The mother of national gymnast Thema Williams is concerned about her daughter’s participation at the Rio Olympics, stating that the T&T Gymnastics Federation (TTGF) is not following the selection policy that was set. On Thursday, on the popular Isports programme (i95.5fm) hosted by Andre Errol Baptiste, a lot of concerns were raised by Williams’ mother Helen Adams.

Adams is claiming that her daughter should be the one selected to represent T&T at the Olympic Test Event in Rio, Brazil in April 2016 as she currently has a higher ranking than fellow national gymnast Marisa Dick. Williams and Dick both competed in the artistic women’s individual qualification at the World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow, with Williams finishing 59th and Dick ending 77th overall.  

Adams stated the selection policy of the TTGF states, “The WAG (Women’s Artistic Gymnastics) gymnast who scores the highest all-around score at the World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow 2015 will be the athlete selected by the TTGF Selection Committee to move forward to represent T&T at the Olympic Test Event in Rio, Brazil in April 2016 once her scores allow her selection by the International Federation of Gymnastics to this event.”

On the radio show Adams said, “A selection policy was established by the T&T Gymnastics Federation as it relates to the Rio Olympics, and this was given to everyone, and so after the last event, the rankings read Thema (Williams) in 59th position and Marisa (Dick) in 77th position. If there is only one spot, Thema, based on this should be the automatic choice.”

Adams added: “Instead, we are now being told, that the two girls (Williams and Dick) will have to compete in two more events, and then they will decide again who is representing T&T, but this is not right, it is not fair.”

“At this time, Thema should be preparing for the Olympic Trials in 2016, but instead, this is happening, which cannot be good for her mind, and even though we are asking questions, as to what is causing this, we are not getting much answers from anyone in the Association.”

The T&T Guardian has also learnt, that John Geddert, the coach of Thema Williams, has since sent two emails to the president of the T&T Gymnastics Federation David Marquez, and has not received a reply to date. The first email was sent on Monday and the second was sent on Thursday.

Sport Minister gets involved

Also appearing on Isports was the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Daryl Smith, who admitted, that he had heard some of this before but needed to listen to the two sides. Smith said: “We have only heard one (side), but if this is happening, we will check and get the full details. I have not seen any correspondence as yet to the Ministry of Sports, but it is something that we are going to examine as we believe in placing the athletes first and ensuring that all sporting organisations operate transparently and fairly.”

Adams planned to hand deliver all the relevant documents to the Minister of Sports yesterday in the hope that this matter could be quickly resolved through the intervention of the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs.


The Cabinet yesterday fired the board of the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT), which is chaired by Sebastien Paddington.

Cabinet’s action follows the SporTT’s decision to pay off a $34 million contract to educator Adolphus Daniell’s EBeam Interact for work he did not do in the now defunct LifeSport programme.

The board of directors of SporTT were Reynold Bala, Norris Blanc, Nisa Dass, Anyl Gopeesingh, Sabrenah Khayyam, Matthew Quamina, Annan Ramnanansingh, Kent Samlal, Milson Siboo and Harnarine Singh.

Cabinet’s decision was taken on a day the Express’ editorial called for the board to be dismissed and for action to be taken by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan against the directors for breach of fiduciary duties.

Contacted yesterday, Ramlogan said that he had already indicated to the Express that the audit report was under active consideration with a view to restitution of public funds.

“I’ve retained the services of Deborah Peake SC to deal with the matter and rest assured that any claims or recovery of public funds will be vigorously pursued,” he said.

“I was disappointed in the Express’ editorial because I had already indicated my intention which was published in your newspaper but I anxiously await the findings and advice so I can proceed,” he added.

Cabinet’s decision to fire the SporTT board comes one week after former sport minister Anil Roberts  resigned following the public furore over the LifeSport scandal.

Roberts had told the Express he felt the EBeam payment was the tipping point for his exit from politics.

The EBeam contract was highlighted in the Ministry of Finance’s Central Audit Committee’s audit report into LifeSport which has now been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Integrity Commission, the Commissioner of Police and the head of the Public Service.

In his resignation letter to House Speaker Wade Mark, Roberts has criticised the audit report into LifeSport, claiming it was flawed, especially with regard to the EBeam contract.

The audit revealed Daniell was paid $34 million by SporTT although no work was done. His $34 million payment was the single biggest payment in the programme.

Daniell has said he has no intention of returning the money.

“The thing about it is, it is a non-issue because the only way under a contract anything is recoverable is if the other party is in default. There was never a single letter of complaint that I was in default of this contract. Not even a phone call,” Daniell has said.

The role of the SporTT board has come under scrutiny for not only its decision and defence in awarding the multi-million payment to Daniell but for making the second payment although no work was executed.

The Express has reported that six days before SporTT received legal advice to pay an outstanding $17 million payment to Daniell’s EBeam Interact, a cheque had already been made out to him.

Daniell’s cheque for $17 million—the second half of a $34 million payment   to teach maths and English—was dated February 11, 2014.

SporTT received legal advice from attorney Anja Dass from JD Sellier on February 17 that it “is legally obligated under the contract to issue the remaining balance of the TT$17 million to EBeam”.

The Express reported it was former chief executive John Mollenthiel who drafted a note for the board of SporTT to approve the final payment based on his recommendation. He resigned from SporTT a few weeks ago.

The board has refused to answer questions from the Express on the contract because it was seeking legal advice.


Larry Probst, chairman of the United States Olympic Committee, has praised the progress being made by Rio 2016 following celebrations to mark two years to go until the Olympics and Paralympics begin.

Although organisers faced an avalanche of concerns in recent months, including over the construction of venues and high levels of pollution at venues for water sports, they have been using the milestone to showcase the progress they claim is being made.

This was something acknowledged by Probst who, as well as his role in overseeing preparations for the US team at the Olympics and Paralympics, will no doubt have an eye on gaining insights which could prove helpful for a bid from his nation for the 2024 edition of the Games.

"This trip has afforded me the opportunity to view the commendable progress that has been made in Rio," said Probst, who was visiting the Brazilian city to attend the World Press Briefing in his role as chairman of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Press Commission

"While there is still work to be done, the Rio 2016 leadership team and the people of Brazil are 100 per cent focused on delivering a great Games and a memorable celebration of the world's best athletes.

"I've been equally impressed by Rio's landscape and its people, while experiencing the excitement as the venues take shape.

"I visited the sailing venue on Tuesday (August 5) and was impressed with the quality of the marina and the excellent organisation of the test event.

"Led by [President] Carlos Nuzman and [chief executive] Sidney Levy, and with support from Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, the Rio 2016 Organising Committee is working diligently to create a unique and festive Games unlike anything the Olympic and Paralympic Movements have experienced before."​

Although the criticism of preparations reached fever pitch earlier this year, with IOC  vice-president John Coates slamming them as "the worst he has experienced" in his long association with the Games, there have been various signs of improvement in recent weeks.

Two tenders have been signed and construction has begun on the second major Games hub at Deodoro, where much of the criticism was focused.

The sailing test event on Guanabara Bay, meanwhile, is currently progressing well, with worries over participants becoming ill due to the high pollution levels yet to materialise.

Mayor Paes has emphasised how he hopes Brazil will "remain marked in Olympic history as a nation that has the best Games, leaving the best legacy and being the best example of transformation in the lives of its people".

"Barcelona [1992] inspired us and was an excellent example of change, but Rio will overcome the challenges," he said.

"We are using the Games as an 'excuse' to do many things in the city, how to get financial loans and funds to carry out the works.

"This is an opportunity to expand the infrastructure in the city.

"The Games will take place for a month, but the legacy they will leave will last a lifetime."


Port. of. Spain- Friday 8th August.

The Adidas outfitted Trinidad and Tobago (TTO) Youth Olympic team will leave for Nanjing, China on Sunday.

Leading the  Team TTO delegation is chef de mission Kwanieze John, T&T’s young ambassador at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) held in Singapore in 2010.

25 year old John, a resident of St Barbs, Belmont, is  a national women's rugby player and the first active athlete to be selected as  chef de mission by the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee(TTOC ).

The  final year  University of Trinidad and Tobago( UTT) sport for development student said the athletes are  motivated to do their best.

"Its a huge honour for the entire delegation . We are looking forward to doing our best for Trinidad and Tobago."

World Junior silver medallist Dylan Carter is included in the 11 athlete Trinidad and Tobago Youth Olympic team that will participate in Nanjing- August 16 to 28 .

Carter, who placed fifth  in the men’s 100 metres freestyle at the recently concluded Glasgow Commonwealth Games, is one of three swimmers the others  are  David Mc Leod and Johnya Ferdinand.

Athletics - Jeminise Parris (100m Hurdles), Kasheif King (400m) and Akanni Hilltop (200m), Chelsea James (Shot Put) and Andwuelle Wright (Long Jump).

Malika Davidson and Chelsi Ward will represent T&T in beach volleyball. And Abigail Affoo is the  representative in sailing.

John thanked  TTOC corporate partners Scotia Bank, Guardian Group, Bptt, Lisa communications ,Adidas and the respective national sport organisations  for their support and help .

" Its not an easy or simple undertaking. The guidance , mentoring and support is appreciated. Jeannette, the young athletes - we treasure the confidence and trust placed in us. Its an honour and an experience  we will cherish. We have  to be positive role models for young people here in Trinidad and Tobago " said John.

TTO  Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic  team:

Chef de mission-Kwanieze John

Young Ambassador -Jeannette Small


Manager /head coach ​ Mark Pouchet

Dylan Carter -50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly, 50m back stroke Johnya Ferdinand - 50 m free David McLeod - 50m backstroke, 100m backstroke.



coach - Nadine Hamid​

Jeminise Parris - 100m Hurdles

Kasheif King- 400m

Akanni Hislop - 200m

Chelsea James - Shot Put

Andwuelle Wright - Long Jump​

Beach Volleyball

Manager : Jason Dennis

Coach: Sean Morrison

Malika Davidson

Chelsi Ward


Coach/Manager: Stephen Affoo

Abigail Affoo

Medical Team - Dr. Israel Dowlat, June Durham - massage therapist.

Not unexpectedly, the public statements of officials connected to Trinidad and Tobago’s Commonwealth Games effort has accentuated the positive.

The National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) wasted little time in hailing the athletes who earned medals in Glasgow—Keshorn Walcott, Ayanna Alexander, Cleopatra Borel, Jehue Gordon, Lalonde Gordon  and the men’s 4x100 and 4x400 metres relay teams. That was quite within their rights and appropriate.

Track and field yet again was the principal medal-bearer for these islands at a major multi-sport games. Only boxer Michael Alexander with his lightweight division bronze medal contributed hardware from the other disciplines. But it just seems that in the public assessments so far of T&T’s Commonwealth Games showing, too much focus has been on what track and field did or did not do.

A bigger, more important concern should be those six other disciplines from which no medals came. In most of those cases, the T&T teams also struggled to even be competitive.

At the Central American and Pan American level, the national hockey teams have performed creditably over the years, winning medals here and there, but both the men and women struggled in Scotland. Badly.

The T&T women managed just one goal in their four Pool matches, but conceded 48. The individual results make no less painful reading: 16-0 against South Africa, 14-0 v New Zealand, 14-0 against India and a “respectable” 4-2 defeat against Malaysia.

After the second beating, the 14-0 drubbing against New Zealand, coach Albert Marcano told reporter Kwame Laurence that his team had gone into that game with a plan, “not to concede more than we conceded the first time. They achieved that goal today, so it was a plus for them”.

A plus? To lose “only” 14-0? I shook my head when I read that. It seemed a clutching at straws. But clearly the T&T women were out of their depth in this level of competition which pitted them against some of the strongest teams in the hockey world.

The men’s team did not lose in double digits, and to their credit came away with a 4-2 victory over Malaysia. But they also had difficult days, losing 6-1 to England, 8-0 to New Zealand and 3-1 to Canada.

In Rugby Sevens, the T&T men lost all three of their matches against the Cook Islands, Kenya and Canada in the Pool stage but managed a win over Malaysia in a consolation Shield game, before losing heavily to Sri Lanka in their final match.

Meanwhile, the netballers went into the Commonwealth competition as the tenth ranked team and left it, having kept their status. At least no ground was lost. But for a team that was once the best in the world and among the top five in the Commonwealth, winning one match out of six cannot be satisfactory.

I therefore read with interest the newspaper comments yesterday of Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis on the Commonwealth effort. He sought to focus attention on what the Glasgow effort should mean for the athletes moving forward to the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Essentially, the TTOC president encouraged the sporting fraternity to use the good and the bad from Glasgow to gauge what needs to be done for the next Olympics.

There was also a plea for equitable treatment for athletes across all sports when it came to the distribution of Elite funding. Implied, was the suggestion that some national competitors have not yet got funding for the year.

This is an area that ought to demand the attention of the new Minister of Sport, Dr Rupert Griffith. As has become more clear in recent weeks, all is not right in the ministry. As such, paying outstanding money to athletes may not be so high on the minister’s list of priorities.

But even taking into consideration the relevance of the comments by the TTOC boss, and the issues of funding that all sporting associations face, those bodies also have to look themselves in the mirror.

Some of those results in Glasgow did not justify the presence of national teams there; specifically the manner of the defeats. If regional Games provide the opportunity to test where countries are in relation to the highest levels of competition in their respective sports, then T&T are not measuring up, and local sporting bodies have to look not only at how they prepare teams but at how effectively they are running their competitions and training their players, from youth level upwards.

Otherwise, these T&T games contingents will continue to be more padding than substance.


Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis was full of praise for the T&T athletes as they returned home following a good showing at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, but at the same time he told them that they needed to raise the bar higher.

Lewis, speaking at a welcome reception for the athletes at the Piarco International Airport VIP Lounge yesterday, told the contingent “As much as we all may feel we have done our very best, we can do better.”

“As we pay recognition on the medallists it is always tempting to look down at who have not achieved but it is imperative as we focus on Rio 2016, the CAC games in Vera Cruz in November, the Youth Olympic Games and the Pan Am Games in Toronto next year, that we recognise that Glasgow 2014 is now history,” said Lewis.

“We need to take on board the lessons, the disappointments, the successes, and all work together to ensure our athletes build from this experience,” he added. T&T won eight medals at the games and among those who returned home yesterday was men’s javelin silver medallist Keshorn Walcott and boxing bronze medallist Michael Alexander.

Walcott said he is looking for more personal best as he tries to improve on his performances. “Each medal for me is a great achievement but winning my second medal internationally as a senior athlete and getting a personal best, I think that was the best aspect of the games for me,” Walcott told the media.

“I know the winner from Kenya, I know him from before, from Olympics, from Worlds so I knew he was my major competition and I did not underestimate him for anything, but I guess the better guy won on the day,” he added.

Looking ahead the Olympic gold medallist said: “I am just working toward betterment. Each and every time I just want to improve and hopefully in the near future I will have more personal bests. I had a lot of problems, I had a lot of injuries, so I am just trying to get back to where I want to be. My season is not over yet,” Walcott added.

Alexander also dreams of Olympic gold and is also motivated to improve after surprising himself in Glasgow on his way to securing bronze in his appearance at an international games. “It feels great knowing it was (my) first major competition and I came out with a medal. Seeing the other styles of boxing of other countries,” he said of the experience, before thanking his coaches for helping him along the way.

“If it was not for the coaches I would not have been so successful, so I would like to thank Mr Reynold Cox and Mr Floyd Trumpet,” said the southpaw. New Minister of Sport Rupert Griffith was also on hand to welcome home the athletes and noted that he will have to talk to the prime minister to see if she has any specific plans to honour the athletes.


World Junior silver medallist Dylan Carter will lead an 11-member Trinidad and Tobago contingent to the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games (YOG) that will run from August 16 to 28 in the Chinese city. Carter, coached by one of the top US coaches Dave Salo at the University of Southern California, is one of three swimmers on the team.
Carter, who placed fifth in a new PB in the men’s 100 metres freestyle at the recently concluded Glasgow Commonwealth Games, is accompanied by Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships (CISC) gold medallists, David Mc Leod and Johnya Ferdinand.
Swimming is one of four disciplines being represented at the quadrennial Games, whose inaugural event was in Singapore in 2010. Athletics has five representatives in Jeminise Parris (100m Hurdles), Kasheif King (400m) and Akanni Hilltop (200m), Chelsea James (Shot Put) and Andwuelle Wright (Long Jump). The pair of Malika Davidson and Chelsi Ward will represent T&T in beach volleyball. And Abigail Affoo is the lone representative in sailing.
According to Iinternational Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, “Participating in the Youth Olympic Games is not simply about sport and performance. It is also about meeting people of other cultures and backgrounds, learning about important skills in an athlete’s career and about experiencing the Olympic Values”
At the Games, the athletes will participate in the Nanjing Culture and Education Programme (CEP), an integral part of the Youth Olympic games. It aims to inspire participants to become champions of life, ambassadors of their sport and advocates of the Olympic Values of excellence, respect and friendship,” a release from the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee stated.
Activities will be organised in and outside of the Youth Olympic Village (YOV) for athletes and other young participants. The programme is expected to inspire the athletes to become part of the Olympic movement, embrace Olympic values and carry forward the Olympic spirit.
T&T’s Young Ambassador Jeannette Small’s role is to promote the Cultural and Education Programme and assist the T&T athletes maximise the YOG experience. Head of the delegation is chef de mission Kwanieze John, T&T’s young ambassador at the 2010 YOG.

Complete T&T YOG team
Chef de mission-Kwanieze John
Young Ambassador -Jeannette Small

Manager /head coach ​ Mark Pouchet
Dylan Carter -50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly, 50m back stroke
Johnya Ferdinand - 50 m free
David McLeod - 50m backstroke, 100m backstroke.

coach - Nadine Hamid​
Jeminise Parris - 100m Hurdles
Kasheif King- 400m
Akanni Hislop - 200m
Chelsea James - Shot Put
Andwuelle Wright - Long Jump​

Beach Volleyball
Manager : Jason Dennis
Coach: Sean Morrison
Malika Davidson
Chelsi Ward

One Dingy
Coach/Manager: Stephen Affoo
Abigail Affoo
Medical Team - Dr. Israel Dowlat, June Durham


Special advisor to the T&T Boxing Board of Control Boxu Potts says Commonwealth bronze medallist Michael Alexander will need to attend foreign training camps if he is to win gold medals at international competitions. Speaking to the Guardian yesterday, the former promoter said that Alexander, 21, had to follow in the footsteps of track stars Hasely Crawford and Ato Boldon, both of whom benefitted from foreign training, in order to become a world class boxer.

“For a long time now boxers from T&T have been returning with silver and bronze medals from international events,” he said. “We need to get some gold medals and in order to get gold medals we must now develop a new cutting edge mentality. Athletes like Crawford and Boldon in the past have spent time training in foreign countries and I think Michael should be no different.”

He added that the country’s coaches could also develop their craft by spending time abroad.

“Some of our coaches can go and learn the science of boxing and then impart knowledge to our local athletes.”

Potts said that such initiatives would be difficult as funding from the Ministry of Sports had dried up in recent times. However, he expressed optimism at the appointment of Dr. Rupert Griffith as the new Minister of Sport following the resignation of Anil Roberts.

“I trust that Dr. Griffith, who has come in without baggage, will be good for the Ministry and will deal with sports in a fair manner and get the personality out the way,” he said. “He is a former sportsman himself and a man of action. He hits the ground running and likes to make things happen. I think he will do an excellent job.”

Without funding from the Ministry, Alexander relied on contributions from local companies Capital City and Caribbean Facilities Corporation Limited (CFCL) Construction for his preparations for the Commonwealth Games.

Potts believes that if the Ministry had provided adequate support for the sport, as many as seven fighters could have represented T&T at the Games.


