Incessant rain played havoc with many of the scheduled Olympic events yesterday as athletes and spectators struggled with the awful windy and rainy conditions that prevailed throught the day here in Rio. The weather caused massive interruptions in both the transport system and the logistics for athletes and officials.
Rowing, in which T&T’s Felice Aisha Chow was scheduled to perform in the C semifinals of the single sculls, had to be postponed to tomorrow at noon (TT time). Chow will race in Lane 5 of six, where the top three progress to the final on the weekend. She will be rowing in a bid to secure the highest possible minor placing, since she did not qualify for the final after finishing fifth of the six competitoirs in her quarterfinal on Tuesday.
The only T&T athlete to see competition yesterday was sailor Andrew Lewis. He finished 41st in the fifth event in a time of 58.25 and then 34th in the sixth race in the Laser Class in 55.51.
Lewis admitted that conditions were tough and is determined to leave Rio with his head high. “It was hard but I am trying. It seems like I got to dig deeper.”
His manager Kairon Serrette also agreed that conditions have been tough for Lewis. “It is tough and given all that Andrew has been through, it is a measure of his determination that he is competing today. We will continue all the way to the end. His objective now is to do better than he did four years ago,” added Serrette.
Lewis will have a day to rest before heading back on board tomorrow.
Today can well be described as a day of the Georges for T&T, since both Christopher George and George Bovell will be in action.
Two years ago, family, friends, employers and probably most of T&T laughed at Christopher George when he spoke of his dream to represent this country in Rio. Fast forward to today and George will enter the Judo Olympic Arena at 10.03 (TT time) to do battle with 37 year old Myanmar Citizen Soe Naing Yan.
“My focus is to always build a champion to represent T&T to my fullest. I take that with great pride and so I need to perform to the best of my ability and do T&T proud,” George said yesterday.
He revealed that together with his coach Mark Littrean and training partner Alexander Turner, a plan was devised to get past his first opponent. “He is a veteran, south-based Asian Champion, so we have to look for his craftiness but I believe that I am strong and explosive. I am confident and believe in myself,” remarked George.
For Bovell, it will be a special moment when he dives into the pool. A bronze medallist over 200 metres in the individual medley in Athens 2004, Bovell will become the only T&T athletes to compete at five Olympics.
Bovell will compete in the 50m freestyle, an event in which he reached the finals at the last Games in London.
The 33-year old Bovell is in Heat 8 of 11, and he will be swimming from Lane 7. He will be acutely aware that he will need to improve on his his qualifying time of 22.17 to progress to the semifinals at 9.03pm (TT time). The final is tomorrow night.
In his heat, Bovell will have to not only contend with time but two tough opponents in Filip Wypych of Poland and Odyssefs Meladinis of Greece.