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TRINIDAD and Tobago will tackle the hosts when the second edition of the Pan American Women’s Under-23 Volleyball Cup serves off tomorrow in Peru. The clash will take place at 7 p.m., two hours after the battle between the other two teams in Group A, Argentina and Mexico.


The Group B matches are also scheduled for 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. with Costa Rica and Dominican Republic taking the court to follow the Colombia/Cuba encounter. The winners of both round-robin groups will move straight into Friday night’s semifinals, while the runners-up and third-placed teams will contest quarterfinals the night before.

The champions will be crowned next Saturday. There are five countries – Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico and T&T – representing the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) region and the top two will secure tickets to next year’s World Under-23 Championships.

Argentina, Colombia and Peru are the South Americans involved and the team which finishes the highest of the three will earn the other ticket.

All T&T’s group matches are at 7 p.m. and they will face Argentina on Monday and Mexico the day after.

This country’s team is spearheaded by star national player Channon Thompson, who was voted Best Server, Best Spiker and Most Valuable Player (MVP) when T&T were crowned Caribbean champions for the fifth successive at home last month. Marisha Herbert and Malika Yorke, who were also on that squad, are also in Peru, and the team also includes national player Zahra Collins and top juniors Kaylon Cruickshank, Alexandrea Jones and Reann Young.

Jones was the Best Digger, Best Receiver and Best Libero while Cruickshank was the Best Blocker and Best Spiker and Young was the Best Scorer and MVP when T&T were crowned Caribbean Under-19 champs for the third straight time at home last December.

The team is being coached by national senior player Saleem Ali, who will be assisted by national senior coach Nicholson Drakes.

T&T is the only newcomer to this tournament, replacing Canada, the sixth-placed finishers in the inaugural event two years ago when Dominican Republic defeated Brazil for the gold medal and Argentina picked up bronze.

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This country’ senior men and women’s hockey team will begin their quest towards qualification for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro, Olympic Games in Brazil when the second edition of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) World League continues with one of its first round world qualifying tournaments in Kingston, Jamaica from September 30 to October 5.

The tournament will be contested at the newly laid synthetic pitch at Mona Campus, New Kingston, Jamaica with host Jamaica, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Puerto Rico women competing for the lone available spot to round two in Montevideo, Uruguay from February 28-March 8, next year.

Two years, the national women’s team reached as far as round two in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where they ended in fifth spot in the six-team competition with a 1-4 record.

The “Calypso Stickwomen” lone win came against host Brazil, 3-1 while they were overwhelmed by tournament winners USA (7-0), runner-up Chile (6-0), third placed Scotland (7-0) and Uruguay, 6-1.

In the opening round which was held at the National Hockey Centre, Eastern Regional Sports Complex, Tacarigua, T&T was third behind Canada and Uruguay after hammering neighbours Barbados (7-0), Guyana (5-0) and Venezuela (5-1) for a 3-2 record. The two defeats came against round one winner, Canada (4-0) and runner-up Uruguay, 2-0.

Expected to be coach of the team once more, is former national player Anthony Marcano, who was the helm at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland where a very youthful T&T squad was crushed 16 -0 by South Africa, 14-0 both by New Zealand and India, 4-1 by Canada and 4-0 in their tenth placed match against Wales.

.....T&T men favourites to qualify

The national men’s team will be favourites to secure the lone spot available to round two Chula Vista, California, next year (February 28-March 8) when they match sticks with Jamaica, Barbados, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

However, they will enter the tournament without regular coach Glen “Fido” Francis and England-based ace Kwandwane Browne, who both have work commitments.

Reached for comment, Francis said he has been putting off his promotional courses at the T&T Defence Force because of national team duties for a while now, and it cannot wait any longer.

Despite his absence, Francis, a former national goalkeeper said he expects the team to do well.

“Our squad is a very good one with a great mix of youth and experience and I think the T&T Hockey Board will meet shortly to decide on whether to appoint Andrew Wilson or someone here in T&T as the interim coach.

He added, “Wilson is no stranger to the guys as he worked with them at the recent Commonwealth Games in Scotland, Scotland, and even if he is not selected I am confident in whoever the board decides on.”

At the Commonwealth Games, the locals who were without a few key players had a miserable outing ending in tenth spot after a 2-0 loss at the hands of Wales in their playoff.