The T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) will retain 15 players in time for the regional First Class cricket series which gets underway in November.

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) revealed recently that the First Class tournament will now take the franchise route, with players from across the region, allowed free movement to play with any team they wish.

Players will be paid a monthly salary, in addition to match fees for the tournament which takes place over ten rounds.

Chief executive officer of the T&TCB, Suruj Ragoonath told T&T Guardian yesterday that the local board would retain a total of 15 players and they would be under this programme for a year.

“Initially the board will retain 15 players for a period of one year and those currently retained by the WICB would not be retained by the local board,” Ragoonath said.

“We will retain a total of 15 players but not those that are already retained by the board. They will, however, be available for play for T&T. As an example, we will not retain players like Dwayne Bravo, Keiron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin and Sunil Narine but the others that are not retained by the regional board.

“These players who are retained by the WICB will get match fees based on their retainer condition with the WICB. The others will be paid a monthly salary by the TTCB for one year in the first instance. They will also get match fees in accordance with their retainers.”

The WICB will be subsidising the league and hence players will get a monthly salary in the range of US$1,500 (TT$9,500) to US$2,500 (TT15,507). A player’s salary will be matched to his seniority.

In addition to this monthly salary, each player that makes the final 11 for any match will be paid in the region of US$1,500 (TT$$9,500).

Ragoonath, the former Test opener said that the players who are retained by the TTCB will have to actually “go to work” for the period of one year.

He said: “When I say ‘go to work’, I mean they will have to make a certain amount of hours in training and will be required to do mentorship, coaching and other civic duties. They will be available to promote sport and a healthy lifestyle as well, for example they can join in the march for breast cancer and Aids that is kept at the Queen’s Park Savannah.”

Players who have regular jobs will then have to make a choice between keeping their jobs, or taking a retainer.

“These guys would have the weigh their options and if they decide against taking a retainer to keep their regular jobs, they would be offered what is called a pay for play contract,” Ragoonath said.

“They will be required to get time-off from their employers to train and play matches and will get just match fees, when they represent the country.

“If the players take up their retainers then they don’t have to worry about getting time off to train and play matches, because they willbe full time cricketers.”

This arrangement is already in place in the major cricketing nations such as England, South Africa and Australia.


The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, is over but the resulting eight medals, while much appreciated, should not be the only area of introspection for those interested in progressing our sport.

It is obvious, that the T&T contingent could have done better and achieved more medals, if George Bovell III had produced a medal as expected. He and his team will have to examine his future in light of the fact, that without any European swimmers or American swimmers, he was only able to achieve fifth place in his preferred final, and therefore serious doubts must be raised on his credible chances in 2016 in Brazil.

Perhaps though, this is where we need to start, with questions being raised to the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC), on both the selection process going forward for international events, and also team guidelines before any major event.

There must exist rules of participation, rules of eligibility and generally guidance rules for events which must be adhered to, otherwise, there will be anarchy and problems.

Bovell qualified for the 100 metres backstroke final, after entering the event of his own free will, but while he had the seventh fastest time heading into the final and did not look like he would medal, he opted to not swim the final.

Clearly it was not injury, as he swam the following day in his pet event the 50m freestyle and it was reported that his decision was based on him, wanting to not exert himself and be at his best for the 50m freestyle. It was a report that he and his team never refuted.

My problem is that, how can someone qualify for a final at a major meeting and drop out and the governing body, the TTOC has no say or no opinion. So is it that they are afraid of Bovell? And if so, that is absolute rubbish and speaks volumes on their management style.

Please do not tell me also that this has been done before by him and therefore it is acceptable, if that be the case, then every team member can behave similarly, wake up one morning and decide not to race or swim or play a final because they do not want to, and we all must accept it gracefully with a big broad smile and move on. Who paid for their training? Who paid for their support? Who ensured that the Olympic body would sponsor their Games? In particular, Bovell is obtaining elite funding from this country and this is not money to be easily ignored, as it is estimated at around $250,000 a year at least.

But it is the principle of the matter and the way, it was done, with callous disregard for the people of T&T, who were all happy to watch one of our own in a first final, it meant a lot. It was not surprising to listen to some of the dismaying comments from the public on Bovell’s errant choice, as it was one of disgust, dissatisfaction and left a sour taste. In fact, sadly, the population turned against him, but he has himself to blame for this.

As for the TTOC, they need to put their house in order in ensuring that the information from the camp is relayed properly. There is an urgent need for the TTOC to hire a working professional press officer or Press attache, similar to how it works all over the world. In the past, Brian Lewis used to do this job himself tirelessly but now that he is president and the Olympic framework is growing, a working full-time journalist should be hired.

This would enhance the TTOC’s image and ensure that all the media houses in this country could direct their enquiries to one constant reliable source. While there may be some that would be upset with this, the TTOC needs to stand alone and be decisive. New leadership may not always mean a change in direction but as we as a sporting world evolve, the price for lack of timely information is failure and abuse.

Lewis needs to immediately hire a press officer, so that our Olympic and related teams in the future can have their views aired properly. This sort of media coverage would not only assist our athletes in getting their opinions out on one platform but would ensure consistency and trust.

Who knows if this existed, then Bovell would not have received the amount of abuse he has had to since his withdrawal from the swimming final. Maybe anyway?

However, it is clear, that policy needs to be established with set guidelines on entering and participating in events, this is not only about the athletes pride in finishing unplaced in a final, but it must be about the country and the need to ensure that our name is not tarnished as quitters or cowards who do not like to lose or be defeated.

As to the selection policy, questions continue to be asked about the idea to use a slow Zwede Hewitt (split of 45.9) to run the anchor leg in the 4x400m relay team which won a bronze medal when gold seemed theirs for the taking.

Of concern will also be the number of injuries we continue to suffer before events, even though the athletes are supposed to have been tested before and their fitness assured this however is not the case. And the sad part is that this is not the first time we have witnessed this.

There are several young journalists, who would be interested in this job, and with the Olympics in 2016 a mere two years away, the TTOC must act now in order to be ready to deliver. This would be a great sign of progressiveness and establish the TTOC as an organisation well ahead of the others.

So let us hope the lessons from the Commonwealth Games will not only be from the field of play but also from the offices and those involved in administration of the sports that the need for proper and trustworthy communication must be first and foremost in the minds of those that want sports to succeed in this country.


COMMONWEALTH GAMES Men’s javelin silver medallist Keshorn Walcott blasted his critics at the VIP Lounge of the Piarco International Airport yesterday, as he along with a Trinidad and Tobago athletic contingent of approximately 50, returned home from national duty after a lengthy flight from Glasgow, Scotland.

Walcott, who grabbed one of this nation’s three silver medals at the just concluded Games, silenced pundits when he took the international podium once more, after launching the spear to a personal best distance of 85.32 metres in the semi-finals and then grabbing runner-up spot with a 82.67m haul.

The Toco-born athlete was responding to questions from the media based on his most recent achievement as compared to several challenging performances following his historic golden Olympic showing in 2012.

“There was not really any pressure, as I said before, people will talk and they don’t know what I’m doing behind the doors. I had a lot of problems and injuries so I’m just trying to get myself back to where I want to be,” said a relieved Walcott.

The robust athlete admitted that eventual Commonwealth javelin winner, Kenyan Julius Yego, was always going to be a tricky opponent, even though the pair know each other very well from past global tourneys.

“There athlete competition was good. The guy from Kenya, I know him from previous tournaments such as Olympics and World Championships. I knew he was my major competition and going in there I didn’t underestimate him. I guess the better guy won on the day,” he added.

Also touching down from a hectic and historic campaign at the Games was Men’s lightweight bronze medallist, Michael Alexander. The reserved young man still beamed with delight having bagged his first international boxing medal at his inaugural global meet. In his short address to the welcoming reception, Alexander heaped praises on coaches Reynold Cox and Floyd Trumpet for giving him the required artillery to attain a coveted podium spot. He was also the only athlete to medal outside of the athletics discipline. Both Walcott and Alexander also received celebratory plaques from the Ministry of Sport.

Also present yesterday were several members of the Men and Women’s national hockey teams and athletics camps, who all brought home great experience from the acclaimed competition. Additionally, male hockey players Akim Toussaint and Solomon Eccles were also presented with miniature trophies for attaining their 100th country appearance in the sport.

Other delegates attending yesterday’s function were freshly appointed Minister of Sport Dr Rupert Griffith, Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis, National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) president Ephraim Serrette, special adviser to the Trinidad and Tobago Boxing Board Boxu Potts and various members of TT’s Commonwealth managerial staff.

In Griffith’s first ever address to the public as Minister of Sport, he showered praises on the returning outfit and admitted that their performances auger well for the future of national sporting development.

When asked if the medalling athletes would be rewarded from the Government, Dr Griffith stated that he has been in talks with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on this matter. He also indicated that the Prime Minster sent her regards to the contingent and that today would be his first full day in office as Sport Minister.

When asked as to what his agenda may look like today, he responded, “I have a lot of plans but won’t reveal them just yet. On my first full day (today), I will be talking with all the heads of the respective departments.

“I want to first get a feel of the Ministry as to where they are now. I want to look at the projects and where they’re going and see which direction we will go in, and put our priorities.”


Glasgow 2014 is over. Elite level sport is publicly measured. Opinions and perspectives are as diverse as the various people expressing their point of view.

In the context of the Olympic Games and Rio 2016 in particular, Glasgow 2014 provided an important yardstick for the athletes and team sports hoping to qualify and be selected in two years’ time for Rio 2016.

The Commonwealth Games is an important barometer. It is to the credit of this country’s athletes that they understand the importance of attending and participating.

While most people focus on the medal tally of eight medals—three silver and five bronze—and the fact that gold is missing, those tuned in to Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 will keep the results and performances in the appropriate context and perspective.

The public profile of events such as the Commonwealth Games is important as it provides scrutiny and a transparency that can only propel athletes, coaches and administrators to higher heights.

It is necessary for athletes, coaches and administrators to embrace the scrutiny but in doing so don’t be distracted or angered by what may seem at times as unfair or misinformed criticism. On the other hand, it also works the other way. Enjoy the praise and adulation but don’t be similarly distracted or seduced by the celebration and back slapping.

Sport on the whole and elite sport in particular is no faithful sycophant. You are king or queen of the hill one day and the next you are a close confidante to the agony of defeat, injury or lost of form.

Invariably, the extremes of emotions, while polar opposites, can be an unnecessary obstacle to continued improvement and achievement.

Glasgow 2014 highlighted the need to improve on critical details that are fundamental to elite sport.

In the customary rush to celebrate and congratulate or criticise aspects such as athletes not getting their funding, based on the Cabinet-approved elite athlete assistance programme, guidelines are lost. The end result is that some athletes may quite correctly feel that they are being treated in a cynical and hypocritical manner and that the system is not just, fair and equitable.

Celebrate, laud, meet and greet while at the same time do not turn a blind eye to basic needs.

Let’s make sure athletes who have not received their Elite Athlete Assistance funding for the year do so.

Sometimes things need to be said and fights need to be fought even if they are unpopular or uncomfortable.

It’s the role, responsibility and duty of sport administrators to make sure that as far as possible everything is done and put in place to support those athletes who meet the requirements.

Important support systems are in place to support elite level athletes. Much has been done and most are beneficiaries of what is available.

But the process and systems aren’t in perfect working order and need to be fixed. Decisions must be made as to where investments should be made and where they may not make sense.

If this country wants to achieve its full medal potential on the Olympic, Commonwealth, World, Pan Am, CAC multi-sport stage, funding support for our athletes in both individual and team sports must be ring fenced.

The uncertainty is unhelpful and can cause underachievement. It is also unfair.

No athlete deserving of support must be left behind.


Tired bodies but even tougher minds departed from Glasgow, Scotland, over the past two days, as T&T athletes bid farewell to the Commonwealth Games which closed on Sunday with a gala ceremony. After 12 days of intense competition T&T emerged with eight medals—three silver and five bronze—to improve T&T’s overall medal count at the event to 52 (eight gold, 20 silver, 24 bronze).

T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis, is encouraged by the effort of all the athletes and applauded their successes. “I am proud of our medallists and those, who made the finals and did their season’s best,” said Lewis in his first major competition as the head of the TTOC. “It augurs well for Pan Am in Toronto next year and Rio Olympics (2016),” he said.

It was slow start to the 20th edition of the event but Ayanna Alexander sparked some life into the T&T camp on the seventh day, by winning this country’s first medal, a bronze in the women’s triple jump event, leaping to a distance of 14.01 metres at Hampden Park Stadium.

A day later, it was Cleopatra Borel and Lalonde Gordon making it three for T&T as the duo went on to nab a silver and bronze, respectively. Borel’s toss of 18.57m earned her a third Commonwealth medal, bagging bronze at the 2006 Melbourne Games and a silver at the Delhi Games in 2010.

Gordon’s battle-to-the-end attitude saw him cross third in the men’s 400m. It was the first of two bronze medals he secured, leading the 4x400m team that also included Jarrin Solomon, Renny Quow and Zwede Hewitt, two days later. Jehue Gordon ran a season’s best 48.75 to win a silver medal in the 400m hurdles final, which made it four for T&T last Tuesday.

On Saturday, the final day of track and field, the expectations were high for T&T to make it unto the podium. Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott and both the 4x100 relay team of Richard Thompson, Marc Burns, Rondel Sorrillo and Keston Bledman and the 4x400m did just that.

Walcott, only the previous day, had broken his own national record throwing 85.28 in the opening round to better the 84.58m standard he had set in winning gold in 2012, had his best throw on the sixth and final round of 82.67, to capture the second major title of his career, a silver medal.

Earlier the week, both Thompson and Bledman, both Olympic silver medallists, missed out on qualifying for the 100m final while Sorrillo was eliminated in the 200m event. Failures that left a sour feeling with the trio, however, they did well to bounce back and placed third in 38.10 with the help of Burns. Lalonde, Solomon, Quow and Hewitt combined to clock 3:01.51 in the 4x400m final to seize a bronze.

The night before though, at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), Michael Alexander nabbed a bronze medal also. Despite being defeated by Northern Ireland’s Joe Fitzgerald in the semifinals of the men’s lightweight division, Alexander was guaranteed a medal even before entering the ring as losing semifinalists are awarded bronze medals.

Lewis, who got a chance to see the local athletes in action, said, evaluating some of their performances, that he saw promise which was good for the future.

He said: “Dylan Carter showed his potential as did Michael Alexander and Judo's Christopher George.

“George Bovell showed he is still a world class swimmer.”

Both Bovell and Carter missed out on medals in the 50m freestyle and the 100m freestyle finals, respectively.

Bovell (22.31), who also reached the final of the 50m backstroke but chose not to compete, and Carter (49.56) placed fifth in their respective races.

T&T’s team sports were totally outclassed. The national netball team placing tenth from 12 teams, winning only one match over Barbados (38–37). The “Calypso Girls” suffered losses to South Africa (56–40), Wales (50–31), Australia (69–34) and England (70–24). In their classification match against host Scotland, they lost 46–28.

The men’s rugby sevens team lost all of its pool matches to South Africa (36–0), Kenya (35–5) and Cook Islands (33–10), to be relegated to the bowl competition and lost to Canada, 33–0.

Down in the Shield contest, the local did manage to win a match against Malaysia, 15–10 in the semifinals but fell to Sri Lanka (43–7) in that finale.

“At times I must admit it has been a difficult Games in that sense because it is never easy watching younger athletes get a baptism of fire,” said Lewis.

Both men’s and women’s hockey teams were also outplayed by their opponents to place tenth in the respective divisions.

The local stickmen though, did create history, by winning its first ever match at a Commonwealth Games, beating Malaysia 4–2 in the final preliminary match.

“We don’t afford our team sports the competitive programme that they need and it makes no sense stopping and starting is either we committed to it or we not we can’t be halfway committed then complain about the cost. If we want our teams to perform well and build and develop we have to invest the money in terms of the high level competitions.”

“The people that are making these decisions need to face reality International sports at this level have changed. We have a lot to improve.

Roger Daniel, who thrived in the last two Commonwealth Games, with two silver (2010) and a bronze (2006), left empty-handed. Daniel best showing was in the 50m Pistol event, where he placed seventh.

With competitions like the World Championships, Pan American Games and even the Olympics quickly approaching, T&T athletes will look to recuperate and dive back into preparations.

“The TTOC have to do a comprehensive review of everything we do because there are a lot of things that other countries are doing and if we have to compete we must do.”


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. The United States Olympic Committee joins the global Olympic Movement in celebrating the two-year countdown to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Tuesday, Aug. 5. To commemorate the two-year milestone, the USOC is sharing thoughts from some of its top 2016 Olympic hopefuls, distributing sport storylines and qualification procedures, launching a video and online feature series dubbed “Ready for Rio” on, and promoting #ReadyForRio on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Additionally, and per tradition, OMEGA’s Olympic Games Countdown Clock will launch Aug. 5 on the homepage of, alerting fans on a continual basis to the remaining days, hours and minutes until the start of the 2016 Games.

With the Opening Ceremony to be held Aug. 5, 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will become the first South American city to host an Olympic Games. More than 10,500 athletes from 204 nations are expected to participate in 28 sports and 41 disciplines, including the highly anticipated reinstatement of golf and rugby.


A robust guide of athlete and sport storylines likely to unfold over the next two years, as well as qualification and selection procedures and key dates for each sport are available at Below is a sampling of Team USA’s top storylines heading into Rio.

Olympic Inclusion: Previously contested at just two Olympic Games in 1900 and 1904, golf will be played for the first time in 112 years at the 2016 Games. Featuring men’s and women’s individual events as announced by the International Olympic Committee in 2009, both events will have 60 players competing in a 72-hole stroke play tournament. Rugby joins golf in making an Olympic comeback in 2016, although this will mark the first time the rugby sevens format will be contested at an Olympic Games. The sevens format is a smaller, faster-paced game than the more common 15-a-side rugby tournament, which was last featured at the 1924 Games, in which the U.S. defended its gold medal from 1920. The 2016 rugby sevens competition will feature both men’s and women’s tournaments.

New Partnership: All eyes will be on Kerri Walsh Jennings (Saratoga, Calif.) as she aims to make her fifth Olympic appearance – her fourth on the sand and first without long-time partner Misty May-Treanor by her side. With May-Treanor’s exit from the sport after the duo’s remarkable three consecutive Olympic gold medals (2004, 2008, 2012), Walsh Jennings has switched partners to 2012 silver medalist April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.). A strong partnership that has yielded multiple medals on the international circuit in 2014, the duo is still navigating the waters to find a consistent rhythm. Now a mother of three, Walsh Jennings has moved to the right side of the sand, which has been a challenge as she heads into unchartered territory in search of her fourth Olympic title.

Mix for Six: Five-time U.S. Olympic shot gun athlete Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif.), who owns a U.S. Olympic record five medals in five consecutive Games, and is also the first Olympic shooter –  male or female – to compete in all three shotgun events, now has her sights set on Rio. Since giving birth to her son, Carter, in May 2013, Rhode has won three world cup medals.

Streaking: Team USA has historically shown strength in team sports at the Olympic Games, and at the 2016 Games, there is potential for several teams to continue impressive medal runs. For instance, the U.S. women’s basketball team will look to capture its sixth straight – and eighth overall – gold medal at the 2016 Games. Men’s basketball will also look to expand a highly successful legacy, seeking its third consecutive gold medal in 2016. Undefeated on the world stage for eight straight years, the U.S. women’s eight rowing team – which has not lost an Olympic or world championship title since 2006 – will go for its third consecutive Olympic gold medal in Rio. Additionally, the U.S. women’s soccer and water polo teams have medaled at every Olympic Games since the debut of their sports in 1996 and 2000.


