On a windy yesterday afternoon at the London Velodrome, a young man from T&T sent shivers down the spine of a few of his country’s citizens, including the President of the Republic George Maxwell Richards, with an awesome display of cycling class. That young man was Njisane Phillip, and after a stunning performance in the first round of the Match Sprint at the cycling velodrome on Saturday morning, he surprised everyone by returning in the afternoon in the second round to out pedal world ranked German Robert Forstemann in a battle of power which brought the house down. In the morning, Phillip, the youngest rider in the competition, had started slowly with the 10th fastest time. While he was disappointed, he managed to stage a daring come from behind victory over New Zealander Edward Dawkins in the first round of 16. Later in the afternoon though, he left the best for last in the second round of 12 when he was forced into the lead by Forstemann and then had to hold off the determined German for a lap and a half.
A clearly overjoyed Phillip told the Trinidad Guardian "I am good... one step at a time... it was a crazy race, he definitely threw me off my game plan and with a lap and a half to go, I had to push it "But I had the confidence to believe in myself and I stepped up today...I am going to get a rest and I will be ready for tomorrow, whatever it brings," he added Phillip, who was greeted in the media zone by T&T Olympic Committee Honary General Secretary Brian Lewis, also thanked his supporters. "I am enjoying all the support from home and especially today it is great to have the our President come here to support me, that really encourages me even more." "I want that gold medal. That is what I am chasing and that is keeping me focused. “I want to make the people of our country happy... I want to make T&T a household name... every year. “I am getting more and more respect out there from the other cyclists and today was good, but there's still a lot more to do." "I am already beginning to steal the crowd, with our Trini flavour... I am going to give everything all the time, that is just the way I am," he noted. The reward for Phillip’s victory is a place in the fourth quarterfinal against Denis Dmitrev of Russia at 11:34 am T&T time today.
By Andre Baptiste