Earlier in their round-robin group, T&T was also beaten by England (6-1), New Zealand (8-0) and Canada (3-1) before recording a first ever win at the Games, 4-2 over the higher ranked Malaysia.

When the inaugural World League competition was held two years ago, T&T flicked off its round one campaign on home soil in fine style by ending its four-team round-robin series after victories over Chile (2-1), Barbados (3-1) and Venezuela (9-2) at Tacarigua.

However, the second phase in Rio de Janeiro proved much more challenging as T&T suffered losses against Argentina (9-2), South Africa (10-2) and Chile (0-4) but won against Brazil (6-2) and USA, 4-3 via a penalty stroke.

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Borel betters 19-metre mark

Renny Quow struck gold at the Memorial Van Damme IAAF Diamond League finals in Brussels, Belgium, yesterday. The Trinidad and Tobago quartermiler clocked 45.37 seconds to claim top spot in the men’s 400 metres. Belgian Kevin Borlee picked up silver in 45.44, while bronze went to Brazilian Anderson Henriques (45.52).

 

The Memorial Van Damme victory was Quow’s second one-lap triumph this week. On Tuesday, the 27-year-old athlete topped the men’s 400m field in 45.13 seconds at the 50th Palio Citta della Quercia meet, in Rovereto, Italy.

 

Cleopatra Borel was in fine form in Brussels, the T&T thrower producing a season’s best 19.13 metres effort to secure fourth spot in the women’s shot put.

 

Olympic, world and Commonwealth champion Valerie Adams continued her impressive winning streak. The New Zealand field athlete won for the 56th time on the trot with a huge 20.59m effort—the best throw in the world this year and a new Memorial Van Damme record. Germany’s Christina Schwanitz threw the iron ball 19.86m to finish second, while third spot went to American Michelle Carter (19.73m).

 

Borel opened yesterday’s competition at 18.81m. She followed up at 18.27m, before producing the big 19.13m throw in round three. The experienced campaigner’s last three throws were 18.52m, 18.11m and 18.27m.

 

The 19.13m throw was Borel’s fourth 19-plus effort this season. In March, she threw 19.10m and 19.02m en route to gold at Cuba’s National Championships. And in June, Borel landed the shot 19.04m to finish third at the adidas Grand Prix IAAF Diamond League meet in New York, USA.

 

Richard “Torpedo” Thompson clocked 10.10 seconds in the Memorial Van Damme men’s 100m dash to finish eighth in a nine-man field. St Kitts and Nevis’ 2003 world champion Kim Collins brought up the rear in 10.19.

 

Justin Gatlin was dominant, winning in a world-leading 9.77 seconds from fellow-American Mike Rodgers (9.93) and Jamaicans Asafa Powell (9.95) and Kemar Bailey-Cole (9.96). Briton James Dasaolu (10.00), American Tyson Gay (10.01) and Jamaica’s Nesta Carter (10.01) finished fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively. Gatlin was back on the track one hour later, romping to victory in the 200m in 19.71 seconds.

 

T&T squad: Zahra Collins; Nicolette De Mille; Kaylon Cruickshank; Shakile Grannum; Alexandrea Jones; Marisha Herbert; Destiny Leon; Trajane Ramey; Channon Thompson; Malika Yorke; Kiana Young; Reann Young. Saleem Ali (coach); Nicholson Drakes (assistant coach).

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TRINIDAD and Tobago shot put queen Cleopatra Borel has been having one of her best seasons so far and will be looking to continue her medal- winning performances at the final IAAF Diamond League meeting, Memorial Van Damme in Brussels.

Borel who is ranked seventh on the IAAF world rankings this year with a season’s best heave of 19.10 metres set in La Habana, Cuba, earlier this year.

Five times this year she has thrown the shot 18 metres or more.

Borel secured a silver medal at last months Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, with an 18.52m toss.

And on Sunday last she earned bronze at the Birmingham Grand Prix in Brussels eiyh a heave of 18.62m.

She is currently ranked fifth on the Diamond League table with two points, trailing main rival Valerie Adams of New Zealand who is on top of the table with 24 points while German Christina Schwanitz is second with six followed by American Michelle Carter (four) and Lijiao Gong of China (three).

Borel will face Adams, Schwanitz and Carter in today’s competition.

National champ and record holder Richard “Torpedo” Thompson will also end his season today, facing the starter in the men’s 100m.