Journalists are welcome to use the following quotes from Team USA athletes for coverage of the two-year countdown:

“This year has been an eye-opening experience in the sense that I see untapped potential in multiple events as we approach two crucial years in our sport,” said David Boudia (Noblesville, Ind.), 2012 Olympic gold and bronze medalist in diving. “Our whole team needs to continue to keep perspective and take it one year at a time, which will set us up to reach our greatest potential.”

“After wrestling at the London Games and having the experience of competing for my country, I have wanted to return,” said two-time world champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling Jordan Burroughs (Sicklerville, N.J.) whose current senior-level record is 88-1. “Each world championship, U.S. open and world cup since London have been stepping stones in my preparation for Rio, and I’d like to once again be at the top of my game while representing my country at the Olympics."

"Since London, I have been training and focused on Rio 2016,” said 2012 Olympic triathlete Gwen Jorgensen (Waukesha, Wis.), who is currently ranked No. 1 in the world as a result of a historic season on the 2014 ITU World Triathlon Series circuit in which she has become the only athlete to capture four consecutive ITU series titles in one season. “I'm fortunate to have a support crew that is helping me on my journey, and I’d be proud to wear the red, white and blue again in 2016."

“Obviously, the focus right now is on the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, but as soon as that journey is over, we have the Olympics to look forward to, and it’s always great to have a big event on the horizon as it keeps us sharp and focused,” said midfielder Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), who scored the game-winning goal in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold-medal games. “We’ve done really well in past Olympic tournaments and we want to continue that streak. It’s always an honor to represent the USA and be a part of the Games, so we are really looking forward to qualifying for Rio and being in and around Brazil at all the soccer venues, especially after seeing all the great crowds at the men’s world cup.”

"My focus right now is competing at the 2014 world championship, but my long-term goal is to represent the United States in Rio in 2016,” said Kyla Ross (Aliso Viejo, Calif.), 2012 Olympic gymnastics team champion and 2013 world all-around, uneven bars and balance beam silver medalist. “In some ways, it’s hard to believe London was two years ago because I didn’t take a break from competition after the Games. And, I know the next two years are going to pass even more quickly, so my coaches and I are working hard every day to have the opportunity to represent Team USA again."

“With the Olympics only two years away I am training harder than ever,” said Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.), who became the first U.S. man in 48 years to medal in the Olympic 10,000-meter when he won silver at the 2012 Games, running his last lap in 53.8 seconds. “Success at the Olympics is what drives me day in and day out to push myself harder and strive for excellence. I am excited to get the chance to represent my country for a third time on the world's biggest stage.”

“Being a part of Team USA at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games was an amazing experience, and it would be an honor to represent the United States again in 2016,” said Allison Schmitt (Canton, Mich.), six-time Olympic medalist in swimming. “I’m fortunate to swim with such a tight-knit and talented group at North Baltimore Aquatic Club that pushes me to be my best. Training is going well heading into the most important stretch of the 2014 season, and I’m focused on taking it one day at a time and improving with each workout.”


U.S. Olympic media rights holder NBCUniversal will help commemorate the two-year countdown to the 2016 Olympic Games through various promotions across NBC, NBCSN, the NBC Sports Regional Networks, select NBCU channels, NBC owned-and-operated stations, NBC affiliates and Telemundo. will feature a Bob Costas-narrated short-form video, while will examine the state of the Games two years from the Opening Ceremony. Additionally, NBC’s Today will celebrate in style by bringing some Brazilian flair to Rockefeller Plaza as well as 2012 Olympian in trampoline Steven Gluckstein (Atlantic Highlands, N.J.) and his brother, Jeffrey Gluckstein (Atlantic Highlands, N.J.), who are both top U.S. hopefuls for the 2016 Games. Meanwhile, Golf Channel and will air a spot to remind and excite viewers about golf’s return to the Olympic Games.


Aquece Rio – the test event program of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will test competition operations and fields of play at 45 international and national championship events in Rio de Janeiro through May 2016 – kick offs Aug. 2-9 with an International Sailing Regatta at Marina da Glória on Guanabara Bay. At the regatta, Team USA will field a team of 25 sailors in nine classes, including 2012 Olympians Stuart McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.). US Sailing will provide live Twitter coverage of the event.

Also, the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee’s website – – will be re-launched Aug. 5 with a new design reflecting Rio 2016’s “Look of the Games.”


On Oct. 1, 2014, the USOC will begin accepting requests from U.S. media organizations for accreditation to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The accreditation process will be open to print, online and photographic media organizations based in the United States. More information will be distributed in the coming months.

All non-rights holding broadcasters will be accredited by the International Olympic Committee. That form will be available Feb. 5-April 1, 2015 on


The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) is delighted to join with the Global Olympic Movement in commemorating and noting that on Friday 5th August 2016 the Opening Ceremony for Rio Olympics will take place.

Today 5th August- two years- to go is a special milestone.

Twenty four months  is not a long time in the world of sport.

The TTOC, athletes, coaches and Olympic sport organizations must at this point intensify efforts in respect of preparations for Rio.

Its an exciting time and the next phase in the build up to Rio 2016.

There is no  time to lose. Paying attention to the smallest detail is important.

Did we overachieve or underachieve in Glasgow?
A tally of eight medals (three silvers and five bronzes) and 22nd position in the final standings represent the bare facts of Trinidad and Tobago’s presence at the 20th Commonwealth Games. As with almost anything else though, those numbers have to be placed in context.
That medal haul is just one short of the nine brought home by the squad that competed at the 1966 Games in Kingston. However, the performances then were certainly much more praiseworthy as there were five gold medals (two by cyclist Roger Gibbon and one each by weightlifter Hugo Gittens, quarter-miler Wendell Mottley and the mile relay quartet of Edwin Roberts, Kent Bernard, Lennox Yearwood and Mottley) along with two silvers and two bronzes to be celebrated by a nation in only its fifth year of independence.
Incidentally, hosts Jamaica, who were just a few days ahead of T&T in declaring their independence in 1962, did not have a single gold medal moment to enjoy, although their competitors claimed four silver and eight bronze medals. They had to settle for 16th spot in the final standings while their arch-rivals at the other end of the Caribbean chain shared fifth place with Ghana.
Of course it was very different in Glasgow with the Jamaicans underlining their status as the pre-eminent nation in sprint events with an overall tally of 22 medals, including ten gold, four silver and eight bronze. They were by far the top Caribbean nation in a table headed by England who have made the short journey across the border with 174 medals (58 gold, 59 silver, 57 bronze) in their possession.
Let’s look at the numbers from another angle – per capita.
We know it’s not accurate but let’s go with the official Trinidad and Tobago population of 1.3 million and acknowledge that eight medals for such a small country is very good indeed. Yet, as was just mentioned, Jamaica are coming back with 22 and their population is 2.7 million. Hosts Scotland, a nation of 5.3 million people, racked up 53 medals, including 19 golds. New Zealand, population 4.4 million, are on their way back to the South Pacific with 14 gold medals in their tally of 45.
So on a medal-to-population basis, we aren’t the phenomenal overachievers that we may like to think we are.
Comparing this effort with what transpired in Delhi at the last edition of the Commonwealth Games in 2010, Trinidad and Tobago obviously fared better four years later as the contingent returned from India with six medals (four silvers and two bronzes).
One consistent element though across all editions of the Commonwealth, Olympics and other multi-sport events is the dominance of track and field athletics in bringing success to the twin-island state. Other sports – notably cycling, swimming, weightlifting, shooting and boxing - have churned out the occasional outstanding representative, but it’s invariably at the athletics venue where the red, white and black has had its greatest successes.
Here we’re seeing a shift as well. We remain a force to reckon with in the sprints in both male and female competition, although the disappointing returns in the men’s 100 metres especially, when there was no Trinidad and Tobago representative in the final despite the pre-Games form of Richard Thompson and Keston Bledman especially, was more than a little puzzling.
But it’s in the field events where the country is going from strength to strength. Keshorn Walcott in the javelin and shot putter Cleopatra Borel accounted for two of the three silvers in Scotland. Jehue Gordon, whose success in the 400-metre hurdles will surely inspire more than a few to take up the challenging discipline, claimed the other.
In the cases of Walcott and Gordon, the reigning Olympic and world champions respectively, gold medals would have been in their sights at Hampden Park. However in such elite-level competition, we should have come to the realisation by now that all it takes is a minimal deviation from the highest standard for the top prize to be left dangling tantalisingly out of reach.
Someone was asking on Friday afternoon if Walcott’s national record throw of 85.28 metres in qualifying would have been carried forward as the mark to beat in Saturday’s final. Clearly on the basis of that effort he had the form to take gold 24 hours later. But that’s what makes these events such a test of temperament as well as skill.
As in London two years ago, when our boy from Toco was the unsung and unheralded man of the moment, Kenya’s Julius Yego stepped up to take the Commonwealth crown.
It goes without saying that you can’t win them all. Still, it’s important after events like these to get a better understanding of what the final numbers mean.


...But eight-medal haul quite good, says Hypolite

Trinidad and Tobago’s haul of eight medals here in Glasgow, Scotland has only been bettered by one Commonwealth Games team in the country’s history—the 1966 outfit that left Kingston, Jamaica with nine medals, five of them gold.

Chef de mission of the 2014 team, Dr Ian Hypolite told the Express he expects the Glasgow experience to hold T&T in good stead on the Road to Rio 2016. “My expectation is that we would have benefitted immensely. It was a natural stepping stone for many teams.

“Before the Rio Olympics, we have the 2014 CAC (Central American and Caribbean) Games in Vera Cruz, Mexico, Pan Am Games 2015 in Toronto, the Beijing 2015 IAAF World Championships for track and field--clear stepping stones to Rio. The Commonwealth experience will do us well as we progress along the way.”

T&T ended the Games with three silver medals and five bronze. Olympic men’s javelin champion Keshorn Walcott, 400 metres hurdles world champion Jehue Gordon and shot putter Cleopatra Borel were the silver medallists. Bronze went to triple jumper Ayanna Alexander, quartermiler Lalonde Gordon, lightweight boxer Michael Alexander, and the men’s 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams.

Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Rondel Sorrillo and Richard “Torpedo” Thompson combined for the sprint relay medal. And in the 4x400m final, Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Renny Quow and Zwede Hewitt wore T&T colours. Quow sat out the qualifying round, and third leg duties were performed by Jehue Gordon.

Hypolite, an executive member of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC), described the eight-medal haul as “quite a good performance”.

“Overall, everyone was expecting a bit more,” the leader of the T&T delegation continued. “I was too, even though it was never verbalised. But people need to appreciate we are dealing with a very high level of competition. Therefore, eight medals is good. I expected some of them to be gold, and that’s my only regret.”

Hypolite is Jehue Gordon’s personal coach, and said that his 22-year-old charge was one of the athletes with the potential to strike Commonwealth Games gold here in Glasgow.

“Unfortunately, (sprinter) Michelle-Lee Ahye had to withdraw with injury. Richard Thompson’s chances were also particularly good, and Jehue and Keshorn as well as the men’s relays. But as I said, the competition was always going to be tough, so it’s no shame coming out with a medal nonetheless. Even Kenya’s (800 metres) world record holder and Olympic champion David Rudisha had to settle for silver.

“We had a great performance,” Hypolite declared, “and athletes enjoyed and reveled in their performances.”

Seven of the eight medals bagged by Team T&T went to track and field athletes.

“I want to view us as going through a growing process. Track and field has a pathway that allows it to perform well at this stage. Some of the other sports do not yet have that pathway of exposure to a high level of competition regularly. Track and field has it from the junior level, and you can proceed as a senior all the way to the world level. A lot of other sports need to find a pathway.”

The team sports found the going particularly tough here in Glasgow, T&T finishing low down in rugby 7s, netball and men’s and women’s hockey. Hypolite made the point, however, that the Commonwealth Games is a virtual world championship in these sports, citing rugby 7s as an example.

“Rugby Sevens is going to happen in Rio, and this is essentially the Olympic level here. The top countries are from the Commonwealth.

“In some of the team sports,” he continued, “there are opportunities to graduate to another level through the collegiate system and clubs in the English leagues. They need exposure to higher levels than we have in the region, and exposure also influences approach to fitness--a very important component.

“We need to get a lot fitter to compete at international level. At the TTOC we emphasise beep testing, which is not popular with every sport,” Hypolite ended. “But they need to understand the importance of fitness.”

T&T 22nd on final medals table

Richard “Torpedo” Thompson believes the showing of Trinidad and Tobago’s track and field team at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, here in Glasgow, Scotland, is an indication that the country is progressing well in the build-up to the 2016 Olympic Games, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“We’re on the right track,” Thompson told the Express. “We’re definitely improving, not just on the track but in the field as well. I still feel as though the team could have done a little better, but we’re grateful for where we’re at right now, and we’re showing signs of improvement every year representing Trinidad and Tobago on the world stage.

“We’re on the right path. We just have to continue to work and work hard, and hopefully by Rio we’ll be able to produce nine medals at the Olympic Games, which is a step up from Commonwealth.”

In Glasgow, seven of T&T’s eight medals were captured by track and field athletes. The country’s very last podium finish at the Games came on Saturday night, from the men’s 4x100m combination of Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Rondel Sorrillo and Thompson.

Bledman and Thompson exited the individual 100m event at the semifinal stage, while Sorrillo suffered the same fate in the 200m.

“Especially after a disappointment in the individual event, with Bledman and myself not making the final—that was really gut-wrenching—we are thankful for that (relay) medal. We’re also thankful to be able to come out healthy. It was cold, it was raining, and those are conditions where people easily get injured, so we just give thanks.”

Thompson went into the 2014 Commonwealth Games as the men’s 100m favourite, following his victory at the T&T Championships in a national record time of 9.82 seconds—a clocking that placed him ninth on the all-time world performance list.

The 2008 Olympic 100m silver medallist said that falling short of expectations here in Glasgow will make him a better athlete.

“Every time you fail you have to use it as a learning experience. If you don’t take anything from a failed experience, then you’re not coming off any wiser. I’ve definitely learned from this experience, and I just have to go into next year learning from the mistakes that I made this year.

“After my Senior Championships, I felt as though there were a few things I could have done differently in between then and now. I know what to do, my coach (Dennis Shaver) knows what to do, and we’ll get it right in the years to come.”

Running in lane one in his 200m semi-final heat, Sorrillo finished third in 20.57 seconds—too slow for a “fastest loser” berth in the final. The T&T sprinter had taken the “faster loser” route to the semis after finishing third in his opening round heat, the “back door” qualification resulting in his bad lane draw in the penultimate round of the event.

“In the first round it was cold,” Sorrillo told the Express. “I tried to come off the turn as hard as possible, but then my hamstring started getting tight on the left side. I really wanted to run in the other round so I had to try and save..hope that I didn’t exert too much and pull up. That’s the reason that I looked like I shut off in the first round, but it’s just the coldness I was getting accustomed to.”

Burns has been part of the T&T men’s sprint relay set-up since 2000, when he represented T&T at the Sydney Olympics as a 17-year-old. He’s 31 now, and plans to continue doing yeoman service for the country for at least another three years.

A Commonwealth Games 100m bronze medallist at the 2006 Melbourne Games, Burns told the Express he is also keen to challenge for selection on T&T teams in the individual sprint events in the years ahead.

“I’m now finding my form after all these years of injuries. Most people don’t know that’s what kept me out over the years. But it’s track and field and that comes with it, so you just have to put that behind you and try to perform at a high level.

“All the tweaks have been fixed with my foot injuries. I thank all those who helped me get back to where I need to be, and I look forward to some big years.”

Burns is a true patriot. In recognition of his selfless commitment to T&T sport, he was given the honour of carrying the Red, White and Black at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. Swimmer George Bovell was the flag-bearer at the London Games closing ceremony.

At the opening ceremony here in Glasgow, Olympic men’s javelin champion Keshorn Walcott performed flag-bearing duties.

And for last night’s closing ceremony, three-time Commonwealth Games women’s shot put medallist Cleopatra Borel did the honours, carrying the T&T flag with pride.

Both Borel and Walcott earned silver at Glasgow 2014 as Team T&T finished with eight medals in total—three silver and five bronze.

“Any time we come to a major championship,” said Burns, “we try to fly the T&T flag high and give our best at all times. A medal count of that number we’re most grateful for.”

T&T finished 22nd out of 71 countries at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. England emerged as the top team with 58 gold medals, 59 silver and 57 bronze.

Gold Coast, Australia will host the 2018 Games.


Already without the services of regular setter Renele Forde, T&T senior women volleyballers will have to make do with the unavailability of former captain, Romanian-based, Krystle Esdelle for the 15th Senior Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (Cazova) Championship. The left-handed opposite, who turned 30 on Emancipation Day (Friday last) and also played professionally in Germany and France decided to retire from the national team after almost nine years with the senior squad, paving the way for Afeisha Olton to be drafted into the 12-member squad for the premier Caribbean tournament which serves off tomorrow (Monday August 4) until Sunday August 10 at the Jean Pierre Complex, Mucurapo.

Contacted for comment, recently appointed head coach Nicholson Drakes hailed Esdelle’s impact over the years with the team and noted she would be a hard act to follow. Drakes, who has been part of the team as an assistant to former Cuban-born coach Francisco “Panchee” Cruz’ for eight years said the South-born Esdelle was already expected to miss the tournament as she was expected to undergo surgery for an injured left shoulder. The injury hampered her effectiveness greatly during the just concluded  FIVB Women’s World Championship Final Round qualifiers in which T&T fell to Mexico in the decider with a spot in Italy up for grabs at the University of the West Indies Sports and Physical Educational Centre, St Augustine.
Two years ago in St Croix, US Virgin Islands, Esdelle was voted as the Cazova Championship “Most Valuable Player” after she led T&T to its fifth overall crown and fourth straight, 25-16, 25-19, 25-12 over Barbados.

With regards to the void left by Esdelle and the absence of Forde, who is still some two weeks away from returning to training from her injured leg, Drakes said: “There are one or two players who will have to step up and may be able to do a decent enough job as we know we will have to make a few adjustments. He added, “We have two youngsters in Marisha Herbert and Makila York who I know are eager to get a chance at this level to show their worth while we also have the versatile and experienced Darlene Ramdin as another option in Esdelle’s position. Asked the team’s state of mind after losing out to Mexico with a historic spot in Italy as stake, the T&T coach admitted that not all the players had gotten over the disappointment. “There are a few players who took the loss more than some, but at the same time Cazova is another tournament all by itself and as a team we all have to move forward. We cannot dwell on the past, said Drakes.

Drakes, who will be in charge of the team for the first time at Cazova level will also be eager to improve on T&T’s record of finishing second at home in 2002 after losing to Barbados in the final, and third in 1993 as well, with Barbados again the winners at the Jean Pierre Complex, The local women dubbed the “Calypso Spikers”, will enter the five-team tournament as the four-time defending champions and five-time winners overall, the first being in 1996 in St Croix under the leadership of deceased Maria Lera. The last four titles won by T&T were claimed under the guidance of Cruz, who resigned last month on the eve of the World qualifiers at UWI SPEC. Also in the mix will be six-time champion Barbados (1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2000 & 2002), Bahamas, Jamaica and Suriname.

