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When a relationship is defined by mistrust, don’t expect significant progress.

After emerging as Caribbean champions without conceding a goal and advancing to the final round of CONCACAF qualification for next year’s senior World Cup, the national women footballers barely had time to savour Tuesday’s 1-0 victory over Jamaica in the final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium before they were pleading for corporate Trinidad and Tobago to support their bid to make it to Canada in 2015.

That they actually finished top of the tree without having the sort of intended preparation—due to the inevitable financial constraints—says a lot for the talent, teamwork and determination of the squad led by Maylee Attin-Johnson and now coached by American Randy Waldrum.

Unfortunately, these players are merely the latest collateral damage in the credibility gap between the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association and any potential long-term financiers or short-term sponsors, whether in the public or private sector.

Raymond Tim Kee has given the undertaking that everything possible will be done to ensure the team is well prepared for next month’s final hurdle in the United States. However the TTFA president must appreciate that the organisation he heads suffers from a chronic lack of goodwill that goes across the board.

Yes, it must also be acknowledged that we are a nation of bandwagonnists, showing no real interest at the turnstiles or in sponsorship dollars until the team in question is almost on the verge of making history. Yet for all that, other sporting organisations are still able to attract financial support to varying degrees when their representative teams are taking the early steps on the road to qualification or are looking for funding to stage a training camp. It doesn’t take any deep analysis to work out just why there is such widespread reluctance to bankroll the various age-group and senior national team programmes of the TTFA, even when they have enjoyed a measure of success as they are doing now. One is a personality—Jack Warner. The other is an event— the 1989 World Cup qualifying campaign for Italia ’90.Both are intertwined, and only those who just come or are being deliberately disingenuous will suggest that Warner’s absence from football administration for three years now and the fact that the qualifying bid of the “Strike Squad” was all of 25 years ago mean that we should all be able to put that in the past and move forward now with full and complete confidence in the present administration of the game.

Look, Warner’s mercurial manner and tendency to attract controversy continue to impact negatively on broad perceptions of the football administration in this country. And it has to be said that Tim Kee’s haughty and dismissive tone in his interactions with the media have hardly been helpful. Whether he realises it or not, the TTFA boss comes across as someone who detests being questioned, who seems barely capable of retaining his composure when his perspective on some aspect of football is openly contradicted.

Maybe it’s a legacy of the Warner years, of which he was a part, but if the TTFA is really serious about making a meaningful transformation and being more accountable to the public, then that change has to begin with the man at the top. Of course, in this highly-charged political environment, it doesn’t help that Tim Kee is also an opposition politician.

In a society where political opponents are mature enough to put that to-ing and fro-ing aside when it comes to other issues, like the administration and financing of football, it really shouldn’t matter that he is not only a member of the People’s National Movement, but also the Mayor of Port of Spain. All that should be of concern from the point of view of the country’s most popular sport is whether or not he is doing a good job at the helm of the TTFA.

We have to be real though, and accept that almost everything is viewed through a political lens, and unless he wants to go down the “yesterday was yesterday, today is today” road of Warner, Tim Kee needs to step forward and show that he is capable of communicating honestly and sincerely, via the media, with the football fans and potential sponsors of Trinidad and Tobago.

There are many, many people who absolutely love the game and wish to be more supportive, financially and otherwise, if only they could believe an organisation that was happy to benefit from Warner’s influence yet at the same time pleaded innocence over controversies ranging from the “Road to Italy” campaign to the blacklisted members of the 2006 World Cup finals squad.

Our national women’s team needs the support. But first, the TTFA must show itself deserving of our trust.

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For the second time in little over a month, T&T’s sole reigning Olympic gold medalist Keshorn Walcott broke his national record in men’s javelin by nearly half a metre with a second placed finish in the penultimate leg of the IAAF Diamond League in Zurich, Switzerland, yesterday.

Walcott threw the spear 85.77m on his first attempt, which was 0.49m greater than the effort in the Commonwealth Games javelin qualifying event late last month. The 21-year-old, who took the world by storm in 2012 after becoming the youngest javelin gold medallist at the Olympic Games and the first from the region, was beaten by number-one ranked Diamond League thrower Thomas Rohler of Germany. Rohler also threw his best mark, 87.63m, on the first attempt.

Walcott was unsuccessful on his second throw but landed 81.11m, 77.38m and 83.99m on his subsequent three attempts.

Finishing third was Finland’s Tero Pitkamaki (85.12m).

T&T athlete, Richard Thompson, was also in action yesterday in the men’s 100m. He placed seventh in 10.26 seconds. Jamaica’s Kemar Bailey-Cole claimed a season best 9.96 to win the race, while Michael Rodgers (USA) and James Dasaolu (Britain) finished second and third in 10.05 and 10.06 seconds, respectively. Thompson is one of only two T&T athletes to have won a leg in the Diamond League this year.

