TRINIDAD and Tobago cyclist Teniel Campbell was among 19 athletes who did not complete the cycling road race at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday morning (TT time).
Nevertheless, Campbell made history for TT as the first female cyclist to compete at the prestigious Games.
Campbell began the 137-kilometre race around 12.30 am in 33°C weather. She was the lone Caribbean athlete of the 67 cyclists.
But when she was three hours and six minutes in, officials flagged down Campbell to alert her that barriers had already been placed across the track shortly ahead, so she would not get a chance to complete the race. Her average placement was 52nd, with an average speed of 30.9 km/h.
Winning gold was Austria's Anna Kiesenhoffer in three hours, 52 seconds (3:52:45). Netherlands' Annamiek van Vleuten took silver (3:54:00) and Italy's Elisa Longo Borghini came third (3:54:14).
In a post race interview, Campbell said she wanted to do better and “expected more” of herself.
“I didn’t have the legs. I started catching cramp…I got dropped, I reconnected then got dropped again and panicked. I should have paced it well but instead, panicking made me explode.
“It’s really heart-wrenching for me so I can only imagine for you guys. But I hope I still made you guys proud in some way.
“(I’m) holding my head high and looking forward to 2024. I’m coming back for it for sure.”
She said she is going to get “stronger and better.”