The five teams wil compete  in a round-robin series at the end of which the top two teams will contest the final while the third and four placed teams, battle for bronze. Missing out on the women’s tournament for various reasons are US Virgin Islands (USVI), the beaten finalist on home soil in 2012, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Haiti. Today, the local women’s team will holding a  training session from 6 am to 9 am at the tournament venue ahead of the start of its title defence against rivals Barbados tomorrow from 6 pm. The winner of the women’s competition will qualify to the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (Norceca) Continental Championships next year as well as Pan American Cup events. T&T senior women’s team: Jalicia Ross-Kydd, Channon Thompson, Kelly-Anne Billingy, Sinead Jack, Marisha Herbert, Darlene Ramdin, Rheeza Grant (libero), Courtnee-mae Clifford, Makila York, Aisha Sealy-Morrison, Abby Blackman, Afeisha Olton,

Tournament groups:
Women: T&T, Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Suriname

Today (Sunday August 3rd):
8 am - 11am: Preliminary Inquiry - Cascadia Hotel
6 pm - Welcome reception - Cascadia Hotel
8pm - Technical Meeting - Cascadia Hotel

Women’s Cazova fixtures:
Tomorrow (Monday August 4):
Women: Jamaica vs Suriname, 3 pm
Opening Ceremony, 5pm
Women: T&T vs Barbados, 6pm

Tuesday August 5:
Women: T&T vs Suriname, 8 pm

Wednesday August 6:
Women: Barbados vs Jamaica, 4 pm

Thursday August 7:
Women: Bahamas vs Barbados, 6pm
Women: T&T vs Jamaica, 8pm

Friday August 8:
Women: Barbados vs Jamaica, 2 pm
Women: T&T vs Bahamas, 8pm

Saturday August 9:
Women: Barbados vs Jamaica, 2 pm
Women: Bahamas vs Suriname, 4pm

Sunday August 10:
Women: Third place playoff, 12 noon
Women: Final, 6 pm


Upon the centenary of this country's declaration of war on Germany, it is appropriate to recall that sport suffered as grievously as any other sphere of society during the conflict

How little the innocence of a Swedish summer seemed to preface the sinister clouds of conflagration.

George Hutson, Thomas Gillespie, Laurie Anderson and Richard Yorke had all assembled at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm in anticipation of stirring some national pride, and scarcely 2½ years later all four of them were dead. Frederick Kitching, a standing long jumper at the 1908 Games in London, had also perished.

Upon Monday’s centenary of Britain’s declaration of war on Germany, it is apt to recall a quintet of young British Olympians who entered World War One imagining that it would all be over by Christmas and ended up never seeing another Christmas at all.

Of the 888,246 poppies that lie strewn at the foot of the Tower of London this morning, denoting each member of Britain’s military dead in The Great War, five are for them. They are the oft-forgotten figures who support the terrible truth of Field Marshal Lord Roberts’s proclamation in August 1914 that “this is not the time to play games, wholesome as they are in times of piping peace. We are engaged in a life-and-death struggle.”

For sport in Britain would suffer as grievously as any other sphere of society, with the loss of 34 first-class cricketers, 27 England rugby union internationals, and unknown hundreds among the 2,000 professional footballers who signed up to serve.

The quest to recruit sportsmen had gathered pace at the behest of Arthur Conan Doyle, the Sherlock Homes author, who argued: “If the cricketer had a straight eye, let him look along the barrel of a rifle.” As the fate of those five Olympians, deprived even of seeing out 1914, showed vividly, it would come at the most dreadful price.

Not that Hutson had the vaguest inkling. He was broadly recognised as the most promising distance runner of his generation, first coming to notice when he won a military cross-country race while stationed at the Curragh, for the 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, “beating all favourites”, according to his official death notice.

For three years in succession he was the English champion over a mile, reaching the zenith of his career at the Olympics in Stockholm, where he took the bronze medal in the 5,000 metres, behind Finland’s Hannes Kolehmainen and Jean Bouin, of France, both of whom shattered the world record. He would seize another bronze in the 3,000m, narrowly trailing team-mates Joe Cottrill and Cyril Porter as the British completed a sweep of the podium.

It was Hutson’s misfortune that a mere five weeks after Britain went to war, his unit became drawn into the First Battle of the Marne, marking the start of the trench-bound inertia that would characterise the entire conflict. It signalled “the end of the beginning”, to invoke Churchill’s line about El Alamein.

Despite the Allied victory that thwarted an apparently remorseless German advance towards Paris, whose governor-general had already ordered demolition charges to be placed beneath the Eiffel Tower, the slaughter was terrible, with half a million men killed or wounded in the space of eight days.

Hutson himself is understood to have died just as the Germans began their withdrawal north of the River Marne, near the Ardennes village of Vendresse. His remains were never recovered, and it was not for another eight months that his widow, back home in Roseland Cottages in bucolic Lewes, was even informed of his passing. He was 24 years old.

Scottish rower Gillespie had been almost an exact contemporary, going one better at the Stockholm Games by grasping a silver in the men’s eight. He had first unearthed his gift as an oarsman at Winchester, before refining his craft at New College, Oxford, with whom he twice won the Head of the River Race as a prelude to capturing a defining Olympic medal.

A little over two years later, he obtained a university commission to join the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, seeing action almost immediately as a lieutenant in the First Battle of the Aisne, the hideous stalemate of September 1914 that did much to lock the belligerents into a sequence of negligible gains and losses for the next four years.

Gillespie lay in the trenches at Missy-sur-Aisne, exposed to the bombardment of German heavy artillery for 17 days and nights. He was reported killed, aged 21, at La Bassée, a small town in the Pas-de-Calais region, as the opposing armies fought with mounting futility to envelop each other’s northern flanks in the grimly-titled ‘Race to the Sea’.

His brother, Alexander, was also lost in the war, but his letters from Flanders survive to this day, and a foreword from the then Bishop of Southwark attests explicitly to Thomas’s sporting prowess.

Depicting him as a “great, strong, fearless, affectionate fellow,” he offered an ode borrowed from Victorian poet Robert Browning: “Our manhood’s prime vigour! No spirit feels waste. Not a muscle is stopped in its playing, not a sinew unbraced.”

Athlete Anderson, four years Gillespie’s senior, was an Eton man, securing the school’s rare distinction of captaining the ‘Oppidans’ – the most academically distinguished pupils – at the same time as being voted president of ‘Pop’, otherwise known as head boy.

It had been intended that he should follow his older brother, Arthur, to Cambridge, but instead this consummate sprinter went to Oxford, promptly earning his blue for track and field before setting the first official world record for the 440-yard hurdles in 56.8 seconds. Inauspiciously for Anderson, the event was excised from the Olympic programme for Stockholm, but he was still a favourite to claim a medal in the high hurdles until falling in his semi-final.

As war engulfed western Europe, Anderson was swiftly embroiled with the Cheshire Regiment, and amid the carnage around Ypres suffered mortal wounds alongside George Bertram Pollock-Hodsoll, a footballer who had played for the Army team. There is some dispute over whether his injuries were immediately fatal, with battalion archives registering his death on Nov 7, while the Commonwealth War Graves Commission puts it four days later.

But news of his death rippled far and wide. Indeed, Anderson’s name was the first mentioned in a mournful dispatch in The New York Times headlined: “England losing athletes – many prominent in sporting circles die on battlefields.”

It is inscribed now on the Menin Gate in Ypres, which commemorates every one of those 54,000 officers whose final resting place will never be known and where buglers, without fail, sound the Last Post at eight each evening.

Kitching, while a figure of less public renown than Anderson, was the first British athlete to exhibit sustained proficiency in the javelin. From County Durham and originally a specialist in the standing jumps, he switched to the spear with immediate success, becoming the only Briton of his day to break the 120ft, 130ft and 140ft barriers, eventually establishing a personal best of 143ft 3in (43.66m).

He had arisen from a diametrically opposed background to Anderson, as a descendant of the Victorian industrialists, counting himself as one of seven grandsons of Alfred Kitching, builder of the Derwent locomotive.

Local folklore in his hometown of Darlington insists that he won at least a bronze in the standing long jump at the London Olympics in 1908, but published results list him as one of 17 entrants without a recorded distance.

The precise circumstances of his death after enlistment in World War One also continue to be uncertain. He is believed to have fallen in late 1914 in Dunkirk, where the Navy had arrived to help bolster the defence of Antwerp, but the CWGC is yet to identify a grave.

Yorke, a steeplechaser, was the one British Olympian slain in 1914 who had competed in both the 1908 and 1912 Games, having switched to the flat to enhance his chances in Stockholm.

It proved a forlorn ploy, as he was eliminated in the opening rounds of both the 800 and 1,500m, his last significant appearance before war. As a sergeant with the London Scottish Regiment he fought in Arras, where in December the French had asked for urgent British involvement to help push the German line further north.

Yorke lost his life three days before Christmas, at the culmination of the Battle of Givenchy. He is buried at the Arras Road cemetery near Roclincourt, where 263 bleached-white headstones are arrayed in perfect equilateral formation, marching towards the horizon across this flattest and most forsaken of landscapes.

Somewhere on Monday, in that extraordinary Tower of London display, there will be five poppies for Yorke and his fellow Olympians. They stand as suitably stark testimony to sport's lost generation.


Team’s pride after record medal haul reverses slide, and knocks Australia off top of the table, while inspired hosts Scotland double their previous tally

It was more a measured response to a specific question than a patriotic roar, but the words still crept out of Jan Paterson’s mouth: “We smashed it”.

With the curtain drawn on the 20th edition of the Commonwealth Games, Team England’s chef de mission was able to reflect on a job well done.

Not only had they had ended Australia’s 28-year stint at the top of the medal table, they had also set a new record in the process: 174 medals – consisting of 58 golds, 59 silvers and 57 bronzes – meant Glasgow was officially England’s best Commonwealth Games in history.

That the landmark had already been achieved with a day to spare was simply salt in Australia’s wounds. Gold medals on the final afternoon for Lizzie Armitstead in the road race and husband-and-wife badminton mixed doubles pair Chris and Gabby Adcock were nothing more than a bonus.

From the high of 53 gold medals in Manchester 12 years ago to the lows of 36 and 37 in Melbourne and Delhi respectively, the slump was definitively over.

“We are immensely proud of our achievements,” said Paterson. “To be top of the medal table is a unique position for us to be in. Our aspiration was of reversing the slide in Delhi on the medal table. Well we haven’t just reversed it, we smashed it. It’s a great feeling.”

Shorn of headline stars such as Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill, the most encouraging element of England’s success was that a healthy chunk of it came from previously unknown sources. Indeed, no star shone brighter than Claudia Fragapane.

Arriving in Glasgow as a relative unknown, the 16-year-old left not only as one of the brightest gymnastics talents the country has produced, but with stardom undoubtedly on the horizon. The dynamic 4ft 6in ‘Pocket Rocket’ dazzled with her street-dance inspired routines on her way to becoming the first Englishwoman to win four golds at a single Commonwealth Games since swimmer Joyce Cooper in 1930.

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, the youngest British swimmer to compete at the London Olympics two years ago, was another who came of age, equalling the record of six medals won at a single Games, while Ben Proud and Adam Peaty were further examples of breakthrough English success stories in the pool, with two gold medals apiece.

“We set our goal and we’ve not only achieved it but exceeded it,” said Paterson. “For the team that is here, especially because they are such a young team, the potential going forward is massive.

“Looking to the Gold Coast [Commonwealth Games in 2018] and beyond, I think it’s a real step up and a lot of the athletes who are here have benefited from what Team England has done. The average age of our medallists is 24 so the future is looking bright.”

Glory was not confined to the those making their big breakthrough in Glasgow. There was also joy for a number of more established competitors, with Olympic medallist Max Whitlock eclipsing celebrity team-mate Louis Smith to become a triple gymnastics champion.

Nicola Adams won the first women’s Commonwealth Games boxing gold medal, Tom Daley retained his 10 metre platform title and brothers Alastair and Jonathan Brownlee ensured both individual and team triathlons were an all-England affair.

Daley, who also claimed synchronised 10m platform silver, says the hope now is for England’s triumph in Glasgow to have the same effect as Britain’s recent Olympic accomplishments. “It shows the legacy of London 2012 and hopefully we can see a legacy of these Commonwealth Games,” he said. “In 10 years’ time we could be the most dominant country at the Commonwealth Games and even at the Olympics.”

When Team Scotland posted a pre-Commonwealth Games target of breaking their record 33-medal haul of Edinburgh 1986, the declaration was not just the bravado of a host nation looking to capitalise on home advantage. Years of planning and investment had gone in to making sure Glasgow 2014 would be lifted by the success of Scottish athletes, and the results were spectacular.

Surpassing that previous best tally halfway through the Games, the hosts ended with 53 medals – more than double the 26 won at the last Games – and finished fourth in the medal table.

It was away from the abstract world of numbers that the hosts really shone, however, as a set of Scottish stars gave the home crowd memories to treasure: The smile of 13-year-old swimmer Erraid Davies after winning bronze; the determination of athletes Lynsey Sharp and Eilidh Child to live up to the hype and claim silver medals in front of an elated Hampden Park crowd; the exuberance of gold-medal winning boxer Charlie Flynn; the complete shock of swimmer Ross Murdoch after beating home favourite Michael Jamieson to 200m breaststroke gold.

Success seemed to breed success for the Scots. “For me, watching how well people did at the start of the Games just inspired me to want to be like them,” said Sharp.

For Wales, Geraint Thomas’s road race victory in the pouring rain of the final day capped off a record tally of 36 medals that at one stage had seemed almost an impossibility.

Any hope of reaching their pre-Games target of 27 medals seemed to have disappeared with a calamitous build-up that saw Fred Evans refused accreditation for a past criminal conviction, Gareth Warburton and Rhys Williams suspended for failing drug tests and Becky James, Non Stanford and Helen Jenkins withdrawing through injury.

With gymnast Francesca Jones picking up six medals and Jazz Carlin becoming the first Welshwoman in 40 years to triumph in the pool they not only reached their target, but far exceeded expectations.

So as Glasgow 2014 ends there can only be one conclusion to draw. To borrow Paterson’s words: the home nations “smashed it”.


Australia won just 49 gold medals - compared to 74 in Delhi four years ago following hauls of 84, 81, 79 and 87 - and, worst of all, England took their place at head of the table.

If only Australia had not left it quite so late. Despite winning four of the 11 gold medals on offer on the final day in Glasgow, the 417-strong team will make the long journey back home wondering what went wrong.

Not since the Edinburgh Games of 1986 have Australia failed to finish top of the medal table.

A total of 74 golds in Delhi followed previous hauls of 84, 81, 79 and 87, yet they head home from Glasgow having won just 49 and, worst of all, it is England who have taken their place at the head of the table.

The step backwards is all the more worrying with the next Commonwealth Games to be held on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

But, ever the optimist, Steve Moneghetti, Australia’s chef de mission, has backed the country to regain their “rightful place” at the top of the table in four years’ time

“I think England have performed really well and give credit to them,” he said. “I think they’ve probably achieved higher and we’ve probably achieved about what we expected.

“That gives us a challenge and there were some factors in their favour here that will be in our favour when the Games come to the Gold Coast in four years’ time.

“Whilst our athletes here have performed terrifically well I’m sure there will be great momentum now going to the Gold Coast to make sure we rewrite our rightful place in the sporting battle that is Australia versus England.”

A series of underwhelming performances in the velodrome and swimming pool in the opening few days set the tone for Australia’s worst-ever gymnastics results and their lowest athletics medal haul since 1978.

However, Moneghetti, who says he does not set medal targets, has refused to view his team’s performances in a negative light.

“I am not going to change my line, it’s not about gold medals,” he said. “We can’t control what other countries do. In medal tallies, if other countries go great or countries go bad, our position relative to that doesn’t bother me as long as our athletes are comfortable that they’ve had the chance to give a fair account of themselves.”

As well as multiple disappointments in various sporting arenas, there was plenty of embarrassment away from them.

Athletics Australia has confirmed it is launching a full-scale review after head coach Eric Hollingsworth was sent home for publicly criticising 100  metres hurdler Sally Pearson, who went on to win gold.

Weightlifter Francois Etoundi, who won a bronze medal, also landed himself in trouble when his accreditation was revoked for butting Welsh rival Gareth Evans in the athletes’ village.


One of the more important revelations in the audit of the LifeSport programme was that the persons who were supposed to be the main beneficiaries, the so-called ‘poor, little, black boys’, were receiving a great deal less than the assorted group of contractors and consultants attached to it. A cynic may conclude that the whole thing was set up as a feeding trough for a select few while sport was an afterthought. It would be interesting to hear what percentage of the money given to LifeSport was actually used for the direct benefit of the participants. A similar situation occurs in some international relief programmes where the funding often goes to administrators and officials while the victims get the leftovers.

The original motives for establishing LifeSport may have been noble but early in the game the hustlers and con men saw loopholes in the system and exploited them to the hilt. The extent of the corruption in the programme suggests that there was collusion at several levels while others were guilty of turning a blind eye. For instance, the programme received additional funding every year and this would not normally happen unless there was a thorough review of the activities in the previous year. How thorough were these reviews and did they unearth any of the numerous discrepancies that the audit eventually picked up? In fact the central audit report emphasises that “given the widespread nature of the breaches it is difficult to understand how they went unnoticed”. Who has the responsibility to monitor and ‘notice’ these breaches? In the circumstances the call for a forensic audit is a valid one.

The real tragedy of LifeSport, however, is that it could have been an ideal vehicle for transforming the lives of “poor, little, black boys”. I remember chatting with the legendary Roger Milla many years ago about the impact that the performance of the 1990 Cameroon World Cup team had on young people in Africa. He was adamant that their remarkable success was an inspiration to millions of youngsters across the continent giving them a sense of purpose and the determination to improve their lives. All across the globe there are similar stories about the positive impact of sport on individuals as well as communities.

The United Nations Office of Sport for Development and Peace has emphasised that “sport has a unique power to attract, mobilise and inspire. By its very nature, sport is about participation. It is about inclusion and citizenship. It stands for human values such as respect for the opponent, acceptance of rules, teamwork and fairness”. And the agency for sport in Scotland (Sportscotland) states that “participating in sport can promote social inclusion, improve health, counter anti-social behaviour and raise individual self-esteem and confidence”.

At the individual level there is no greater evidence of the power of sport than the words of our own CLR James. In his classic ‘Beyond a Boundary’ he wrote, “as soon as we stepped on to the cricket field all was changed. Rapidly we learned to obey the decision of the umpire without question. We learned to play with the team, which meant subordinating your personal interest to the good of the whole. I acquired discipline for which the only name is Puritan. I never cheated. I never jeered at defeated opponents. My defeats and disappointments I took as stoically as I could. This code became the moral framework of my existence. It has never left me.”

It was sport that taught James the virtues of teamwork, self-sacrifice and honesty and they remained with him throughout his life. These are the principles that LifeSport should have emphasised instead of promoting the principles of skulduggery.

Sport has given T&T so much to be proud about from the achievements of the late Rodney Wilkes to the great Hasely Crawford, Dwight Yorke, Brian Lara et al. It is a pity that a programme that had such tremendous potential is now the source of such widespread condemnation. The money earmarked for LifeSport should now be given to the many organisations that are already in the field working in so-called ‘at risk’ communities including Police Youth Clubs. These clubs which were originally set up “to prepare the youth for a positive role in the nation’s development” have tremendous potential but they need financial assistance. There are other honest, hardworking groups and individuals who would be grateful even for the crumbs that fall from the LifeSport plate.

Alarming as they are, the recent revelations may just be the tip of the iceberg. A murder has already been linked to the programme and a contractor has brazenly warned, “anytime I come out… it will shake this place like an earthquake”!


Trinidad and Tobago boxer Michael Alexander is guaranteed at least a bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games men’s lightweight division.

Alexander outpointed Barbadian Cobia Breedy at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), here in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday to advance to the semi-final round. He will next meet Northern Ireland’s Joe Fitzpatrick for a spot in the final and the opportunity to go for gold. The two losing semi-finalists will be awarded bronze medals.

In a unanimous decision, all three judges scored yesterday’s quarter-final bout 30-27 in favour of Alexander.

