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More than medals: Triumphant Commonwealth Youth team returns home

MEDAL STARS: Trinidad and Tobago's four individual medal winners and the captain of the gold medal-winning Girls beach soccer team pose with their Commonwealth Youth Games hardware at the VIP Lounge at Piarco International Airpot Tuesday night upon the team's return home from the Nassau, Bahamas event. From right are Tariq Horsford (silver) Jeron Thompson (bronze), Nia Honore (gold), Adell Colthrust (gold) and Jabari Grey (silver). —Photo: STEPHEN DOOBAY

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Trinidad and Tobago's Commonwealth Youth Games athletes were given a rousing heroes' welcome at Piarco on Tuesday night with loud cheers ringing out as they exited the airport following their stellar performance at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas which saw T&T walk away with two gold, two silver and a bronze medal.

Adell Colthrust created history by capturing T&T's first gold medal at the games when he won the boy's 100 metre event while the beach soccer teams also picked did well with the girls team inning gold and the boys team earning silver. T&T also earned silver in the boys javelin through Tariq Horsford while Jeron Thompson earned bronze in the boys 50m freestyle.

It was T&T's best performance at the games and deputy chef de mission George Comissiong commended the athletes for their performance.

He also noted that the medal count does not always reflect all that took place at the event.

“Therefore tonight I want to share that the medal performance does not necessarily reflect the growth and development that has taken place, the learning an experience acquired by the athletes,” he explained.

“It doesn't reflect the enthusiasm, commitment and effort made by all athletes. It does not reflect the commitment and support of the support team, the medical team, coaches and administrators and it does not reflect the camaraderie, team spirit and bonding that has taken place over the last nine days,” he added.

Swimmer Jeron Thompson also noted that it was the support of his roommates that pushed him in the pool and he thanked them for it.

“My experience in the Games, I swam five races and had some bittersweet moments but in my last race I was able to live up to my hopes and won a bronze medal in 50m freestyle which I honestly wasn't expecting but still happy to bring home,” Thompson added.

Meanwhile, 100 metre champion Colthrust has high hopes for the future.

“It has been a really good experience and I really love this team and I hope to work together with them again in Olympics 2020,” the sprinter said.

Horsford also felt the current crop of youth athletes can keep the T&T flag flying high on the world stage.

“Brilliant work, we communicated as one and we kept encouraging an pushing each other to reach to the top and as time goes on we will be able to move together from strength to strength and Trinidad and Tobago will remain a country known for sports,” he said.

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