Paul eyes Olympic glory after Commonwealth cycling gold for Trinidad and Tobago

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London (AFP) – “Impossible is Nothing” is Nicholas Paul’s mantra and on Saturday he turned his words into action by winning Trinidad and Tobago’s first Commonwealth Games cycling gold medal since 1966.

Now his eyes are set on the possibility of going further and making cycling history for the Caribbean islands at the Olympics.

The 23-year-old triumphed in the men’s keirin at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London in front of many who will want to see England end an equally long hiatus and win the World Cup later this year.

Paul had once considered following in the footsteps of his famous compatriot, former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke.

Instead, due to an ankle injury, he ended up emulating Roger Gibbon, who won the 1,000m sprint and 1km time trial at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston. , in Jamaica.

“It’s growing and it’s one of my big dreams to be able to set a trend and let Trinidad and Tobago know that track cycling is a real sport,” he said.

“One of my mantras is ‘Impossible Is Nothing’ – the slogan of sportswear brand Adidas – and I want kids younger than me to see that the sky is the limit.

“I want to work hard, because I’m not that old. I’m only 23, so in order for me to achieve these things, I pave the way for them and let them know that it’s possible if they try. hard and work hard.”

Times have changed since Paul switched to cycling and trained in a grass velodrome.

“We have a brand new, world-class velodrome, so it’s a step in the right direction,” he said.

“For us, as a developing country in track cycling, it was a great investment.

“And being able to have that and train at home and have indoor races, that’s great. It’s been a huge part of my career.”

Paul, who was competing at his second Commonwealth Games, said his friends raised their eyebrows when he told them he had taken up cycling.

“At first they were like, ‘What, are you a cyclist?’ Now I’m one of the best cyclists in the world and they’re just surprised how much things have changed,” he said.

Paul is steadily setting new benchmarks with his 2019 world record in the men’s flying 200m time trial and he sees no reason not to break the glass ceiling at the Olympics.

“I think the world record was what started it all and gave me my goals,” he said.

“My main goal is to be able to win a medal at the Olympics for Trinidad and Tobago.”

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