At the Tollcross Swimming Centre, George Bovell finished fifth in the men’s 50 metres freestyle final. The T&T swimmer touched the wall in 22.31 seconds. England’s Benjamin Proud clocked 21.92 to take the gold, forcing Australians Cameron McEvoy (22.00) and James Magnussen (22.10) to settle for silver and bronze, respectively.

In athletics, T&T will have full representation in today’s men’s 400m final. Renny Quow will run in lane two, next to Lalonde Gordon, in three, while Jarrin Solomon has been drawn in lane seven.

In yesterday’s semi-final round, at Hampden Park, Gordon produced a strong run on the home straight to win heat three in 45.37 seconds. Solomon clocked 45.49 for second spot in the opening heat, and also advanced automatically. Quow earned his lane as a “fastest loser” after finishing third in heat two in 45.47.

T&T’s Tonya Nero completed her 25 laps of the track in 35 minutes, 48.63 seconds to finish 12th in the women’s 10,000m. Joyce Chepkirui took gold in 32:09.35, getting the better of her Kenya teammate Florence Kiplagat (32:09.48) in a close finish. Another Kenyan, Emily Chebet (32:10.82) bagged bronze.

Competing in cold conditions during yesterday’s opening session, T&T athletes struggled.

Janeil Bellille and Josanne Lucas exited the women’s 400m hurdles, but for different reasons.

Bellille was fourth in heat three in 57.51 seconds. With only the top two in each heat progressing automatically to the eight-woman final, Bellille’s only chance was to get in as a “fastest loser”. Her clocking, however, was not fast enough, the T&T athlete finishing ninth overall.

Lucas was drawn in the opening heat, but was disqualified for a false start. She now switches her attention to the 100m hurdles. The opening round will be contested tomorrow, and the final on Friday.

“Looking forward to it,” Lucas told the Express. “Everything is leading up to the 100-metre hurdles.”

Mikel Thomas finished 10th overall in the qualifying round of the men’s 110m hurdles, missing out on a berth in the final. The T&T hurdler was fourth in heat one in 13.86 seconds—too slow for a “fastest loser” berth.

Thomas’ T&T teammates, Durell Busby and Wayne Davis were non-starters in the sprint hurdles. Team manager George Comissiong told the Express that both athletes are injured. He said an MRI confirmed Davis’ injury ahead of the event, while Busby felt pain while warming up and opted not to face the starter.

Sixteen half-milers qualified for the semifinal round of the men’s 800m. T&T’s Kendis Bullard and Jamaal James were not among them, neither athlete coping well with cold Glasgow.

Running in heat two, Bullard could only manage sixth spot, returning a time of one minute, 51.57 seconds. James enjoyed a better finish in heat four, getting home fourth, but was slower than Bullard, clocking 1:51.62. Both times, however, were too slow for “fastest loser” qualification.

And in the men’s long jump qualifying event, Kyron Blaise fouled all three attempts and was eliminated.

A first half hat-trick from Kwandwane Browne set up a 4-2 victory for T&T’s hockey men in their pool B clash with Malaysia, at the National Hockey Centre. Browne’s three goals all came from penalty corners, the star player scoring in the 12th, 16th and 35th minutes. Mickell Pierre was also on target for T&T, opening the account in the eighth minute.

T&T were 4-1 ahead at the interval. The second half, however, was scoreless up until the final minute of the game, the Malaysians reducing the deficit with seconds left on the clock.

At the SSE Hydro, T&T gymnast William Albert totalled 75.682 to finish 23rd in men’s all-around qualification, earning a spot in the 24-man final. He is the second reserve for the rings final after finishing 11th in qualifying with a score of 14.200.

In table tennis, T&T players Dexter St Louis, Curtis Humphreys, Rheann Chung and Aleena Edwards have qualified for the knockout phase of the singles events.

St Louis won twice, including a 4-2 triumph over Barbadian Kevin Farley to top his preliminary round men’s singles group. Humphreys also recorded two victories to join St Louis in the round of 64.

In the women’s singles, Chung was victorious twice to advance to the round of 64. Edwards, meanwhile, lost to Barbadian Krystle Harvey. However, Edwards beat Jersey’s Kelsey le Maistre, and le Maistre defeated Harvey. With all three players getting a victory, Edwards’ superior record in the group matches earned her a passage to the knockout stage.

At the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), the T&T netballers were crushed 70-24 by England. Joanne Harten singlehandedly outscored T&T, the England goal shoot sinking 35 goals from 43 attempts. For T&T, goal attack Joelisa Cooper shot 81 percent--13 goals from 16 attempts.

At the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre, in Carnoustie, T&T shooters Michael Perez and Norris Gomez finished 26th and 33rd, respectively, in the Queen’s Prize individual event.

And in squash, there were defeats for all the T&T doubles pairs on show at Scotstoun Campus. Colin Ramasra and Kale Wilson lost to a Scottish pair in men’s doubles. Charlotte Knaggs and Kerrie Sample went under to Wales in women’s doubles. And in mixed doubles, Ramasra/Sample and Wilson/Knaggs were beaten by England combinations.

Team T&T Today

(All TT times)

4.30 a.m. – Table tennis, doubles

5.05 a.m. – Athletics, Ayanna Alexander, women’s long jump qualifying

5.09 a.m. – Athletics, Rondel Sorrillo, men’s 200 heats

5.16 a.m. – Athletics, Jereem Richards, men’s 200 heats

6.05 a.m. – Athletics, Deandra Daniel, women’s high jump qualifying

6.05 a.m. – Athletics, Kyle Greaux, men’s 200 heats

6.30 a.m. – Athletics, Jehue Gordon, men’s 400 hurdles heats

6.42 a.m. – Athletics, Emanuel Mayers, men’s 400 hurdles heats

7.00 a.m. – Squash, doubles

7.06 a.m. – Athletics, Alena Brooks, women’s 800 heats

7.56 a.m. – Gymnastics, William Albert, men’s all-around final

12.40 p.m. – Table tennis, women’s singles

After 1.30 p.m. - Boxing, Aaron Prince, men’s middleweight quarterfinal

3.30 p.m. - Athletics, Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Renny Quow, men’s 400 final

3.40 p.m. – Athletics, Cleopatra Borel, Annie Alexander, women’s shot put final

4.21 p.m. – Athletics, Reyare Thomas, women’s 200 heats


An established member of her national team for well over a decade, Alena Edwards was the player to catch the eye as proceedings commenced in the second session of the sixth day of play, Tuesday 29th July, at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in the Scotstoun Sports Campus.

She overcame Jersey’s Kelsey Le Maistre in five games (11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-4), a player who was in good form. In the opening match in the group she had beaten Krystle Harvey of Barbados by a similar margin (11-9, 11-4, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9) to the defeat she suffered against the Trinidadian. However, against the strong attacking play and the extra experience of Alena Edwards, the 18 year old Channel Islander on Commonwealth Games debut found life tough.

Games Ratio
A good start for Alena Edwards but it was not a good finish to the day; she was beaten by Krystle Harvey in five games (6-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8).

Nevertheless, she could still raise a smile, she finished in first place in the group on games ratio (7:5) with Kelsey Le Maistre in second spot (5:5) and Krystle Harvey third 5:7).

Injury Problems
Success for Alena Edwards and a sense of relief, in recent times she has not enjoyed the best of fortunes; the fact she was able to play positively, especially from the forehand was a good sign.

"In 2007, I got a shoulder injury, I didn't have an operation”, explained Alena Edwards. “I just rest for a few periods; if I play hard and do not have it treated, it would be problematic."

Against Kelsey Le Maistre, there appeared to be no physical problems for the young lady with a bright Caribbean smile who two years ago spent a considerable amount of time helping other without seeking gain or financial reward.

Volunteer in London
She was a volunteer at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

"It was a great experience, I had the opportunity of not being a player, enjoy and watch other people play”, she explained.

A fine start for Aleena Edwards and earlier in the day it had been a fine start for two further tried and trusted members of the Trinidad and Tobago National Team.

Good Start for Renowned Duo
Earlier, both Dexter St. Louis and Rheann Chung had completed their first phase matches successfully and in first places in their respective groups.

Dexter St Louis, now 46 years old and one of the most experienced players on duty in Glasgow showed the form of 2002 Commonwealth Games when in the Men’s Team event he stunned the Manchester crowd by winning both his matches in opposition to England.

In Glasgow, in the opening phase of the Men’s Singles event, he accounted for both Kevin Farley of Barbados (18-16, 7-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8) and Kenya’s Michael Owuo Otieno (11-4, 11-1, 11-3, 11-6).

Straight Games Success
A tough test against Kevin Farley but for Dexter St Louis but there were no such qualms for Rheann Chung, she did not surrender a single game.

She overcame Tanzania’s Neema Dennis Mwaisyula (11-5, 11-4, 11-5, 11-2) and Kaimalie Resture (11-3, 11-6, 11-3, 11-3).

First place in the group for Dexter St. Louis and it was the same for the other leading players on view.

Leading Names Top Groups
In addition to Dexter St. Louis it was first place for Canada’s André Ho and Pierre-Luc Theriault, as it was for Marios Yiangou of Cyprus, Australia’s David Powell and Malaysia’s Muhd Shakirin Ibraham. Likewise New Zealand’s Liu Tengteng and Phillip Xiao secured top spots in their groups.

First places for the top eight names on first stage Men’s Singles duty; it was the same for the women.

Alongside Rheann Chung it was pole position for England’s Tin-Tin Ho and Charlotte Carey of Wales, as it was for the Nigerian trio of Offiong Edem, Cecilia Akpan and Ganiat Ogundele.

Not to be left out New Zealand’s Annie Yang and Northern Ireland’s Amanda Mogey secured first places in their groups.

Main Draw
Play in the first and second rounds of the Women’s Singles event commences on Wednesday 30th July; for the Men’s Singles competition it is one day later, Thursday 31st July.

The top 16 men and top 16 women enter proceedings in round two.


Another Commonwealth medal for T&T jumper

Ayanna Alexander has joined the club—Trinidad and Tobago’s Commonwealth Games multiple-medallist club.

Alexander chose just the right occasion to produce her best 2014 effort, the 32-year-old athlete disturbing the sand at 14.01 metres to strike bronze in the women’s triple jump, at Hampden Park here in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday.

“It feels great,” Alexander told the Express. “As always, there’s adversity here and there. Four months ago, I couldn’t walk. I’ve been bouncing back from an ankle injury. The plan was always to come here, and come back strong.”

It was a strong showing indeed, Alexander’s superb performance earning her membership in an elite club, alongside some of the biggest names in T&T sporting history.

Sprinter Edwin Roberts is the “president” of the club with five Commonwealth Games medals, captured at the 1966 and 1970 editions. Hasely Crawford, Kent Bernard and shooter Roger Daniel have three each, while eight athletes have achieved two podium finishes, for a total of 12 club members.

Ahead of the 2014 Games, Roger Gibbon, Leslie King, Rodney Wilkes, Brandon Bailey, Wendell Mottley, Benedict Cayenne and Cleopatra Borel were the double medallists. Alexander is the newbie, adding yesterday’s bronze to the silver she had earned in the same event at the 2010 Games in Delhi, India.

Afterwards, T&T’s first medallist here at Glasgow 2014 took a victory run on the back straight with the Red, White and Black blowing behind her. She then joined Jamaican gold medallist Kimberly Williams (14.21m) and English silver medallist Laura Samuel (14.09m) for a spirited victory lap.

“When I got silver in Delhi,” said Alexander, “I didn’t have a flag when the competition was finished. So this was the first time being able to experience taking a victory lap having a T&T flag draped around me. It was a really indescribable moment for me because I feel I was deprived of that in Delhi.

“I got a silver medal there,” she continued, “but just the whole overall feeling of being able to come back, knowing where I came from at the beginning of the season…I was probably counted out. I just thank God. I’m grateful to come and represent T&T another time at Commonwealth Games.”

Alexander endured the cold weather here in Glasgow, brushing aside the 16-degree Celsius conditions to put together a solid series of jumps—13.54m, 13.75m, 13.99m, a wind-assisted 13.53m, 14.01m, and finally, 13.77m.

Alexander and Borel are the only female members of the country’s multi-medallist club. In fact, they are the only women from T&T to have earned precious metal at the Commonwealth Games.

But Alexander is not satisfied. She wants to climb the podium at both the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Alexander knows medal success on the global stage does not come easily, and without calling names, she sent out a strong message to the powers that be.

“I’m hearing that people want medals, so the goal is to get on that podium. I hope the plan is in place to help get me there.”

In the words of Jesus, in Matthew 11:15, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”


Trinidad and Tobago's Michael Alexander and Aaron Prince have both reached the quarter finals of their respective weight divisions at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow,

Alexander will face Barbadian C Breedy tonight (Tuesday) at 7.00 pm UK time in the men's  lightweight (65kg)division.Alexander is ranked 15th in the world by the World Boxing Association.In 2013 he won bronze at the Pan Am Championships in Chile,and in 2014,bronze at the Giraldo Cordova  Cardin International Tournament in Cuba.This is his first Commonwealth Games.


Prince,fighting in the men's middleweight (75 kg)division,will meet V Vijender of India tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 8.30 pm.Prince was a bronze medallist at the 2010 CAC Games.This is his second Commonwealth Games.


Coaches Reynold Cox and Floyde Trumpet both expect their charges to go all the way to the finals.

Ken Jaikaransingh

T&T Gymnast William Albert arrived at the village last  Tuesday morning
and is hard at work.  He did a light workout on Tuesday just after
checking in to overcome the jet lag.

During Wednesday and Thursday's training he was able to do his full
routines on all six events with no major faults. He looks
exceptionally well prepared as he went through his workout making
minor adjustments as he feels out the GymNova equipment which is new
to him.

He expects to  have all the kinks ironed out come Monday when he
begins his competition at the SSE Hydro Arena, start time 1:30pm, UK
time .

Meanwhile,in squash,Kale Wilson defeated   lefty  Daniel Zammit-Lewis
from Malta 8-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9.

The see-saw encounter was determined in the crucial 5th game.Wilson
stamped his authority on the match by going ahead 10-4, but then
suddenly Zammit-Lewis was managing  to keep every ball in play.

Wilson was forced to really earn the match and although he made a
couple of  unforced errors, the initial lead was too large. He finally
took the match at 10-9 , a long gruelling rally ending in a winning
drive by Wilson

Later,in a much-anticipated match between two rival Caribbean players
Wilson also  defeated  Bruce Burrowes of Jamaica 9-11, 11-5, 6-11,
11-6, 11-6 .

In the first game, the play was a bit high-paced but very scrappy.
Close to the end of the game, some  bad choices and errors turned the
game in favour of the Jamaican who closed it off 11-9

In the second, Wilson was never in trouble and won the game 11-5,but
Burrowes  broke away and won the 3rd game 11-6.The final two games
were almost identical. Wilson played a tremendously patient  game,and
was in command for the 4th and 5th games winning 11-6, 11-6 to take
the match 3-2.

In the women’s squash  tournament,Charlotte Knaggs defeated Colette
Sultana  who withdrew due to injury,but then lost to Anaka Alankamony
(IND) 4-11, 6-11, 7-11.

Knaggs had a slow start but eventually tightened up her shots a bit
after losing the first game 11-4. She began to create some chances
with her pace and her opponent made a few unforced errors.

However, Alankamony’s short game was just a bit too strong.
She soon began to raise her game and took advantage of any loose ball
that set up an opening. Knaggs was doing a lot of running but was
retrieving well to stay in the points. Despite Knagg's persistence and
a few well-structured points and winning shots, the Indian #3 for
their team proved to be the better player.

Kale Wilson now advances to the men’s plate quarter-final  against
Hardeep Reel from Kenya.


Both T&T's Men's and Women's hockey teams lost their pool games against
their respective New Zealand opponents at the Commonwealth

On Friday evening,a fit and finely tuned New Zealand women's team took
advantage of the youth,inexperience and inadequacies of our women to
hand out a 14-0 thrashing. Seven goals were scored on either side of
the half. New Zealand forced 12 penalty corners, resulting in 4 of their
total, while T&T could only muster one in reply.

On Saturday morning,T &T's Men's team could muster nothing like the
energy they showed against England in their previous game,albeit in a
losing cause. New Zealand clobbered T&T 8-0,with 4 goals in each
half.Three of NZ's goals came directly from penalty corners, while
another three resulted from rebounds.T&T were unable to force a single
penalty corner in the game,and the NZ goalkeeper was not called upon
to make a single save.

Both teams face Canada's women and men on Sunday 27,hoping for better results.


...Cedenio dominates 400m heats

T&T’s two highly rated 4x100m relay teams will attempt to book a spot in tomorrow’s semifinals, at the IAAF World Junior Championships, in Eugene, Oregon, when they contest the women and men’s heats from 9.05 pm today.

The two relay heats will following individual performances from Shakiel Waithe and Akila Mc Shine, who will line-up in the preliminaries of the men’s javelin and the girls’ 100m hurdles.

McShine, whose personal best stands at 13.91 seconds will line up in heat five at approximately 2 pm. then at around 3.45 pm, Shackiel Waithe, whose season best of 72.75m (fifth best in the line-up) will attempt to qualify out of the preliminaries with the intention of attaining success similar to Keshorn Walcott, who won gold two years ago.

T&T’s men’s 4x100m relay team (Jonathan Farinha, John Mark Constantine, Holland Cabare, Micah Ballantyne, Akanni Hislop and Aaron Lewis), is expected to run its first heat just after 9.40 pm, following the girls’ attempt at the same distance. The girls’ .team includes Zakiya Denoon, Aaliyah Telesford, Kayelle Clarke, Mauricia Preito and Trishelle Leacock.

Successful teams will advance directly to the final carded for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, action on Wednesday night saw Jonathan Farinha, one of T&T’s best prospects at precious metal finish eighth from as many athletes in the Men’s 100m final. He clocked 10.47 seconds. American pair Kendal Williams and Trayvon Bromell took a top-two finish in 10.21 and 10.28 seconds, respectively. He returned to action in the 200m heats, yesterday afternoon where he placed 11th overall with a 21.11 mark.

The semifinals were carded for 9.40 pm. The final will run at 11.10 tonight.

T&T’s junior world leading 400m runner, Machel Cedenio, had a strong performance as he blistered in the heats to qualify easily for last night’s 400m semifinal. Cedenio clocked 45.90 seconds, while USA’s Tyler Brown and Alexander Sampao of Kenya ran 45.97 and 46.21 seconds as the second and third fastest qualifiers, respectively.

The men’s 400m final ran after press time last night. Ruebin Walters, who ran the seventh fastest time overall in the men’s 110m hurdles semifinals, also contested the final after press time. He ran 13.61 seconds in the semifinal, after running 13.76 in the heats.


Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Jonathan Farinha finished eighth in the Men’s 100m final Wednesday night when the second night of the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships continued in Eugene, Oregon.

Farinha, running out of lane seven, was last across the line in 10.47 in a race won by USA’s Kendall Williams in a personal best of 10.21.

That was an upset as Williams’ compatriot, pre-Games favourite and current world junior record holder Trayvon Bromwell  could only clinch silver in 10.28 with Japan’s Asian junior record-holder Yoshihide Kiryu  taking the bronze in 10.34.

Barbados’ Levi Cadogan was fourth (10.39), Antigua’s Cejhae Greene fifth (10.43), Great Britain’s Ojie Eduburun sixth (10.45) and Canada’s Andre Azonwanna seventh (10.46) in a competitive and close final. Bromwell would have been disappointed as the University of Baylor freshman ran a 9.97 world record at this same track back in June at the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Track and Field Championships.

After press time last night, two other male T&T athletes were scheduled to take part in finals.

