Veracruz

The Trinidad and Tobago women’s hockey team opened their Central American and Caribbean Games campaign with a solid 5-0 win over Bermuda at the High Performance Centre in Veracruz, Mexico yesterday.
After the opening ceremony Friday night, the first set of sports got underway yesterday, the official first day of competition at the quadrennial games.
In their opening Pool B match, T&T started with a 5-0 shutout of Bermuda with Kristin Thompson (30th), Kayla Brathwaite (35th), Dana-Lee De Gannes (45th), Brianna Govia (47th) and veteran Oire Trotman (51st) doing the business. Their next assignment is an encounter with Guyana tomorrow at 4 p.m.TT time.
At the Leyes de Reforma Aquatic Center, T&T’s Kristin Julien was expected to swim out of lane one of the women’s 50m backstroke last night after qualifying with the sevent fastest time.
Julien, a multiple Carifta medallist, placed third in heat one of two when she clocked 30.78 seconds. She was third in that heat behind Colomba’s Isbella Arcila and Guatemala’s Gisela Morales who both tied with 29.65. In the second heat, Maria Gonzales of Mexico used home crowd advantage to power to a new CAC record when she posted 28.77 seconds, with Carlina Colorado of Colombia second in (29.58) and Venezuela’s Jeserik Pinto third (29.79).
At the El Lecero Police Academy, T&T shooters failed to qualify for the final in the Men’s Individual 50m rifle shooting competition.
T&T’s best performer was experienced campaigner Roger Daniel, who finished 10th while teammates Rhodney Allen and Clement Marshall ended 20th and 27th respectively.
At the Tuxpan Canoeing Complex, T&T’s Matthew Robinson finished eighth and last in the Men’s Kayak Single K1 1000m competition. Robinson teamed up with Sherlon Pierre to finish 6th of seven in the Men’s K2 1000m race.
And in table tennis, the T&T women’s team lost one tie before winning another.
Colombia defeated them 3-1 with Rhean Chung being the only success, defeating Angie Umbacia in straight sets (11-9,11-8,11-8). They then galloped over Jamaica for a 3-0 shut out in their second Group 2 encounter.
T&T’s men were involved in a tie with Mexico and were scheduled to play Cuba later last night.

Today’s schedule (TT time)
11.00 am: Women’s table tennis quarter-finals
11.30 am: Keian Huggins - Women’s K1 500m Canoe final
12.45 pm: Men’s table tennis quarter-finals
1.00 pm: Men’s Individual Time Trial (cycling)
1.00 pm: Trinidad and Tobago vs Dominican Republic - Men’s Hockey, Match 1 Pool A 
4.00 pm: Men and Women’s Team Gymnastic competition ; Women’s Volleyball - T&T vs Puerto Rico

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The 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games got underway with a spectacular Opening Ceremony in the Mexican city of Veracruz tonight, with Latin American singer Ricky Martin among the stars of the show.

The Puerto Rican pop musician performed his new single Adios, as well as some of his other chart-topping songs, including Livin' la Vida Loca, to a packed crowd at the 26,000-capacity Luis Pirata Fuente Stadium.

"Welcome to Veracruz," Martin said.

"The Central American and Caribbean Games are opened."

The Opening Ceremony also saw the lighting of the Games cauldron by Mexican taekwondo Olympic, World Championships and Pan American Games gold medallist María Espinoza and the parade of some 5,700 athletes from 31 countries, who will take part in competition across 36 sports.

Caribbean music and fireworks also featured heavily in the show, as well as speeches from Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte de Ochoa, who spoke on behalf of Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Central American and Caribbean Sports Organisation President Hector Cardona.

The Games are scheduled to continue until November 30.

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Mexico is known for its many gifts to the world such as The Estadio Azteca, mariachi bands, tequila, and most recently the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 edition of the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games hosted in Veracruz, a forty minute flight south east of the capital Mexico City.

 

The night was nothing short of a traditional fiesta with a carnival like atmosphere that welcomed all the participating teams. However, although Trinidad and Tobago lead by Flag Barer, Table Tennis veteran Dexter St. Louis, was not able to be represented by its full 208 contingency, the two dozen representatives (mainly made up of the Men’s Hockey Team) were always seen in the heart of the celebrations.

 

The Ceremony began with the traditional parade of the representing teams (in alphabetical order) in which T&T was 29th, followed by Venezuela and finally, as it is tradition for the host country to be featured at the end, Mexico.

 

At the conclusion of the parade, the Governor of the State of Veracruz, Javier Duarte de Ocha welcomed all participating teams as they settled in their seats. Proud rhythmic chants of “Veracruz” echoed in derby-day style thought out the stadium as the City’s locals in attendance displayed their passion for their homeland.