He opened his account with a 10.02 finish in the first leg in Oslo, which was the fastest time. Michelle-Lee Ahye won the women’s 100m event in Lausanne (10.98) and Glasgow (11.01).

Jamaica then claimed the 100m double, with Veronica Campbell-Brown stealing the women’s race in 11.04 seconds in a photo finish edging of Ivory Coast superstar Murielle Ahoure, who clocked the same time.

Finally for T&T, in the men’s 400m hurdles, Jehue Gordon, who is ranked fourth in the Diamond League, clocked 48.91 seconds to finish fifth. Cornel Fredericks of South Africa won it in a season-best 48.25.

World record holder and Olympic gold medalist David Rushida could only finish third in the 800 metres, behind Botswana’s Nijel Amos and Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti.

Amos, who beat Rushida to gold at the Commonwealth Games last month, won the event in 1 minute, 43.77 seconds.

Souleiman finished in 1:43.93, edging out Rushida on the line by three hundredths of a second.

Elsewhere, world champion LaShawn Merritt comfortably won the 400 with a time of 44.36, beating fellow American Gil Roberts in 44.96. Isaac Makwala of Botswana was third in 45.03.

In the women's events, Dawn Harper-Nelson of the United States beat Olympic champion Sally Pearson and European champion Tiffany Porter in the 100 hurdle.

The Zurich leg of the Diamond League will be followed by the final event in Brussels next Thursday.

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Richard ‘Torpedo’ Thompson celebrated Trinidad and Tobago’s 52nd Independence Anniversary with victory at the ISTAF Berlin IAAF World Challenge meet, in Germany, yesterday. Thompson clocked 10.15 seconds to grab top spot in the men’s 100 metres dash, the triple Olympic medallist forcing American Dentarius Locke to settle for silver in 10.16. Another T&T sprinter, Keston Bledman got to the line in 10.23 seconds to secure bronze.


For Thompson, the golden run was a return to winning ways. In May and June this year, the US-based athlete was unbeaten in 100m finals, his best run coming at the NGC/Sagicor National Open Championships, where he captured the century title with a 9.82 seconds scorcher – a new national record and the second fastest time in the world this year, behind American Justin Gatlin’s 9.80.

Thompson was winless in July. That month’s campaign included participation at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Though among the favourites for gold in Glasgow, the 29-year-old sprinter was eliminated in the semi-final round.

After a month away from competition, Thompson was back on the track last Thursday, at the Weltklasse IAAF Diamond League finals in Zurich, Switzerland. He finished seventh in the Weltklasse 100m event in 10.26 seconds. Three days later, Thompson regained his golden form with the T&T Independence Day victory in the German capital.

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Cleopatra Borel continued her fine run of form with bronze in the ISTAF Berlin women’s shot put. The T&T field athlete threw the iron ball 18.53 metres. Germany’s Christina Schwanitz won in front of her home crowd, the 2014 European champion landing the shot 19.53m. The runner-up spot went to Russia’s Evgeniia Kolodko (19.43m).

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International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has vowed to "do his best" to allow exhibition events and initiation programmes to be showcased at future Olympic Games, although he admits this will require much "study and consultation".

Bach was speaking this afternoon shortly before the Closing Ceremony of the Summer Youth Olympic Games here, where a Sports Lab featuring four demonstration sports - roller skating, skateboarding, sport climbing and wushu - has been of the highlights.

A series of initiation events have also been held to encourage new participants in sports already on the programme, with athletes and local people among those to have benefited.

Lillehammer 2016 chief executive Tomas Holmestad told insidethegames during the Games that he would love to introduce a Sports Lab similar to the one seen here, although he admits it would be harder to adapt the concept to winter disciplines.

After praising the success of the venture, Bach revealed the IOC will speak with the Winter Youth Olympic organisers, although he also echoed the doubts of Holmestad.

"We will have to consider the difference between the Summer and Winter, and also the host country," Bach said.

"In Lillehammer we are in the heartland of winter sports.

"The kids of Lillehammer, they are all on skis before they even start to walk, so this kind of exploration is maybe not so much needed."

Bach also spoke enthusiastically about the initiation events, and sees it as something they will discuss with both Lillehammer 2016 and Rio 2016.

Once again he was optimistic but cautious, referring implicitly to the already tight construction timetable faced by Rio 2016 as something that could prevent there being time for such a plan.

"Not only are we looking to have a Sports Lab but also to offer some of the International Federations, if they want it, to present the kind of initiation programme you saw here, to make themselves more popular all over the world," he revealed.

"This will need some study and consultation because, two years before the Games, the Organising Committee and everybody has to concentrate on the delivery and success of the Games, and you may have to set priorities.

"We will do our best."

Elsewhere, Bach was in a jovial mood, praising multiple aspects of Nanjing 2014, with the Youth Olympic Village selected as his favourite aspect.

He claimed the IOC has "made a great effort" to make these Games successful and financially feasible, and that they will continue to do this at future Games.

