Njisane puts one foot in Olympic doorGary Acosta
Sunday, January 17 2016
T&T’s top sprint cyclist, Njisane Phillip did himself a favour at the final leg of the 2015/2016 World Cup Season with a solid 8th place finish in Hong Kong over the weekend. The finish handed him a valuable 82 points towards his Olympic Qualification bid and as well placed him in a comfortable lead ahead of his closest rivals with just the 10th and final Olympic qualification event remaining; UCI World Track Cycling Championships in London, England from the 2-6 March, 2016.
Phillip turned heads from early in the Sprint qualification after breaking the 10-second barrier with a blistering time of 9.990 seconds. His qualification effort was only bettered by Damien Zielinski (POL) who clocked 9.919 seconds. Phillip eased into the quarter-finals after dispatching Juan Peralta Gascon (ESP) and Erik Balzer (GER) in the 1/16 and 1/8 Finals respectively.
However, he met a worthy opponent in Chao Xu (CHN) in the quarter-final rounds. He was unable to get past the Chinese cyclist and thus had to settle for competing in the 5-8 Finals later in the night. Coming up against Kamil Kuczyinski (POL), Nikita Shurshin (RUS) and Callum Skinner (GBR), Phillip would finish just behind them.
Njisane will now head back to his training base to implement his last round of preparations ahead of the final test, the World Track Championships in just about 6.5 weeks. The event will also be monumental for the Siparia native, since it will also be his UCI World Track Championships debut after missing the pass 5 years due to injury or Olympic preparation.