The one with the best medal chance was T&T’s Machel Cedenio.

On Wednesday, Cedenio topped the field in the last semi-final, heat  three, to advance to the final in 45.90 ahead of Lamar Bruton-Grimmage in 46.67. Cedenio’s time was the fastest out of the semi-finals.

In the Men’s 110m hurdles , Reubin Walters earned a final spot as the second of the two fastest losers.

He was fourth in his semi-final heat two of three in 13.61 behind GBR’s David Omoregie 13.36, France’s Benjamin Sedecias (13.45) and Spain’s Franciso Lopez (13.55)

Also after press time last night, Farinha was trying to rebound with a better showing in the Men’s 200m semi-final heats.

In the heats, Farinha qualified easily for the semi-final round,  winning heat six of nine in 21.11 ahead of Brazil’s Vitor Hugo Dos Santos in 21.33

And T&T’s female representative in the 200m, Kayelle Clarke also moved on to the semi-final round when she was second in heat four of seven in 24.00,  a heat won by USA’ s Jada Martin (23.62)

On Wednesday, in the women’s 100m semi-final T&T’s Zakiya Denoon and Aaliyah Telesford both finished seventh in their semi-final heats one and three respectively and failed to advance to the final. Denoon stopped the clock in 12.13 while Telesford clocked 11.94.


The TT Rugby Sevens team has been warming up for Glasgow 2014 with a
series of practice matches.At the pre-Games camp at Strathallan
School,TT played two games Perthshire Rugby Club ,winning both. The
T&T team  later won two out of three games played against Falkirk
Rugby Club.

“These games were crucial as they offered us the opportunity to test
our attacking and defensive structures” said National Coach Larry
Mendez. “We relished the opportunity to play unknown and skilful
opposition, to test our own reaction and preparedness” .

“We are very grateful to the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee for
having the foresight to organise such a camp” said Manager Curtis
Nero. “It gave us the opportunity to not only acclimatise, but to
train together and promote team bonding which is so vital in team
sports” .

The team entered the Games Village on 13 July where  the programme
continued, with modifications for peaking, particularly in gym work.

Pre-competition games included a scrimmage session against Papua New
Guinea (PNG) on Thursday 17th July. “A scrimmage is a semi-controlled
game,” explained coach Mendez, “in which we agree to go live on scrums
and lineouts, but only smother tackle in open field. The controlled
game is meant to minimise potential injury by reducing the incidence
of contact".

In the two games played against PNG, T&T won the first 10 points to 5
(no conversions taken), while  the other was drawn 15 points each.

T&T had another scrimmage against Uganda on Saturday 19th in miserable
rainy weather . Uganda won the first in the first 5 points to 15, but
T&T  stormed back to take the second 15 points to 10.

Two scrimmages  were played and lost against Canada, 10 points to 15
and 5 points to 15

“I am really pleased with our defensive structures displayed in the
game against Canada,” said Assistant Coach Dale Trotman. “Despite the
loss, there were some good points we can build on as well as things we
need to fix. We need to press home our attacking advantages by
reacting quicker after creating the gaps. Improved communication on
the field will help.”

“We are pleased with the leadership and high quality of play being
shown by captain Joseph Quashie and Jesse Richards’ play so far has
been tremendous and an inspiration to the team,” says manager Curtis
Nero.” Individuals are beginning to step up now and we are seeing good
team play. The challenge is to maintain that focus for the duration of
the game. That is our challenge .”


Most of Trinidad and Tobago’s track & field contingent is now in the Games Village at Glasgow..


On Sunday night, Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Renny Quow, Keston Bledman and Cleopatra Borel joined their colleagues in the residences.. Early Monday morning), Janeil Bellile and Shawna Fermin entered the Village.


Two more athletes - young Machel Cedenio ,who is attending the IAAF World Juniors in Eugene, Oregon and Akeem Stewart, who will compete in both the Men's Shot Put and Discus ,have been called up for national duty. They will both join the team shortly.


For the first time, Trinidad and Tobago will be represented in all four sprint relays at the Commonwealth Games. Based on the success achieved at the recent IAAF World Relay Championships in Bahamas, much is expected of the relay teams.


In the Bahamas, both our 4X100m women  and the 4X400m men took bronze, while  our 4X100m men  earned silver. The  women's 4X400m team finished ninth overall. The medal won by the women's team is the first relay medal to be won by a  T&T women's team at the international level.


One major coincidence was that Trinidad and Tobago women's 4X100m clinched 3rd place by defeating Nigeria by 0.01 seconds, but in the women's 4X400m the tables were turned when the Nigerians denied our country of a spot in final by the same margin of 0.01 seconds


This morning most of the athletes were down at the Hampden Stadium going through their paces under the watchful eyes of the coaches and the medical team.  Track and field competition begins later this week in the various events


Meanwhile, table-tennis representatives  Dexter St Louis and Rheann Chung arrived at the Games Village  having performed very creditably at the Pan-Am festival in Mexico.Dexter made it to the round of 16 . Rheann lost 3-4 in the semi final to secure bronze.


Table-tennis playing journalist Kwame Lawrence  arrived at Glasgow Monday morning, and was scheduled to practise with Yuvraj Dookram and Catherine Spicer later that afternoon. Lawrence’s unique style will help Spicer  adjust to several playing styles at the games.



“It’s our biggest representation ever at one of these games. The demands on our staff are enormous and actual competition is still to begin!”


Dr Terry Ali, one of three doctors assigned to the Commonwealth Games, said he and other members of this country’s medical and therapeutic staff have had their hands full even before Wednesday’s start to the Commonwealth Games.


Along with Dr Ali, assisting T&T’s 129-athlete contingent in Glasgow, Scotland are doctors Anil Gopiesingh and Zynul Khan. Three physiotherapists and six massage therapists are also part of the team, which have felt their share of responsibility for the team’s preparations particularly last Saturday where they worked without a break from early morning to midnight.


News coming out of the camp is that T&T has been fortunate having no current major injury or illness scares.


A mini outbreak of flu-like symptoms that have affected around 12 Scottish Commonwealth Games assistants have not affected any member of the T&T contingent.


There have also been no positive drug tests within the T&T camp. Officials of the Commonwealth Games have adopted a rigorous approach to random drug testing on a round-the-clock bases.


They often come as an inconvenience to the athletes and management, according to chef-de-mission Ian Hypolite, who gave insight into the processes of drug testing. “It has annoyed a few people, but we must realise that this is now a serious business. Our contingent is party to a ‘whereabouts policy’, which means that our athletes must be at a certain location at a given time for possible drug testing. If they are not, they are searched out and tested wherever they are.”


Athletes may also be selected at random in the dining areas or at training, apart from the usual practice of post-competition testing.


Trinidad and Tobago's contingent is now almost at full strength three
days before the start of the twentieth Commonwealth Games in
Glasgow,Scotland. Njisane Phillips,George Bovell III,Jehue
Gordon,Keshorn Walcott and Richard Thompson are some of T&T's marquee
names already in residence.

The bulk of our table-tennis contingent flies in from Mexico on
Tuesday,and swing into action almost immediately.

Triathlon athletes David Cottle and Andreas Stuven both arrived on
separate flights on Saturday night. David went for a light pool
training on Sunday morning while Andreas organized logistics for bike
and course familiarization.

Technical meetings for all athletes and managers begin Monday 21
June,where among other things,ahtletes' equipment will be tested for
conformity to competition regulations.


Jarrin Solomon joined the sub-45 club yesterday, the Trinidad and Tobago quartermiler clocking a personal best 44.98 seconds to grab gold in the men’s 400 metres event, at the KBC Night of Athletics meet, in Belgium.

Solomon forced American Manteo Mitchell to settle for silver in 45.12 seconds, while third spot went to hometown hero Jonathan Borlee (45.37).

With the 44.98 run, Solomon became the tenth T&T athlete to dive under 45 seconds in the one-lap event.

National record holder Ian Morris is at the top of the list at 44.21 seconds. Deon Lendore is second with a 44.36 run. The 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, Lalonde Gordon is third at 44.52, while 2009 World Championship bronze medallist Renny Quow is at number four with a 44.53 run.

Patrick Delice is next on the list at 44.58, ahead of 1964 Olympic silver medallist Wendell Mottley (44.82), Alvin Daniel (44.84), Ato Stephens (44.87), Mike Paul (44.88) and Solomon (44.98).

Keston Bledman was also on show at the KBC Night of Athletics meet. The T&T sprinter finished third in the men’s 100m dash. American Marvin Bracy was first to the line in 10.13, while silver was seized by former world record holder Asafa Powell, the Jamaican getting home in 10.15.

At the Meeting Madrid 2014, in Spain, Quow picked up silver in the men’s 400m, the T&T quartermiler completing his lap of the track in 45.36 seconds. Bahamian Latoy Williams clocked 45.17 to top the field, while bronze was bagged by American Kyle Clemons (45.37).

And T&T’s Wayne Davis II finished third in the men’s 110m hurdles in a wind-assisted 13.34 seconds. The top two spots went to American Aleec Harris (13.18) and Barbadian Shane Brathwaite (13.32).

Solomon, Bledman, Quow, Davis, Lendore and Gordon are all expected to wear T&T colours at the July23-August 3 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.


“I am not looking to the usual and traditional medal suspects for success at this games, but from others who will grasp this opportunity to be successful and make T&T proud,” said Brian Lewis, president of the T&T Commonwealth Games Committee. The 2014 Commonwealth Games begins in Glasgow, Scotland, on Wednesday. Lewis said athletes in all disciplines must perform at levels that would boost national fervour, while providing citizens with evidence that T&T have grown as a truly dynamic sporting nation.

Team sports would face the biggest hurdles in pursuit of winning medals, but individual athletes outside of track and field, swimming, cycling and boxing could produce new champions for the nation. Judo, gymnastics, table tennis, squash and triathlon were ready to evolve from being considered minor sports locally, to becoming major disciplines, with consistent achievers on the global sporting stage. Christopher George was the lone athlete for judo, while Marissa Dick, Khazia Hislop and William Albert were representing gymnastics. Like George, David Cottle was a one-man team in triathlon, while table tennis veteran Dexter St Louis leads a group that includes Curtis Humphreys, Aaron Wilson, Yuvraj Dookram, Rheann Chung, Ashley Quashie, Aleena Edwards and Catherine Spicer.

Colin Ramasra, Kale Wilson, Kerrie Sample and Charlotte Knaggs were representing squash. “It is time for judo to rise. For the first time at Commonwealth Games we have an athlete for judo. 
“He is Christopher George, who is no stranger to national duty having represented T&T at the junior and senior levels in the sport of water polo. “He has made the switch to the sport of judo and his objectives and goals are to qualify for Rio 2016 (Olympic Games) which would be a first for judo. “Most of the attention, understandably, in the context of our medal hopefuls are in track and field, swimming cycling and boxing–Michael Alexander and Aaron Prince–outside of the team sports, which will be facing some tough hurdle. “The Commonwealth Games, as much as it is good games in its own right, forms a key part to the journey to Rio 2016.

“Realistically, we will be paying close attention to newcomers to see how they compete with the higher level of competition, outside of the Caribbean. “In November, we have the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) games where we would expect the team sports to have definite medal potential. “What we would want to see in Scotland is a very competitive effort and signs of significant improvement in terms of fitness and target projection, as well look to CAC and Pan American Games and the Rio. “So I am saying that the sports such as judo, which we have not been represented in at the continental level under the Olympic Committee, we will be paying close attention to them. It would be very interesting to see how George comes along.”


The T&T girls team had to settle for silver at the Junior Caribbean Area Squash Association (Casa) Championships in Bermuda, as top-ranked Guyana proved too strong in the best-of-five final series, yesterday. Guyana edged fourth-ranked T&T 3-2 behind wins from Makeda Harding, Taylor Fernandes and Victoria Arjoon. Alexandria Yearwood and Charlotte Knaggs snatched consolation wins for T&T.

In the Under-13 category, Harding eased past T&T’s Jinan Al Rawi 11-4, 11-3, 11-0. Fernandes (U-17) and Arjoon (U-19) also won in straight sets defeating Faith Gillezeau and Marie-Claire Barcant, respectively. In another U-19 match, Knaggs continued her domination in the tournament outlasting Akela Wiltshire 11-8, 11-8, 11-9. On Tuesday, Knaggs got the better of Wiltshire in the girls U-19 singles final in four sets. Yearwood needed four sets to get past Rebeeca Low, prevailing 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5.


The T&T boys also ranked fourth, ended the tournament on a high defeating third-ranked Barbados 3-2 in the third-place play-off. T&T won both matches in the U-19 category with Christian Edghill and Nku Patrick both recording straight set victories. Chad Salandy sealed bronze for T&T in the U-17 category with a four-set win over Benjamin Griffin. Christopher Anthony and Nicholas Caddle were on the losing end for T&T. Team T&T will return home tomorrow, except for Knaggs who will travel to Glasgow, Scotland, to represent T&T at the Commonwealth Games from July 23–August 3.



Girls final: Guyana def T&T 3-2

Under-13: Makeda Harding (GUY) def Jinan Al Rawi (T&T) 11-4, 11-3, 11-0
U-15: Alexandria Yearwood (T&T) def Rebecca Low (GUY) 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5
U-17: Taylor Fernandes (GUY) def Faith Gillezeau (T&T) 11-9, 11-5, 11-3
U-19: Victoria Arjoon (GUY) def Marie-Claire Barcant (T&T) 11-5, 11-2, 11-7
U-19: Charlotte Knaggs (T&T) def Akela Wiltshire (GUY) 11-8, 11-8, 11-9

Boys 3rd/4th place playoff: T&T def Barbados 3-2

U-13: Khamal Cumberbatch (BAR) def Christopher Anthony (T&T) 11-0, 11-1, 11-4
U-15: Josiah Griffith (BAR) def Nicholas Caddle (T&T) 11-4, 11-2, 11-6
U-17: Chad Salandy (T&T) def Benjamin Griffith (BAR) 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-0
U-19: Christian Edghill (T&T) def Dean Straker (BAR) 11-6, 11-3, 11-8
U-19: Nku Patrick (T&T) def Stewart St John (BAR) 11-3, 13-11, 11-9


T&T’s 22-athlete contingent is expected to touch down in Eugene, Oregon, at around midday today,  ahead of the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Junior Championships, which will take place in the same city from Tuesday to Sunday. The team was scheduled to depart T&T just after 12.20 am, two days before the start of competition. According to management, there has been no cause for concern over the fitness of any of the athletes thus far and several are in prime form to capture precious metal, including the world’s top-ranked 400m sprinter in his class, Machel Cedenio.

Dexter Voisin, the team’s head coach tipped Cedenio, a multiple CAC and Carifta gold medallist, and this country’s 4x100m girls’ and boys’ teams for success. Cedenio is also included in the 4x400m boys’ relay team. “The present athletes started campaigning since the Carifta Games before they went onto the CAC Games, where they had the opportunity to assess themselves. In a sense it gave them the chance to gauge their performances,” said Voisin. “Their current rankings could speak for their expectations. The 4x100 relay teams, the boys and girls are expected to do well based on their rankings, and some of the individuals, like Shakeil Waithe (javelin) but nothing is cast in stone. Remember, some of the European teams do not get to train together like we do, so that would affect the standings.”

Voisin said while many will focus their attention on the Commonwealth Games, local athletics fans should tune in to witness the potential successes of a highly talented crop of players. The Commonwealth Games will start on Wednesday and close on August 3, in Glasgow, Scotland. The girls 4x100m relay team comprises Zakiya Denoon, Aaliyah Telesford, Kayelle Clarke, Mauricia Prieto and Trishelle Leacock, while the boys equivalent includes Jonathan Farinha, John Mark Constantine, Holland Cabare, Micah Ballantyne, Akanni Hislop, Aaron Lewis. Voisin also suggested that Farinha (boys 100m and 200m) may be in line for a medal. He is ranked 9th and 13th in the two distances, respectively.


100m—Zakiya Denoon, Aaliyah Telesford
200m—Kayelle Clarke
100m hurdles—Akila McShine
Shot put—Portious Warren

Relay Pool
4x100m—Zakiya Denoon, Aaliyah Telesford, Kayelle Clarke, Mauricia Prieto, Trishelle Leacock

100m—John Mark Constantine, Jonathan Farinha
200m—Jonathan Farinha
400m—Asa Guevara, Machel Cedenio
800m—Nicholas Landeau
110m hurdles—Aaron Lewis, Ruebin Walters
Javelin—Shackeil Waithe

Relay Pools
4x100m—Jonathan Farinha, John Mark Constantine, Holland Cabare, Micah Ballantyne, Akanni Hislop, Aaron Lewis.

4x400m—Machel Cedenio, Asa Guevara, Odel James, Breon Mullings, Nathan Farinha, Ruebin Walters

Jim Clarke (manager), Dexter Voisin (head coach), Charles Joseph (sprints coach), Kerron Brown (throws coach), Althea Busby (sprints, hurdles coach), Shurlan Bonas (massage therapist).


T&T’s “Calypso Spikers” will be confident of realising their dream of competing at an FIVB Women’s World Championship when they come up against Mexico in a winner-take-all North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Women’s Playoff final at the University of the West Indies Sports and Physical Educational Centre, St Augustine from 6 o’clock this evening. Setter Kelly-Anne Billingy led local women, ranked 31st in the world, to overcome Costa Rica 25–22, 25–15, 25–21 in their penultimate match of the five-team tournament at the same venue on Friday night to improve to 3–0, while Nicaragua defeated Panama 25–16, 24–26, 25–10, 25–19 for its first win.

The Mexicans were also unbeaten with a 2–0 record going into their encounter with  Nicaragua last night ahead of today’s highly anticipated meeting with host T&T, which they last played at the Pan American in May, losing in five sets. T&T women won the first two sets, 25–18, 25–21, but then imploded the next three sets, 15–20, 20–25, 8–15, however, coach Nicholson Drakes will be hoping his team continue their winning trend. The last time T&T defeated Mexico was last year at the Pan American Cup in Peru. Leading the way for T&T, the five-time reigning Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) champions on Friday night, was Romania-based Krystle Esdelle with 15 points, punctuated by 14 kills while the in-form France-based Channon Thompson added 14, inclusive of ten kills and four blocks.

Middle-blocker, Sinead Jack, who plies her trade in Russia, had another impressive outing with nine points, highlighted by four blocks while Darlene Ramdin, who also plays professionally in France added eight. The duo of Jalicia Ross-Kydd and Kelly-Anne Billingy chipped in with six points each for T&T which dominated in all key aspects of the 83 minutes contest, 37–22 on kills, 12–7 on blocks and 9–6 on service ace. For the Costa Ricans who fell to a 1–2 record after losing to Mexico as well and will miss out on the World Championship after two straight appearances, captain Angela Willis and Paola Ramirez tallied nine points each. Verania Willis got seven and the pair of Mijal Hines and Daniela Vargas, three each.

Speaking after the win, a very focused Billingy, a 14-year veteran of the team and one of eight players who were part of the 2009 squad which missed out on the World event in Japan due to a cellar-placed finish in the playoffs, admitted it was one of her team’s best displays in a while. “I think this was probably one of the better games we have played in a very long time as a team and only the second time we have beaten Costa Rica in straight sets. Coach Drakes added: “We are moving forward to Sunday (against Mexico) very confident. As I said before, I believe my team could win this tournament, but we need to be focused, we need to concentrate more and believe more.” Costa Rican coach Horacio Bastit said: “T&T took advantage of  the strength they have at the net.” Unfortunately the objective that we had to qualify for the World Championship is gone. We have to keep our heads up and finish this tournament.”


