Pan Am podium.

Earlier in the day, Neaves missed out on a medal in the men’s scratch race after placing seventh among the 18 contestants.

Additionally, James secured his second medal of the campaign when he battled to keirin bronze. Up against South American opposition in the 1-6 medal race, James did well to hold on to third place.

He beat to the line Argentinian Donato Ceratti and Ecuadorian Mark Cherrez, who were fourth and fifth respectively. Winning gold was Colombian speedster Juan Diego Torres while Mexican Etan Ramirez battled to silver.

TT’s Syndel Samaroo was expected to also be a keen title contender in the keirin final but he was forced out after a crash in the semi-final.

News coming out the TT camp in Peru confirmed that “all is well” with Samaroo.

Team manager Elisha Greene posted to Facebook, “To all the supporters of Syndel Samaroo, all is well, no broken bones. And he would be back on his bike by Sunday for the kilo (time trial). Looking forward for a great ride from him.”

Samaroo fell off his bike at a high speed after a cyclist on the inside lane fell and knocked the TT rider off his wheels. He was taken to hospital and missed out on the medal race.

At the end of day three, TT’s medal haul stood at four. On day one (June 19), the men’s team sprint squad of James, Samaroo and Jelani Nedd claimed silver.

TT can add to their tally on day four, when the men’s sprint competition continues as James and Nedd are already through to the quarters.


"Wallace bags Jr Pan Am Cycling silver as Trinidad and Tobago add more medals"

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