Commonwealth Games -Tough Day One for T&T in New Delhi

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By Kwame Laurence New Delhi

Tough Day One for T&T in New DelhiTrinidad and Tobago's netballers were dominated in their Group A showdown with Jamaica, on the opening day of competition at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, here in New Delhi, India, yesterday.

Coping with six foot, three inch Romelda Aiken was always going to be difficult. The challenge proved to be beyond T&T, the lanky Jamaican goal shoot scoring 37 of her 43 attempts at the impressive Thyagaraj Sports Complex to steer her team to a big 75-36 win.

For T&T, goal shoot Anestacia Wilson scored 24 goals.

With the mighty Australians also in Group A, the loss to Jamaica almost certainly means T&T will not advance to the semi-final round.

"Each team came out here in the hope of medalling," T&T captain Janelle Barker told the Express, after the match, "and that was our hope as well. But one of our main goals was to improve our [world] ranking [from eighth], and I think we still have a chance.

"We lost, so it's a disappointing feeling, but we have other games ahead of us. Right now we have to do some homework, reassess ourselves, see where we made our mistakes, see where we need to improve, and work on it."

In yesterday's other Group A game, Australia whipped Samoa 76-39.

At the Dr. S.P.M. Aquatics Complex, T&T missed out on a berth in the men's 4x100 metres freestyle final by 54 hundredths of a second.

Swimming in the first of two heats, Carlyle Blondell, Joshua McLeod, Christian Homer and Jarryd Gregoire combined for a three minutes, 31.56 seconds clocking, good enough for third spot, behind Canada (3:22.01) and Singapore (3:31.02).

The second heat, however, was much faster, all six teams bettering T&T's time.

Trinidad and Tobago finished ninth overall, the eighth and final spot in the final going to Singapore.

T&T actually had the edge on Singapore after the opening leg, Blondell touching the wall in 52.41 seconds. On the second leg, however, the Asians edged ahead of T&T, moving into second spot and staying there till the end of the race.

In the final, Australia struck gold in a Games record 3:13.92, beating England (3:15.05) and South Africa (3:15.21) into second and third, respectively.

Homer produced a 26.99 seconds clocking to finish fifth in the first men's 50m backstroke semi-final heat. The Youth Olympic Games champion was 10th fastest, and did not advance to the final. McLeod was seventh in heat two in 27.35 for 13th spot, while Blondell--eighth in 28.24—finished 16th overall.

In the opening round, Homer was third in heat two in 27.12 seconds, while McLeod clocked 27.50 for fifth spot in the same race. In heat four, Blondell was fifth in 27.53.

Para swimmer Shanntol Ince is listed for action on day two of the Commonwealth Games swim meet, in the women's 50m freestyle--S9. McLeod, Gregoire and Cadell Lyons are entered in the men's 50m butterfly. And Cherelle Thompson is the lone T&T representative in the women's 100m freestyle.

In squash, Colin Ramasra swept aside Vincentian Jules Snagg 11-5, 11-3, 11-0, at the Siri Fort Sports Complex, in his opening men's singles contest. But the T&T player then exited in the round of 32, beaten 11-2, 11-4, 11-2 by Pakistan's Aamir Khan.

At the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex, T&T gymnast William Albert finished 22nd in the men's individual all-around qualification event with a score of 74.900. The placing earned him a spot in tomorrow's final.

"I have some extra tricks that I have kept for finals," Albert said. "I will use them to boost my performance."

In archery, George Vire scored 683 at the Yamuna Sports Complex to finish 26th in the qualifying round of the men's individual compound. Hasmath Ali (677) and Rakesh Sookoo (671) were 32nd and 36th, respectively. They will all be back in action today, in the knockout stage of the event. Their combined score of 2,031 placed T&T 11th in team compound qualifying.

Cyclist Emile Abraham will be on show today, at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex, in the men's 40-kilometre points race. He will ride in heat one.
And late last night (T&T time), Roger Daniel and Rhodney Allen were at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range, bidding for honours in the men's 50 metres pistol pairs event.