France-based top T&T table-tennis pair, Dexter St Louis and his step-daughter Rhean Chung, continued their unbeaten run at the Pan American Sport Festival in Mexico City with victories in their singles matches yesterday at the National Centre for Talent Development and High Performance Sports. St Louis, a five-time Caribbean singles champion,  swept past Venezuelan, Marcos Rosas, 11–9, 11–8, 11–3 and Jamaica Ryan Peters, 11–9, 11–3, 11–4 in his Group Five matches to reach the main draw knockout stage. However, the two other local men, Aaron Wilson and Curtis Humphreys were beaten in their openers and faced must win matches to advance.

Wilson was humbled by Brazilian Ishiy Vitor, 9–11, 2–11, 4–11 in his Group Two opener and faced Costa Rica Jeison Martinez in his second match, while Humphreys went under to Argentine, Pablo Tabachnik, 10–12, 5–11, 9–11 and came up against Barbadian Kristian Doughty 8–11, 6–11, 1–11 in Group Seven. In the women’s competition, Chung, also a five-time Caribbean women’s champion, defeated Colombian Paloma Sarmiento 11–9, 11–7, 11–6 before she was taken the distance by Canadian Alicia Cote, 5–11, 11–6, 6–11, 11–4, 12–10 in Group Six, while ten-time national women’s single champion, Aleena Edwards was beaten in her Group Four curtain raiser 5–11, 7–11, 7–11 by Chile’s Paulina Vega with her final match against Dominican Republic, Lineth Vila carded for last night.

Last night in the men’s doubles, St Louis and Humphreys came up against Tyrese Knight and Marcus Smith of Barbados in the round-of-16 with a quarterfinal encounter against Argentine’s Gaston Alto and Pablo Tabachnik up next for the winners ahead of today’s semifinal and finals. In the women’s doubles, Chung and Ashley Quashie started off the round-of-16 versus Canada’s Alicia Cote and Michelle Liaw. On Thursday, the T&T men ended bottom of their round-robin Group Two series after losing to Canada and Dominican Republic, both by 3–1 margins while the local women’s team also suffered 1–3 losses, against Brazil and Guatemala with St Louis and Chung getting both wins in each category.


As the T&T Guardian continues its talks with some of the people of Port-of-Spain, in recognition of the city’s 100th anniversary celebrated last month. This week we feature pan enthusiast Ernest Ferreira, who lived most of his life on Scott-Bushe Street. He shares his story about growing up in town and his wish for the city.


I am Ernest Ferreira. I am 79, the father of three boys and two grandchildren and I have been in the business of shipping and marketing most of my adult life. I now live in Maraval but I was born and raised in the city of Port-of-Spain. The house I lived in is still there and has now been converted into my office.


My father and mother, both descendants of Portuguese immigrants, purchased a house from store owner Charles Kirpalani, at number three Scott-Bushe Street in the late 1930s. My grandfather was the owner of SSN Pereria Confectionery at 69 Prince Street in Port-of-Spain. The confectionery was sold and is now known as KC Candy.


Growing up in Port-of-Spain for me were the wonder years. I can remember always enjoying waking up to the sounds of the tram cars at 5 am. Those tram cars would come from St Ann’s, go through Belmont and into Port-of-Spain. I can also remember the trolly buses. We used to call them the silent murderers in those days because you could never hear them coming.


Scott-Bushe Street was always very quiet. Mostly middle-class families lived there and if you wanted some action you had to go into the heart of the city like Charlotte Street and Marine Square, now Independence Square.


I can recall as a young boy going to the neighbour’s house to listen to my favourite shows on Rediffusion, a business which distributed radio and TV signals through wired relay networks. In those days not many people had television and my father could not afford one. So my siblings and I would go to the neighbour’s house to listen to popular shows like Second Spring, Journey into Space and my personal favourite, Mandrake the Magician. I have a vivid recollection of 1930s and 40s the pan revolution era, which I had found was so interesting. I attended St Mary’s College but was expelled in form three for my involvement in pan. In those days to be involved in pan you were seen as a roughneck and thug and it was unheard of to see a so-called “white boy” beating pan or even showing an interest in it. Eventually I founded the Dixieland Steel Orchestra. But the story of my involvement in pan is a whole other story in itself. So I will leave that for another time.


But I would say going to Port-of-Spain was always exciting. People would leave their homes just to go window shopping on Frederick Street. I don’t suppose they still do that. I remember after school, some of us would go downtown where the aloo pie, press (sno cone) and coconut vendors were, to buy especially press for a penny. And we used to pay four cents for a coconut water. Aloo pie was also a penny. Those were the days.


Port-of-Spain was always a very lively place, but it was also always safe. The most bacchanal it ever had in those times were the steelband clashes. Other than that it was a safe place to go. I grew up there and I cannot even recall a single time my father or any neighbour had to call the police for anything.


The young people in those days were very focused and respectable. It always had the one or two mischievous ones, but what they did was nothing much to fuss about.


A typical teenager’s lime was going to the Queen’s Park Savannah after school to hang out. Those of us who lived in town would go home, take a bath and head up to the Savannah. Most times we would give the girls fatigue when they passed, but nothing rude or disrespectful. In those days you could not do that because if your parents found out, you would get an unimaginable cut tail.


I remember Christmas time in the city was a joy. Everybody shopping, boys and girls on roller skates. The stores adorned with Christmas decorations and carols playing. Charlotte Street was the liming spot for the holidays. It was where you got your fill of the funny characters who would be telling jokes or stories on the street.


The city has changed quite a lot. Our children today don’t know of Donkey City. That was where cart and donkey owners would assemble to provide transportation for commuters. It was located at London Street on Wrightson Road where the Radisson Hotel is now. Then there was the Goat’s Manna in the spot where the Central Bank is. And the Caricom Jetty is where live cattle from Venezuela were brought in and transported to the Port-of-Spain abattoir to be slaughtered.


Victoria Square was a hub for young people to meet and socialise. Now that square and all the other squares have been left for ruin. You would think they were not historic landmarks. What was once a beautiful Port-of-Spain is now the place many flee from and avoid for fear of gang wars and other criminal activity.


I certainly wish I could see a revival of Port-of-Spain, starting with all the squares; Lord Harris, Victoria and Woodford Square. These squares have so much history attached to them. It would be nice if our young people and tourists could go into these squares and see stories of this land being told through murals or even theatrical plays. We can tell stories of our politicians, sportsmen and women, academic enthusiasts, and other great people of our nation who have contributed to the development of T&T.


I have always thought Victoria Square should be the place where we showcase this country’s indigenous flowers and plants. Maybe it can be renamed Hibiscus Park. From the lighthouse to the Breakfast Shed, the wall of that entire stretch should be filled with murals.


Port-of-Spain is indeed in need of a vast facelift. When we got our independence in 1962, things should have got better, but we are not seeing that today. Something is absolutely wrong when a nation allows its history to die and that is what has been happening to Port-of-Spain. It is fast becoming a dying city.


Nicholas Baldeosingh,videographer with the TT Men's Hockey team,poses
with receptionists at the Comonwealth Games Village's opticiian's
centre,after receiving his first ever pair of spectacles at no cost.A
vast range of dental,optical and medical services are available to
athletes and officials at Glasgow 2014 entirely free of charge.

Trinidad and Tobago's contingent also has its own athlete-centred
medical team to attend to its personnel,headed by Doctors Terry
Ali,Anil Gopiesingh and Zynul Khan.Three physios and six massage
therapists are part of this team which,on a long day like Saturday 19
July,worked without a break from early morning to midnight.

"We have one hundred and twenty-nine athletes at this edition of the
Commonwealth Games," says Dr Ali."It's our biggest representation ever
at one of these Games.The demands on our staff are
enormous...andactual competition is still to begin!"

T&T are lucky so far in that there have been no major injuries or
illness scares.The mini-outbreak of vomiting and diarrhea that
affected  12 or so of the Scottish CWG assistants did not affect any
member of the contingent.

There have also been no positive drug tests among our athletes.The
Commonwealth Games have adopted a very rigorous approach to random
drug-testing on a round-the-clock basis.

"It has annoyed a few people," says Chef de Mission Ian Hypolite,"but
we must realise that this is now a serious business.Our contingent is
party to a Whereabouts policy,which means that our athletes must be at
a certain location at a given time for possible drug-testing.If they
are not,they are searched out and tested wherever they are".

Athletes may also be selected at random in the dining areas,or at
training,apart from the usual practice of post-competiion testing.The
aim is to provide an entirely drug-free Commonwealth Games 2014.

Cleopatra Borel recorded her third best toss of the season, yesterday, when the two-time Commonwealth athlete placed third at the Herculis Meeting in Monaco. Borel, the only T&T athlete in Diamond League action on the day, secured a 18.96 meters distance on her first attempt, before she threw 18.65m  twice and 18.46m in her next three attempts. She was beaten by runaway Diamond League leader, Valerie Adams of New Zealand, who won the event with a 20.38m effort. USA’s Michelle Carter finished second with a 19.05m throw.

Borel’s feat comes two weeks after she placed fourth in Lausanne with an 18.88m effort. Her season best stands at 19.10m (Copa La Habana, Cuba), which was a winning throw recorded in March. Her second best effort for the season was at the New York adidas Grand Prix, where she recorded 19.04m. Borel is a member of T&T’s athlete contingent preparing for the upcoming Commonwealth Games starting in Scotland on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, top T&T women’s sprinter Michelle-Lee Ahye, who opted out of yesterday’s action because of a hamstring injury scare she suffered in Switzerland after copping a 100m and 200m double on Tuesday, is now recovering well and getting some vital rest before the challenge for the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. Despite remaining unbeaten for the year, Ahye’s previous world leading time (10.85) was erased by Diamond League leader USA’s Tori Bowie, who clocked 10.80 seconds. Veronica Campbell-Browne (Jamaica) placed second in 10.96 seconds, while Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure placed third in a season-best 10.97 seconds. Allyson Felix of the USA and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce (Jamaica) both ran season-best times in 11.01 to place fifth and sixth, respectively.


Despite being dropped by Team Sky, Olympic hero is still a huge inspiration to his team-mates at in Glasgow

What a coup it is for the Commonwealth Games to have Sir Bradley Wiggins, the white knight of the London Olympics, riding on the track next week.

Casual cycling fans might find themselves wondering where the real action is: over in the Pyrenees at the Tour de France or inside the Glasgow velodrome.

In truth, Wiggins’s hopes of riding at the Tour were taken out of his hands even before he crashed in Switzerland a month ago, after Team Sky’s general manager David Brailsford intimated to him that he would not make the team supporting Chris Froome’s abortive bid.

But the beauty of cycling is that it comes in so many different formats.

Few riders have more pedigree on the track than Wiggins, the owner of three Olympic gold medals in individual and team pursuit. Next week, his return to the indoor events should bring a welcome fillip to a group of riders who underperformed at the world track championships in March.

“For me personally, to have someone like Brad back with the team at track sessions is really, really good,” said Jess Varnish, the 23-year-old who took bronze in the team sprint in Cali, Colombia, four months ago.

“For young riders – and I still class myself as one even though I’m not now – we’ve always had these amazing athletes to look up to in the squad: Vicky [Pendleton], Chris [Hoy], Brad. And when they go you think there’s no one there you can watch, and see how classy they are.

“I really love having him back in the squad and it’s great for the team. It is reassuring, just to see him doing what I’m doing, changing his gear, rolling around on his road bike between sessions. I quite like tattoos and he’s got sleeves drawn on his arms so I’ve been talking to him about them.

“You just chat to him like he’s a normal person, that’s what people prefer.”

Some sceptics have questioned whether Wiggins’ focus on road racing over the past six years might have drained the fast-twitch muscles from his legs. It is unquestionably a big shift to go from three weeks of teeth-grinding struggle to a four-minute burnout. But his selection for the 4,000 metre team pursuit is not in doubt.

It may surprise some that Wiggins’s plan – at the moment – is to leave the Commonwealth Games after that first Thursday, rather than ride in the time-trial the following week. He did wallop his Team Sky comrade Geraint Thomas, as well as defending champion Alex Dowsett, in this format at last month’s national road championships in Monmouthshire.

But Wiggins’s management indicated on Friday that his training schedule had not allowed him room to prepare for multiple events in Glasgow. And in the absence of Jon Dibben, who broke an elbow in training recently, there is no one else who can step in as the fourth team pursuiter alongside the settled combination of Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant.

“Brad hasn’t touched a track since 2008, although he did one World Cup [in 2011],” said Clancy. “He just wants some confirmation that he’s still got it, that he can still be a big player in the team pursuit. The way he’s riding at the moment, it looks like that is the case. Even when he dropped back in, he wasn’t too far from his best.

“I remember the first day he turned up. There’s us guys: Burkey who is Olympic champion, Tennant who has been there, but Brad’s still a celebrity to us. When he walked in, we thought ‘We haven’t seen this guy for a while and since we last saw him he’s won the Tour and what not.’

“He’s a big deal these days. I didn’t want to say anything stupid. You test the water, see how things are. But he’s dead cool, just like he always was.”

With or without Wiggins, the Commonwealth Games were always going to reshape the whole team’s agenda, not least because the home nations will be competing against each other rather than combining as usual under the Team GB umbrella.

This shift of emphasis has brought a freshness to the last couple of weeks’ preparation, which found the riders at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester hoarding their own personal data rather than sharing everything as normal. Given the stale feeling that afflicted the men’s squad in Colombia four months ago, head coach Shane Sutton must be hoping that a change will prove as good as a rest.

“To my mind, we were overtrained at the worlds,” says Clancy now. “We worked too hard if anything and went there completely burnt out. I’ll argue that to the bitter end. We were tired, and it was unfair that a few of the guys got that stick. So Brad coming in it’s a big boost for the team. It’s another strong guy.”

It is also a chance for some of the young riders to think back to the moments that first inspired them. This is especially true for Joanna Rowsell, the only British cyclist to take two gold medals at the Cali meeting in March. Now 25, Rowsell came into the junior reckoning in 2004, after a talent-spotting delegation had picked her out from her classmates.

But she had no cycling background at all, to the point where she had barely even ridden to school. Later that summer, she became fascinated by Wiggins’s achievements at the Athens Olympics.

“Brad was one of my big motivators,” says Rowsell. “Watching the Athens Games was a big eye-opener. I remember seeing him win the individual pursuit and feeling that I liked the look of that one. I knew nothing about cycling and when I went to my first training camp they must have thought they had the wrong girl because I turned up in trainers and tracksuit bottoms, I didn’t know how to use cycling shoes and I immediately fell off.

“It has been a long road from there to here.”

The path of sport meanders down some unexpected courses, and a few months ago Wiggins might have been expecting to follow Glasgow’s track events from the Team Sky bus. Now that he is committed, however, his star quality seems to be invigorating the rest of the England squad.


In light of the Minister of Sport, Anil Roberts requesting that officials of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) remove T&T from the Red Steel name, Damien O'Donohoe, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CPL has responded by saying that the Red Steel franchise is not based in T&T.


Roberts wrote to O'Donohoe on Tuesday and asked him to make a public statement on whether or not the CPL had agreed to drop T&T from the name. Roberts said that a while now CPL had agreed but yet the name was still being bandied around.


O'Donohoe responded by stating: “CPL can confirm that it has agreed to omit the words ‘T&T’ from the Red Steel team name based on a request from the Minister of Sport due to his view that the use of the country name ‘infringes’ on the protocols surrounding the use of the name and the sovereignty of the nation.


"CPL would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that the Red Steel team is not a franchise that is based in T&T. It is a team selected from the fantastic talent pool across the country. The team is not restricted to play its home games in T&T, and ultimately, any decision on where the team is based is dependent on the commitment and support that CPL has already enjoyed with other Governments and owners.


"The fans in T&T are second to none. They were fantastic supporters of CPL during its first year, and we look forward to bringing more games to T&T, no matter where the franchise is based."


Information reaching the T&T Guardian was that the three matches scheduled for later this month in Trinidad will remain at the Queen's Park Oval, Port-of-Spain.


A source close to the situation said that there is no truth to the fact that the matches were going to be moved to St Kitts, where the finals weekend will be played.


German Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg has been forced to change the design of a helmet he planned to wear to celebrate his country's World Cup win.

Football's world governing body Fifa said an image of the trophy would breach "intellectual property" rights.

The 29-year-old championship leader hoped to wear the helmet for his home grand prix at Hockenheim this weekend.

"I would have loved to carry the trophy as a tribute to the guys, but I respect the legal situation," he said.

Rosberg has opted to keep other emblems on his helmet, such as the national flag and four stars to represent four World Cup wins.

In a statement, Fifa said it was "obliged to take action against any unauthorised reproduction of its intellectual property in a commercial context".

It added: "We cannot allow a commercially branded helmet to feature the trophy as this would jeopardise the rights of our commercial affiliates.

"We appreciate Nico Rosberg's desire to congratulate the German team and have therefore been in discussions with the Rosberg team to attempt to find a solution, whereby he is still able to show his support for Germany without using Fifa intellectual property in a commercial context."

Germany won the 2014 Fifa World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Argentina in extra-time on Sunday. The old West Germany won the World Cup three times - in 1954, 1974 and 1990.

Rosberg, who leads his British team-mate Lewis Hamilton by four points, had proudly shown off the new helmet design on Tuesday.

"This will be my Hockenheim World Cup special edition helmet with the Fifa trophy," he tweeted.


Brian Lewis, president of the T&T Commonwealth Games Association (T&TCGA) is defending concerns raised from several quarters in the national community regarding the number of officials that are accompanying athletes to the Commonwealth Games which starts on Wednesday in Glasgow, Scotland.


The T&TCGA has appointed 47 officials to assist more than 100 athletes.


The team officials comprises exercise physiologists, sports nutritionists, doctors, athletic trainers, chiropractors, team managers, coaches, as well as Dr Ian Hypolite, the contingent’s chef de mission and Ms Diane Henderson who is the assistant chef-de-mission.


“T&T claims to be a sport loving public and they watch a lot of international events, but still hold the view that sports psychologist, sports nutritionist, athletic trainers, chiropractors, exercise physiologist and all of these conditioning experts are unnecessary. If people feel that it is unnecessary, then we are in the wrong business and we are not talking about high performance sport. Then we are doing our athletes a disservice. The TTOC/CGA has no intention of doing our athletes a disservice,” said Lewis.


“All over the world, success drive success. I am convinced that for the TTOC/CGA, National Sporting Organisations (NSO), the athletes and coaches that attend major events such as the Commonwealth Games, go to perform and not just to participate. T&T athletes have passed the stage of just being happy to barely qualify. We’ve gone past that stage. That is no longer an acceptable position. We are going to these Games to perform. It’s not about going for a joy ride or a vacation. It’s about performance. I expect quality performances.”


Lewis said Dr Hypolite had the experience having attended several high level games in the past and he understands what is required to bring home gold by creating the right environment from the administrative side of things.


“In the past, people complained about all the officials going and there are still people that have that view. If they pay attention to what is happening in the modern environment, you will see that support staff is crucial. And in many ways, T&T still have a long way to go. Simple things like video analysis I think should be part of the team. There are lots of things we need to do, but it’s a building process. We are also reviewing how we construct medical services for athletes. For me the focus has to be on the podium and how do we ensure that our athletes have what they need to perform at their best on the day, to deliver their full potential,” Lewis explained.


He added: “We are focused as a CGA and our partnership with the Michael Johnson Performance Centre in the USA and BPTT to compliment the training programmes that the various coaches have for the various athletes. It’s all about working as a team. The Commonwealth Games still remains very much an important event for T&T. Within recent time the Commonwealth Games were held in November or around that period or like in 2006, in March-April. So it has been quite a while since we have been able, on paper, to go into the Games with what should be a very strong track and field contingent. That is really a big boast for us. We have the opportunity this time around because the Games are in July. It will be a very interesting Games and I am very optimistic that we would see some huge performances.”