"In Lillehammer, we are financing the construction of the Youth Olympic Village and we will also do so in Buenos Aires [in 2018]," he said.

"We have already met with organisers and representatives from the City Government, to see how Buenos Aires can learn from the sustainable part of the organisation, to make the best use of existing facilities, and to take advantage of their great culture of sport."

There will be a focus on sustainability at the next Winter Youth Olympics Games, in Lillehammer in 2016 ©Getty ImagesThere will be a focus on sustainability at the next Winter Youth Olympics Games, in Lillehammer in 2016 ©Getty Images



Reflecting on an issue that has formed a running theme here over the last two weeks, Bach admitted being surprised at the enthusiasm with which everyone took on board his call for everyone to take as many "selfies" as possible, made during the Opening Ceremony.

"That was fun," he said.

"I would never have expected such an impact in the Opening Ceremony.

"I still remember the first discussions we had in the IOC when the communications team tried to come up with the idea, and they did not dare to ask whether I would consider it!

"But I liked the idea from the beginning and the only discussion was when and how to do it, and I decided to do it at the beginning as it would have such an impact."

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George Bovell III’s timing was impeccable in Dubai yesterday. Trinidad and Tobago’s most decorated swimmer, competing on the 52nd anniversary of the country’s independence at the second leg of the FIN/Mastbank World Cup in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, grabbed gold again in the 100 metres individual medley (IM).


The win was Bovell’s second of the 2014 World Cup series, following his victory last Wednesday in the same event at the first leg in Doha, Qatar. Yesterday’s triumph, however, was of a shade higher quality.

Swimming out of lane four, Bovell touched the wall in 51.79 seconds, which was enough to push American Thomas Shields (52.14) into second and another American, Cody Miller (52.46) into third. Again as last week in Doha, Bovell owed his win to a strong finish, the T&T swimmer making up ground on Shields, the half-way leader, to grab the gold in a time that was just over a second faster than his winning 52.80 last week.

Earlier, Bovell had underlined his credentials by being the fastest qualifier out of the heats. He won heat four in 53.36 to beat Serbia’s Boris Stojanovic (54.09) and German Marco Koch (54.18). In the final Stojanovic was sixth in 53.86, while Koch did not compete.

And to complete what was a virtual repeat of his efforts in these events in Doha last week, Bovell once more failed to get into the final of the 50m breaststroke yesterday.

Swimming in heat four, he was fifth in 27.61 behind Italian Fabio Scozzoli (26.57), American Miller (27.16), Marek Botik of Slovakia (27.28) and Jorge Valdez Murillo of Colombia (27.34). However, while it was a slower swim for Bovell than last week’s effort of 27.51, it still placed him tenth overall, just as he had been in Doha.

This morning, Bovell will attempt to at least match last week’s effort in the 50m freestyle. He got joint silver in Doha with Poland’s Konrad Czerniak in 21.43 as they both finished behind the USA’s Josh Schneider (21.07).

Today Bovell will begin his quest for a fourth medal in the series competing in heat eight, which will also include Czerniak. Schneider swims in heat seven. The World Cup series will be on a break after today until the third leg in Hong Kong from September 29-30.

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The Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Foundation has continued its partnership with the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC), presenting a cheque for $150,000 to them towards camps for the national junior athletes during the July-August school vacation period.

The Foundation’s annual sponsorship with TTOC afforded these young athletes the opportunity to participate in the Olympic Youth Camp held in Tobago from July 7-12 and in Trinidad from July 21-26. The Olympic Youth Camp targetted national junior athletes with the aim of preserving Trinidad and Tobago’s sporting Olympic culture.

The Scotiabank Foundation has been partnered with the TTOC since 2010, contributing to the administration of various programmes. The Olympic Youth Camp is just one of the initiatives the TTOC has embarked upon for 2014, with the assistance provided by the Scotiabank Foundation.

The camp attracted athletes, ranging in ages seven to 14 years, who were engaged in art, song, dance, sport and educational sessions. During the camp, the young athletes were challenged and inspired by five Olympic principles — Balance between Body, Mind and Will; Fair Play; Joy of Effort; Respect for other and Pursuit of Excellence.

Daily educational sessions included Leadership, Self-Esteem, Communication, HIV/Aids Awareness, and Paralympic sport.

The campers were introduced to the following sports: Blind Hockey, Cheerleading, Volleyball. Tennis and traditional games such as rounders, hop scotch, jump rope, moral and marble pitch. They were also taken on zip lining and aqua aerobics field trips.

Scotiabank’s support of the TTOC Olympic Youth Camp was made possible through the Scotiabank Bright Future Programme, which is aimed at supporting and investing in initiatives that create opportunities for the sustainable development of youth and communities in which the Bank operates. These initiatives are geared towards the enhancement and well-being of youth particularly in the areas of sport, education, health, community development and culture.

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