 

Those in attendance were then treated to some traditional Mexican Jarocho performers as well as some other modern styles. However, the Traditional Mexican Heritage Pole Dance certainly stole the show, with death defying stunt men and women dangling more than 50 feet in the air while the pyrotechnic displays further awed the crowds; it certainly was not a sight for the faint hearted, but yet captivating for all.

 

Closing off the night was the Puerto Rican Pop Star Ricky Martin who performed his famous songs including “Living La Vida Loca” and “La Copa de La Vida”. The six time Grammy Award winner certainly showed he still had what it takes as athletes danced and mingled amongst each other crossing all borders to share “selfies” and exchange pleasantries to his rhythms.

Men’s and Women’s National Senior Hockey Teams were the first teams to arrive at the Mexican host city on Tuesday night and have already had their first training session on Wednesday afternoon. Men’s Captain Darren Cowie- “Everyone seems to be keen and upbeat despite the long travel (between Trinidad and Veracuez). We’re excited to get on the pitch and get a feel... get the ball rolling. During the first session, the ball pace and intensity was really high. The communication is something we’ve been trying to work on and (one) can actually hear even the younger players being more vociferous... The camaraderie, the intensity and the momentum in the first session was really high”.

 

The hockey team are preparing for their opening game against Dominican Republic, Sunday 16th, one day after the opening ceremony.

 

Other teams to have already arrived and settle in include Women’s indoor Volleyball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Canoe/Kayak and Cycling. The reminding teams will be arriving ahead of their scheduled competition dates.

 

List of T&T teams:

 

Athletics

Badminton

Basketball

Canoe/Kayak

Cycling

Gymnastics

Hockey

Rifle

Rugby

Football

Sailing

Squash

Swimming

Table Tennis

Target Archery

Volleyball

Water Polo

Chef  de Mission of the Trinidad and Tobago delegation Annette Knott has acknowledged the support provided by the Vera Cruz 2014  volunteers .

 

At the Raising of the Flag Ceremony held in Vera Cruz to officially welcome  Trinidad and Tobago to the  2014 Central American and Caribbean Games Mrs Knott  thanked the volunteers for their exceptional service they were providing and acknowledged that Trinidad and Tobago and Vera Cruz share a special bond .

" The volunteers have provided yeoman service  especially with their english speaking skills. I also note that we have  in common a  carnival that is popular and eagerly anticipated ".

 

Mayor of Veracruz ,Javier Duarte de Ochoa warmly welcomed Trinidad and Tobago and graciously accepted a gift from Mrs Knott.

If the Olympic movement does not believe deeply in what it is doing and what it stands for, then its slide into irrelevance is only a matter of time.

The Olympic movement, and I dare say the rest of sport, are eagerly anticipating the release of the 40 proposed recommendations coming out of the year-long agenda 2020 discussions and consultations following over 40,000 submissions, the final stage of the reform process started by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach following his election in 2013.

Calls for governance reform aren’t limited to the world of sport.

Around the world people are saying governments, once elected, no longer work for the people—only for the rich and powerful. In almost every country, people want effective, efficient and accountable government. They want to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past and elect governments to make their everyday life better.

The same can be said for sport in addition to the growth and development of their respective sport or organisations. Add to that the use of sport for social objectives. Sport leaders also have to focus on providing athletes with what they need to give them the best chance to be their best and to be the healthiest and fittest when it matters most.

It is therefore going to be very interesting to see what the IOC agenda 2020 will produce and how far-reaching and transformative it is.

There are many issues that the Olympic movement must address.

These include:

• How can the Olympic movement build on the foundations and make the IOC and the Olympic movement fit for purpose for a rapidly and constantly changing world

• How can the IOC and the Olympic movement be more inclusive?

• How can the IOC be more vibrant, dynamic and relevant in its efforts to propogate Olympism, Olympic values and the Olympic ideals to the youth and young people of today’s world and a projection as to what will be required in the near future.

The ongoing challenges for all Olympic sport leaders continue to be the enormous demands and changes.

The Olympic movement must ensure that all stakeholders who agree to the Olympic charter align with the charter. It can’t be one rule for some and a different rule for others.

There are too many people getting involved in the movement who don’t seem to have any sincere interest in furthering the purpose, mission and values of the Olympic movement.

Those who are seeking to be in the leadership of the Olympic movement need an increased knowledge and appreciation of the Olympic ideals. They need greater commitment to the Olympic goal of sport contributing to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport and  enthusiasm to promote equal opportunity for females in sport.

Agenda 2020 will address some core issues including finding a way to improve the attitude of the Olympic movement about the relevance of the Olympic movement.

The truth be told is that when you sit around the table at Olympic movement meetings it is clear that not everyone shares the same belief system and commitment towards the Olympic values and ideals.

The time for talk is over. Now is the time for decisions. If the Olympic movement and the IOC want to remain in the driver’s seat decisive action is required.

Brian Lewis is the president of the T&T Olympic Committee. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Olympic Committee.

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