Kwesi Browne improved on his performance in the keirin at last weekend’s UCI World Cup in Hong Kong by finishing ninth yesterday in Cambridge, New Zealand.
Browne had failed to reach the second round/semi-final stage in Hong Kong but it was different yesterday.
In the first round, Browne clinched automatic qualification to the semi-finals when he was second behind Canadian Hugo Barrette in heat one.
In the second round, however, the T&T speedster was fifth of six in the second of the two heats, which was won by Matthew Glaetzer of Australia, a defeat that relegated him to the 7-12th finals. And in that ride-off, Browne finished behind Edward Dawkins of New Zealand and Sergey Ponomaryov of Kazakhstan to take ninth spot overall.
Browne’s Pan American rivals Barrette and Kevin Quintero of Colombia were 11th and 12th respectively.
In the race for first to fifth spots, the “Pocket Rocket Man,” Mohd Azizulhasni Bin Awang of Malaysia, took the gold ahead of Australian Shane Perkins and Glaetzer.
Despite not reaching the final, the performance by Browne was important since he earned valuable qualification points for Team TTO.
Before the World Cup leg in Hong Kong last week, T&T were 12th overall in the UCI’s Olympic team sprint rankings, while they were seventh overall in the country sprint.
Starting last evening T&T time, Nicholas Paul had the chance to boost the team’s ranking when he competed in the Flying 200 metres qualifying round of the sprint.
On Friday, Paul was part of the team sprint trio that placed fourth overall, equalling T&T’s best effort in the event at a World Cup with a new national sea level record of 43.369 seconds.