There were moments of history-making, coupled with gold and silver medal performances on the opening two days of the Elite Pan American Track Cycling Championships in Lima, Peru on Friday and Saturday.
Day two yesterday alone, saw Akile Campbell became only the first T&T rider to win a gold medal in the Scratch Race of the Pan Am, as he held off a more-than-competitive field that included Jamol Eastman (Barbados), Julio Padilla (Guatemala), Leonidas Novoa (Ecuador), Pablo Seisdedos (Chile), Emiliano Mira Fuentes (Mexico), Lucas Piano (Uruguay), Luis Gomez (Venezuela), Ivan Ruiz (Argentina), Steven Ruiz (Peru) and Julian Osorio of Colombia in the 15-kilometre event.
On the opening day, T&T's cycling team of Njisane Phillip, Keron Bramble and Zion Pulido claimed the silver medal on Friday.
They just missed out on defending the title they won back in 2019, as they were pipped by in the final by Colombia 45.227, while the men in red, white and black clocked 45.442
The two teams drew swords from as early as the preliminary rounds, as Colombia's 44.933 put them as the fastest team heading into the quarterfinal round. T&T, led by the multi-talented and well experienced Phillip, was the second-fastest team at 45.822, while Argentina (45.939), Mexico (46.314), Peru (47.356), Venezuela (47.454), Ecuador (48.083) and Chile rounding off the top eight teams.
But there was no getting away from a final showdown between the top two teams at the end of the day, as T&T got the better of Ecuador in the first of two semifinals in 44.9 while Colombia's team defeated Argentina for the title ride, which the Colombians won.
After the race coach Gregory Dandrade said he was extremely happy with the performance of the team: "I'm happy to work with the youths, we were under a lot of pressure because two of our top cyclists were out because of the Olympics. We were able to do a development programme with the youths, bringing in Pulido as a newcomer, and we performed, they executed, it was excellent to get the silver medal," Dandrade told Guardian Media Sports.
According to Dandrade, a former national rider turn coach, there was room for improvement but they had a young guy in the team, as well as an anchor in Bramble who has never anchored a team before.
Meanwhile, Alexi Costa also secured a silver medal in the Scratch Race behind the eventual winner Ambar Joseph of Barbados and Mexico's Victoria Fuentes Velasco. Dandrade said Costa was excellent, improving so much under Andy Sparks, who is also helping the T&T team.
Yesterday the pair of Phillip and Bramble was in search of another silverware in the keirin event after both advanced from early rounds. Needing to be among the top two in the heats, Bramble later progressed from the repechage after a third-place finish in heat one, which comprised Colombian Kevin Quintero, the eventual winner, Luis Cordon (Guatemala) who finished second, Brandon Reid (Jamaica), Francesco Bone (Ecuador) and Daniel Palmer of Jamaica.
Phillip on the other hand was second in his heat behind Santiago Ramirez of Colombia.