Njisane aiming to complete Pan Am set with gold in 2019
Njisane Phillip may have been pipped to the gold medal by Canadian Hugo Barette at the recently-concluded Pan American Games, but he’s still confident of winning gold at the event in four years’ time.
The Trinidad and Tobago sprint cyclist improved on his bronze medal performance from 2011 in the match sprint, pedalling away with the silver medal at last month’s Games in Toronto, Canada.
“To me it was a great experience and I really enjoyed it,” he said. “Hugo and I actually trained a couple years together in Los Angeles, and he got the better of me this time,” said Phillip.
However, the narrow defeat hasn’t dampened the ambition of the current national champion. “It was great competition though, I left everything on the line and I’m happy with it.”
His attitude exemplifies his professionalism, and appetite for competition. “You know, I love competition, so I’m always down for being able to compete at the highest level,” added Phillip. “I try to stay focused and improve in areas that I need improving.”
At the moment, Phillip is currently 32nd in the UCI rankings in sprint cycling. The UCI ranking system is what allows cyclists to qualify for the various World Cups and regional cycling championships, such as the Pan Am Games. Participation in these competitions give cyclists the opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Games.
“Currently my ranking is not where it should be right now,” he said. “I had a late start to the season, and I think towards the end of the season I would be able to go into the top-ten of the rankings and that’s definitely one of my aims.”
The next competition on the calendar for the Rigtech Sonics rider is the Pan American Cycling Championships next month in Chile. “I have a lot of workouts this year, and I’m really looking forward to the end of the season because I think it will be a great one for me.”
The Pan American Cycling Championships takes place in Santiago, Chile from September 1-6.