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Pilgrim backed to get Junior Pan Am Games off to positive start

Vital experience: Nick Pilgrim, who will be representing Bermuda in triathlon at the Junior Pan American Games

Neil de St Croix has backed Nick Pilgrim to help get Bermuda’s Junior Pan American Games campaign off to an encouraging start today.

The 18-year-old will be among the first crop of the island’s 11-member team to be in action at the inaugural Games, when he takes to the start line for the men’s triathlon on Lake Calima.

Despite less than ideal preparation leading up to the Games, suffering an unfortunate crash at the World Triathlon Junior Championships, in Quarteira, Portugal earlier this month – one of few races of a Covid-hit past 18 months – his coach is confident Pilgrim can put on a positive display against a stellar field led by United States duo Andrew Shellenberger and Nicholas Holmes as well as Brazilian Miguel Lopes Hidalgo.

“Nick is still developing and while it’s been a difficult past two years with not a lot of racing, he’s in very good shape ahead of the Games,” said de St Croix, who highlighted the possible impact of the unpredictable weather in the region. “In Portugal he didn’t have a particularly good race, but his preparation wasn’t where we would have liked it.

“If he can finish in that top half of the overall standings that would be a fantastic result.

Despite the talented opposition that Pilgrim is expected to face, his coach believes the general lack of opportunities for competition may play a part in levelling the playing field somewhat.

“The field is very strong with the United States having some very strong competitors, as well as Brazil. However, no one has really raced loads and so it will be interesting to see what sort level everyone is at,” said de St Croix.

“The weather could also play a big factor on this race. The swim should be pretty straight forward as it’s in a lake but the bike course looks challenging and the run has a number of hill climbs which will make it difficult.

“However, I’m confident everything will come together for Nick and although it will be a tough challenge, I’m confident he can have a really positive race.“

While the aim, as always, is to be competitive in the race, above all else de St Croix is well aware that the opportunity to feature at an international event is a vital step in the Bath University student’s burgeoning triathlon career.

“If anything it is another great opportunity to gain vital experience at an international level against a very strong field,” he said. “If Nick has a positive race it could be a stepping stone to bigger progression moving forward.

“Obviously there has been a lot of challenges putting on this event with Covid-19 but these type of competitions are really important for young athletes to gain some vital international experience which is a massive boost to all of those competing.”

Jaydon Roberts will also get started today as he is scheduled to compete in archery at the Francisco Rivera Escobar Stadium staring at 10am.

SCHEDULE

Nov 26 (Nicholas Pilgrim) Triathlon

Nov 26 – 28 (Jaydon Roberts) Archery

Nov 27 – 29 (Myeisha Sharieff and Finn Mosley) Swimming

Nov 27 (Robin Horsfield) Mountain Biking

Nov 29 – Dec 4 (Daniel Phillips) Tennis

Dec 1 (Kaden Hopkins and Conor White) Cycling – Time Trial

Dec 2 – 4 (Adriana Penruddocke and Benn Smith) Sailing

Dec 3 (Kaden Hopkins, Conor White and Nic Narraway) Cycling – Road Race

Dec 3 (Isabelle Dutranoit) Athletics

Dec 5 Closing Ceremony

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Published November 26, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated November 26, 2021 at 7:37 am)

Pilgrim backed to get Junior Pan Am Games off to positive start

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