Trinidad and Tobago ready to take on cycling world
Njisane Phillip believes Trinidad and Tobago's improved teamwork under new technical director Erin Hartwell will boost its medal chances in the men's track cycling team sprint.
"Before, it was every man for himself,” Phillip said.
“We were just bumping heads and going at each other - it was all-out war. But I'm real happy with everything now.
"It's a lot more organised, more professional. We have a lot more staff organisation."
Trinidad and Tobago skipped the World Track Cycling Championships in March to focus on the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, where it is the fourth-ranked entrant in the team sprint.
The team, comprised of Phillip, Nicholas Paul and Kwesi Browne, had its last test at January's Track Cycling World Cup event in Belarus, where Phillip set a national record in the standing lap to lead the trio to eighth place.
"We surpassed our expectations. I'm trying to break the record here again," said Phillip, who will again be man one at GC2018.
"We're going in all guns blazing. Hopefully we can jump up on the podium."
Phillip has been a pioneer for cycling in Trinidad and Tobago.
With two new stadiums, including a national cycling centre with a 250m indoor track, Trinidad and Tobago will continue to improve.
"I opened a lot of doors for cyclists," he said.
"It was hard for me, but since I came into the game in 2008 we developed a lot in the country.
"These next couple of years we’ll be able to see what Trinidad has to offer the sport of cycling."
Phillip began cycling at age nine as a bonding exercise with his father. "He wasn't there when I was younger. He lived in Miami. So when I went to see him, he would ride, and I would ride a BMX."
A new father himself, Phillip has added motivation to perform at GC2018. "I have to provide for someone else now," he said.
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This article was produced by Games News Service.