Thompson finished sixth at the IAAF World Challenge in Zagreb, Croatia, earlier this week crossing the line in 10.31 seconds behind Jamaicans Kemar Bailey-Cole (10.07) and Asafa Powell (10.07) who was first and second respectively. American Mike Rodgers was third in 10.10 seconds.

Last Sunday, “The Torpedo” won the IAAF Wold Challenge in Berlin, Germany clocking 10.15 seconds while American Dantarius Locke finished second in 10.16.

Another TT sprinter Keston Bledman placed third in 10.23.

National 400m champion Renny Quow will be running at his second meeting since the Commonwealth Games today. On Tuesday, he won the men’s 400m at the 50th Palio Citta della Quercia meet in Rovereto, Italy.

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Jonathan De Matas captured a bronze medal in the sparring competition in T&T’s historic participation at the fifth International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) World Cup, which took place recently in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The five athletes who represented T&T were all members of the Euge Taekwon-Do Academy.

The team was led by Franklyn Eugene (ITF IV Dan), and included Francisca Sadal (black belt I Dan) Aaliyah Maharaj (black belt I Dan) Christopher Nakhid (black belt II Dan) De Matas (red belt).

Nakhid participated in four events: patterns, sparring, technical breaking and power breaking.

He placed fourth in power breaking and competed keenly in his pattern event, Eui Am, in which he was narrowly edged by his opponent, 3-2.

His first round sparring match was against a Slovenian opponent which he lost 4-0.

Sadal competed in the patterns event in the 36-45 age group and was one of the three competitors out of six competitors to complete the event.

This is the first time that a female athlete from T&T has competed in the patterns competition.

Maharaj competed in Power Breaking and in the 36-45 age group and made great representation. Again, this was the first time a female athlete from T&T competed in this event.

There was only one competitor in this category placed first as the competition standards were very high.

Eugene competed in sparring in the 36-45 advance senior age group.

In the first minute, his Argentinian opponent was ahead by two points. Then, Eugene converted the score 3-2. However, at the end, the Argentinean came back to win the event. In the power breaking, Eugene was placed seventh in a field of 36 competitors, edging closer to the current world leaders in the event from Paraguay, Argentina, and England.

De Matas, meanwhile, competed in patterns in the colour belt 18-36 age group and won his first round against his Argentinean opponent.

His pattern Hwa–Rang was just too powerful for the Argentinean. In his second round of patterns, he faced a Jamaican opponent whom he lost to by one point. In the sparring competition, De Matas was able to capture the bronze medal against another Jamaica opponent. De Matas was up on points. However, deductions had the best of him. To his credit, De Matas fought hard and again his technical abilities exceeded those of his competitors.

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Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott is among four Trinidad and Tobago athletes selected to represent the Americas team at the September 13-14 IAAF Continental Cup, in Marrakech, Morocco.


Walcott and American Tim Glover will wear Americas colours in the men’s javelin. Last week Thursday, at the Weltklasse IAAF Diamond League finals in Zurich, Switzerland, Walcott broke his own national record, the 21-year-old field athlete hurling the spear 85.77 metres to finish second.

Triple Olympic medallist Richard “Torpedo” Thompson, triple Commonwealth Games medallist Cleopatra Borel and rising sprint star Michelle-Lee Ahye are the other T&T athletes on the Americas team.

Thompson, the second fastest man in the world this year at 9.82 seconds, and American sprinter Mike Rodgers will be on show in the men’s 100 metres dash. And in the sprint relay, Thompson and Rodgers are expected to team up with Jamaican Nesta Carter and St Kitts and Nevis’ 2003 100m world champion Kim Collins.

Borel and American Michelle Carter are the Americas throwers listed for the women’s shot put. Borel has been very consistent this season, bettering 18.50m in 12 of her 16 competitions.

In the Continental Cup women’s 100m, Ahye and Jamaican track star Veronica Campbell-Brown will face the starter. In late July, Ahye competed at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, but was troubled by a hamstring injury and withdrew from the meet after her 100m first round heat. The T&T sprinter is second on the 2014 world performance list with the personal best 10.85 seconds clocking she produced in June, in the qualifying round at the NGC/Sagicor National Open Track and Field Championships.

Ahye will also see action in the Continental Cup women’s sprint relay.

The Americas team includes two reigning world champions—American LaShawn Merritt (men’s 400m) and Colombian Caterine Ibarguen (women’s triple jump)—as well as the 2012 Olympic Games women’s pole vault gold medallist, American Jenn Suhr.

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