Posted by Editoress on 07/18/15
Canadian cyclists continue to be golden on the track at the Pan Am Games, with Hugo Barrette winning Canada's eighth cycling gold medal in the Men's Sprint on Saturday. Barrette's gold was the first of this colour for Canada at the Pan A, Games since Gord Singleton did so back in 1979. Singleton was on hand to congratulate Barrette, who also has a gold medal in the Team Sprint, and will go for a third gold medal on Sunday in the Keirin.
Barrette had a strong start to his Sprint title campaign on Friday, setting a time of 9.978 seconds in the Flying 200 metre - 1/1000th of a second off the Pan Am record. However, he then crashed in his 1/8th final race, was relegated in the rerun and had to make the quarter-finals via the Repechage.
From that point on, he put his difficulties behind him, dispatching World #1 Fabian Hernando Puerta Zapata (Colombia) in three rides and then Hersony Canelon (Venezuela) today in two straight in the semi-finals. For the final, Barrette was up against his old friend and training partner, Njisane Philip (Trinidad & Tobago). Philip is a very savvy rider, so this was not a cakewalk. Barrette went to the front on both rides, using his superior speed to win in two straight.
In other action, Team Sprint champions Monique Sullivan and Kate O'Brien began the Women's Sprint competition by finishing 1-2 in qualifying, with Sullivan breaking the Pan Am record. Both easily advanced through the 1/8th and 1/4 final heats and will race the semi-finals on Sunday.
The Women's Omnium also got underway, with Christina Greve (Argentina) winning the Scratch Race by lapping the field, however, American Sarah Hammer won the Individual Pursuit with a Pan Am record time, followed by Canada's Jasmin Glaesser, a member of the gold medal winning Team Pursuit squad the previous day. The two riders then tied - to the thousandth of a second - in the Elimination, and Hammer leads the competition after three events with 113 points to Glaesser's 109.
Women's Omnium, Scratch race
Hammer and Glaesser tied in the final sprint in the Omnium Elimination
The Men's Team Pursuit also got underway, with Canada setting the third fastest time in qualifying, behind Colombia and Argentina. In the next round, Canada went up against Argentina, with the winner to face Colombia in the gold medal race on Sunday. Canada did not have nearly the ride it did in qualifying, coming apart in the latter half of the race and struggling to put three riders across the line together. However, they did manage to make it into the bronze medal final, where they will go up against Venezuela.