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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.