Track and Field in T&T will always have a friend in Sagicor General Insurance (SGI) says Dyan Loutan-Ali, vice-president of local operations. She made the announcement at the company’s tenth anniversary celebration held at Hyatt Regency Trinidad on Dock Road in Port-of-Spain, yesterday.


Sagicor General was a title sponsor of the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) Senior Open Championships held at the Hasely Crawford National Stadium in Woodbrook last June. On that occasion Richard Thompson broke his own national record of 9.85 by three hundredths of a second–a 9.82 seconds run in the 100-metre re-match against fellow Olympic medallist Keston Bledman.


The spectacular performance earned him the honour as the ninth fastest athlete in the history of the sport as he went on to hold the world’s top spot for two weeks as declared by the IAAF. Thompson is now ranked second in the world. Justin Gatlin of the United States was able to better Thompson’s time by two hundredths in Lausanne Diamond League meet on July 3.


Michelle Lee Ahye was also praised having won her 100-metre at the Sagicor Senior Open Championships. As of yesterday, her standing remained unchanged as the world’s number one since that performance. These were among the top-performing athletes who have convinced the regional insurance giant to focus its corporate social responsibility on sport and, in this instance, track and field.


Loutan-Ali said her company continued to grow its market share and it would keep reinvesting in the sport, which continued to produce world champion medallists at every international championship. Loutan-Ali said T&T operations of SGI remained strong and consequently served as the largest revenue generator of all its branches in the network across the Caribbean.


“Compared to other companies that wrote a similar income the fact that SGI achieved so much with less than 100 in head count was in itself a great accomplishment,” Loutan-Ali said.


“Today, T&T counts for 58 per cent of the entire Sagicor General underwriting portfolio. The T&T branch has successfully contributed to the rapid growth of the company. Prior to the opening of the branch in 2004, SGI recorded a gross premium income of $145 million dollars.


“Today, the company writes 396 million. In addition to the premium growth, the branch, through its prudent financial management, has contributed significantly to the growth on SGI’s balance sheet which stood at $659 million at the end of 2013. It is no surprise that SGI has maintained an AM Best rating of A-Excellent since June 2002.”


Loutan-Ali added: “To improve the lives of the people in the communities in which we operate represents a section of our vision which we at Sagicor General are very passionate about.


“It is for this reason we have sponsored events such as the NAAA. This particular event has had our support since 2004 when we started operations in T&T. We believe that these games open many doors for our athletes and in particular our youth, through scholarships, endorsements and opportunities to represent our country at one of the highest level.”


To the benefit of future athletes and the national community as well, the Sagicor official said three years ago, the company took the decision to adopt projects in communities that would enhance the level of education to primary school children. So far, the insurer provided air conditioning to the Brasso and Caparo Primary Schools and refurbished and restocked the library at the Salazar Trace Primary School in Point Fortin.


“The success of these initiatives was made possible because of the contribution and dedication of personal time by both Sagicor General and Sagicor Life staff. In 2013, we partnered with Sagicor Life with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Programme in an effort to promote science in secondary schools throughout the Caribbean countries in which the Sagicor Group has a presence. This was quite successful and we will be continuing this initiative,” Loutan-Ali said.


Described as a precautionary move, world leading sprinter Michelle-Lee Ahye will sit out of today’s Diamond League 100 meter action in Monaco.


Ahye, who pulled up and collapsed on the track holding her hamstring on Wednesday after winning the women’s 200m events in Switzerland, was originally carded to line-up against Jamaican pair Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell-Brown as well as USA’s Allyson Felix, today. However, she confirmed her decision to opt out of the race today on her Twitter account saying: “Won’t be competing this weekend resting up for Commonwealth.”


Ahye has confirmed that a cramp was the cause of her pulling up on Wednesday and was “nothing serious”. She is expected to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, which runs from July 23 to August 3.


In Switzerlands, Ahye won both the women’s 100m and 200m races, in 11.09 seconds and 22.77 seconds, respectively. The latter time equalled her personal best she secured at the National Championships, last month. In the 100m, Ahye holds the world leading time, 10.85, which she also clocked in Port-of-Spain, last month.


Meanwhile, T&T’s top shot athlete, Cleopatra Borel will be the lone national representative in Monaco today. The women’s shot put will open proceedings. Borel currently sits in sixth position in Diamond League rankings.


Glasgow, July 16 2014


Scotland and people of Glasgow formally welcomed the Trinidad and Tobago contingent to the Commonwealth Games Village in a bright and energetic ceremony this morning.


TTOC Secretary General Annette Knott, Assistant Secretary General Diane Henderson and Chef de Mission Ian Hypolite led the colourful group of Trinidad and Tobago athletes from their residence halls to the ceremonial venue in the International Zone. The procession drew admiring looks from the gathered groups of workers, security officials and other athletes.


An energetic music and dance program followed, presented by the National Youth Theater of Scotland. The open-air theatrical performance dramatised the aspirations of athletes on their journey to the Commonwealth Games.


Glasgow 2014 has abandoned the practice of Mayors of the Games Village in favour of a policy of rotating chieftains, more in line with Scottish cultural tradition. Current Chieftain Rona Simpson, Scotland's most-capped female hockey player, urged the athletes to enjoy the total Games experience.


Trinidad and Tobago Chef de Mission Ian Hypolite than exchanged gifts with Chieftain Simpson and Pat Reid, Provost of the City of Falkirk.  Falkirk has adopted Trinidad and Tobago as its special 'Country' for Commonwealth Games 2014.


One hundred and ten Trinidad and Tobago athletes are already at the Games Village. A further Twenty-two are expected tonight.

Autonomy should be respected in National Olympic Committees (NOC) all over the world but should be complimented by the obeying of principles of good governance, International Olympic Committee (IOC) director of relations with NOCs, Pere Miró, has claimed.

Miro cited the topical examples of The Gambia and Pakistan, two countries where the IOC are currently striving to achieve this balance.

A possible Pakistani suspension from the IOC was only avoided by the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) undertaking a written pledge to obey a list of demands, while a meeting has been requested between the IOC and representatives from The Gambian Government and National Olympic Committee to resolve disputes in the African country.

"For us autonomy should be respected in all the countries, as well as in all sports and Olympic organisations," Miró, who is also responsible for Olympic Solidarity funding, told insidethegames.

"But also, it is absolutely clear that autonomy should be deserved.

"We speak about 'responsible autonomy', meaning that they have their house in order.

"We want to improve good governance to avoid any kind of excuse or reason for Governments to intervene and act on behalf of our organisations."

So, in relation to Pakistan, the Government has accepted the principles of autonomy, respect and the Olympic Charter, Miró explained.

But, on the other hand, the POA has also given a guarantee that the organisation will obey some of the principles of good governance, especially in relation to democracy, open elections and use of funds.

With relation to The Gambia, the situation is even more complex because the Government, unlike the IOC, believe the last NOC elections were not conducted properly, he added.

After the simmering of tension for several years, in May the Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) was barred from its headquarters at Olympic House in Bakau after it was seized by police on instruction from the Government.

This led to the NOC effectively grinding to a halt and Gambian athletes being unable to participate at the African Youth Games, held in Gabarone in May.

"The IOC President sent a letter to the President of the country asking him to intervene in favour of the athletes," Miró said.

"The President replied, saying he had given instructions to sports and other Ministries to be in contact with us, and we are now hoping a meeting will take place in Lausanne very soon.

"As a proof of goodwill for these conversations, we also want them to inform us that next week the headquarters of the NOC will be released."

Athletes from Pakistan are set to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow from July 23 and then at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing from August 16.

The "possibility still exists" that The Gambia will participate in Nanjing, but the IOC will have to work "very hard now" to achieve this goal.

Gambia is no longer a member of the Commonwealth after President Yahya Jammeh announced a withdrawal last October on the grounds that his country will "never be a member of any neo-colonial institution".

Problems have also been seen in relation to other NOCs in recent times, including Egypt and Kuwait, while a 14-month suspension of the Indian Olympic Association from the IOC was only lifted in February after the election of Narayana Ramachandran as President.

The autonomy of NOCs has been a key focus of IOC President Thomas Bach since his election last September, and earlier this year he described it as something "vital" for the future of the Olympic Movement.

But Miró added that problems remain because many Governments still fail to understand the concept as expressed in the Olympic Charter.

"They get confused with the concept of sovereignty in a country and the national need," he told insidethegames.

"Sovereignty is important and we respect that circumstances are different in different countries.

"But if they want to belong to an international community, then they must obey national rules, otherwise there would be nothing to stop one country saying 'lets play football with 10 players on each team' and another team saying 'they will do so with nine'".


The local franchise participating in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament has dropped T&T from its name and will now be known only as the Red Steel. The decision was met with great surprise by team captain Dwayne Bravo and other players, with Bravo expressing his dissatisfaction with the change during a press conference after the opening match of the tournament in Grenada.


“When I went out to do the toss against the Barbados Tridents, I was told that we cannot use T&T before the Red Steel name again. I was shocked and I thought it was a joke but I was told so officially.” CPL T20 official Gillian Power sent out the following message after the announcement was made by Bravo. “Yes we can confirm that the CPL changed the name of the Red Steel based on a request from the Minister of Sport.”


The request came from Sport Minister Anil Roberts. Bravo said: “When the players found out, they were really upset and they could not understand the move behind this. I am personally going to continue to use T&T Red Steel and if I get into trouble for that, I will deal with it then.”


Yesterday afternoon, the Sport Minister released a statement explaining the reason for the change. In it, he said the name T&T was reserved for citizens and nationals of the country, adding that the T&T brand was for the exclusive use of national governing bodies that are recognised by the Government and citizens as the representatives in a particular sport. He said these bodies were funded by the Ministry of Sport and the Sport Company of T&T and chose athletes based on the criteria that they are citizens of T&T.



As such, he added, the T&T brand could only be used by national teams chosen by the T&T Cricket Board. The release continued by stating that since the CPL is a private for-profit organisation that builds team franchises consisting of players from around the world, it could not use T&T's name in order to “distinguish their Red Steel franchise.”


“Nowhere in the world are sport franchises given country names. The IPL, the NBA, the EPL, the NFL and all other franchises carry the name of a city or region, eg. Mumbai Indians, Boston Celtics, Manchester United, New Orleans Saints. If this were not so, we could possibly see James Rodriguez or Cristiano Ronaldo or Andrea Pirlo or Yaya Toure suiting up for Argentina in tomorrow's (yesterday's) World Cup finals. So the position is clear, and will continue to be clear for centuries to come, that the brand T&T is owned by a sovereign nation and can only be attached to teams that are 100 per cent comprised and representative of citizens of the Republic of T&T.”



KINGSTON, Jamaica—The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has ordered that the Jamaica Anti-doping Commission (JADCO) pay all costs involved in the Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson hearing following a reduction in the athletes’ bans to six months.

“CAS has not just reduced the sentences of both athletes but it also awarded all costs associated with arbitration for the CAS hearing as well as additional monies in legal fees to be paid by JADCO. It is believed to be one of the largest awards in the history of CAS,” a release Monday from Powell’s publicist Tara Playfair-Scott said.

A JADCO Disciplinary Panel banned both athletes for 18 months in January this year after they tested positive for the prohibited substance Oxilofrine in June 2013.

Simpson and Powell challenged the decision in an appeal to CAS, arguing that the penalty handed down exceeded the nature of the offence.

CAS, an international appeals body, agreed with the case put forward by the lawyers representing the athletes, and chopped the sanction to six months commencing June 21, 2013.

Playfair-Scott tweeted Monday that justice has been served after a lengthy affair with JADCO.

She tweeted: “was a long road but in the end this was how it was supposed to be. ALL costs + extra for legal fees awarded. A statement was made! #justice”.

Attorney for both athletes Paul Greene said: “The nearly historic cost that JADCO will be required to pay is a sign from the CAS that JADCO’s failures in handling their cases are unacceptable.”

Since June 2014, the elite sprinters were given a temporary stay of execution and were free to compete after their respective applications to CAS.


Sportswear giant Adidas has signed a £750m deal to make Manchester United's kit for 10 years from next season.

It comes after US rival Nike decided to end its association at the end of the 2014-15 season.

Nike has been paying United £23.5m a year, and the new deal is worth a world record-breaking £75m ($128m) a season to the Old Trafford club.

Champions League winner Real Madrid's £31m-a-year deal with Adidas was previously the biggest club deal.

Adidas will provide training and playing kit to all the club's teams and will have the exclusive right to distribute dual-branded merchandising products worldwide.

The huge sum involved is only £40m less than the Glazer family paid for the club in 2005.
Sales boost

Adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer said the deal would help the firm "to further strengthen our position in key markets around the world".

He added: "We expect total sales to reach £1.5bn during the duration of our partnership."

Adidas has not given any details about the design of the new strip but said they may look to the Manchester United kits of the 1980s and early 1990s for inspiration.

It will be the first time Adidas has made the Premier League's team's strip in 23 years, since the 1991-92 season.

The announcement comes a day after the German firm, a Fifa World Cup sponsor, provided the kit for 2014 finalists Germany and Argentina.

In trading on the German stock exchange on Monday, the firm's shares closed up by 2.73%.

Adidas also supplies Bayern Munich, Chelsea, AC Milan and Flamengo. From the 2015-16 season, they will also provide kit for Juventus.


Sean Hamil, director of the Sport Business Centre at London's Birkbeck College, said that the Glazers had put in place "an exceptional marketing and sponsorship team", although they had taken flak for the way they had put debt onto the club's books and for increasing season ticket prices.

He said: "They have been able to secure this landmark deal in the sector, against the background of no Champions League football next season. This is clearly a major vote of confidence in the Manchester United brand.

"Also, it shows that leading English clubs are sufficiently robust in terms of global appeal that sponsors are making value decisions based on the long term and not just around one season."
'Global position'

Dr Leah Donlan, a marketing expert at Manchester Business School, said the deal will give Adidas "a significant competitive advantage" over Nike.

She added that Adidas could "strengthen its global brand position" by adding Manchester United to its portfolio of teams.

Nike had been given a period of exclusivity to negotiate an extension with United and also retained the right to match any other offer.

But the company decided against exercising either option, claiming the terms "did not represent good value for Nike's shareholders".

Manchester United suffered their worst Premier League finish to date last season after manager Sir Alex Ferguson left following 26 years in the job.

Manchester United in numbers

The Glazer family bought the club for £790m in 2005

Club's commercial operations grew by 30% to £34.9m in 2012-13 - Deloitte

The club still owes about £400m in loans used to finance the takeover

£10m-a-year interest payments due on the club's debt

Turnover for the 2013-14 financial year is expected to top £418m

Juan Mata is the club record signing - bought for £37.1m

Net profit of £146m for 2012-13

Wayne Rooney's new four-year deal worth a reported £300,000 a week

Chevrolet will pay £53m a year to have its name on United's shirts

Total wage bill estimate for the financial year 2012-13 was £182m- Deloitte

Aon paid £120m to sponsor the club's training ground and kit

No Champions League football will cost £50m- 10% of annual revenue - Deloitte

His successor, David Moyes, lasted just 10 months as the club failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 19 years.

United will now be managed by Louis van Gaal, whose commitments with the Netherlands are over following the climax of the World Cup.

The club has already unveiled the last MUFC kit bearing the Nike logo.

It features Chevrolet as shirt sponsor for the first time.

The US motor giant is said to be paying £53m a year to have its name splashed on the red shirt fronts.

Since the Glazer family took over at Manchester United, they have segmented many of their sponsorship deals, seeking specific regional partnership deals in many of their sponsorship sectors.


Five-time Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe has revealed he is gay in an interview on Australian television.

The 31-year-old told British journalist Sir Michael Parkinson on Channel 10: "I've thought about this for a long time. I'm not straight."

Thorpe had previously denied he was gay and wrote in his 2012 autobiography 'This Is Me' that he was heterosexual.

Australia's most decorated swimmer has suffered from depression and was in rehab earlier in the year.

In an emotional interview, Thorpe said he had only become comfortable in the last fortnight about talking openly to close friends about his sexuality.

"I've wanted to [come out] for some time but I couldn't, I didn't feel as though I could," he said.

"What happened was I felt the lie had become so big that I didn't want people to question my integrity."

Thorpe's decision to come out was supported by fellow Olympic swimmer Stephanie Rice who tweeted:  "Thorpie is, and always will be, a superstar in my eyes."

He has spoken in the past of "crippling depression", having suicidal thoughts, and drinking too much.

In February, he was found in a state of confusion by police near his parents' house in Sydney.

Ian Thorpe factfile

Born: 13 October 1982

Young star: Aged 16, won 400m freestyle at 1998 World Championships to become youngest ever individual male world champion

Titles: Winner of nine Olympic medals, including five golds, 10 Commonwealth Games titles and 13 World titles

Thorpe had taken anti-depressants and medication for a shoulder injury - sustained in a fall at home - but was not under the influence of alcohol.

He made his Olympic Games debut in Sydney in 2000, winning three golds there and another two in Athens, but retired in 2006, before making an unsuccessful comeback bid for the London 2012 Olympics.


Hampden gets a taste of athletics; Scotland uniform causes a stir; royal baton relay reaches Argyll and Bute; and ticket news


The Glasgow Diamond League meeting gives the first glimpse of athletics inside Hampden Park after a £14m refit that included raising the playing surface by 1.9 metres and removing eight rows of seating. It leaves capacity for the Games at 44,000 – some way short of the stadium record crowd of 149,415 for a football international between Scotland and England in 1937. Hampden makes its Games debut when the athletics begins on Sunday 27 July as the opening ceremony on Wednesday 23 July actually takes place over at Celtic Park, featuring a 100m screen in front of the South Stand (the side where the dugouts are during Celtic games) described as the “largest screen of its kind ever seen in Europe”. And among the other venues Ibrox also gets a look-in, of course – Rugby Sevens takes place there over the weekend of 26-27 July.


The Games, with a battle on its hands to draw the attention of the sporting world until the World Cup finishes, at least managed to go viral last week – though not for the best reasons. The launch of the Scotland team uniform caused a stir on Twitter and the inevitable petition against “this travesty of a design, an embarrassment to our athletes and to Scotland”. Scottish Cabinet Secretary Shona Robison backed them, saying they were “bold” and “colourful”.


The Queen’s Baton Relay, the equivalent of London’s Olympic torch journey, began at Buckingham Palace nine months ago when the baton, bearing an upbeat message from the Queen, left for Glasgow. On Sunday it arrives in Argyll and Bute.


While 1.1m tickets have been sold, there are still seats for the first two days from £15. Also available: a selection of £20 restricted view seats for the opening ceremony – which features 3,000 performers plus Nicole Scherzinger, Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Alex Ferguson – plus a batch of tickets for early rounds of the badminton and weightlifting, the latter a real crowd-pleaser at London 2012. More:


UNITED STATES of America (USA) South edged Trinidad and Tobago 19-17 on Saturday on the opening day of the North American Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Men’s Under-19 tournament.

At the Fatima College Grounds in Mucurapo, Trinidad and Tobago got three tries, from Joel Baird, Jonathan Blackburn and Leroy Wilson respectively, while Leon Pantor scored a conversion.

Assistant coach Brendan O’Farrell remarked yesterday, “both teams played very well. Trinidad and Tobago played a bit more expansive.”

He continued, “It could have gone either way. It was a very good match, under good conditions.

“I’m a little disappointed for our boys. We’ll have to rely on Mexico beating the USA on Tuesday and then we beating Mexico on Thursday.”

In the earlier game of Saturday’s double-header, Barbados strolled to a comfortable 14-0 triumph over Jamaica.

Action resumes today at the Fatima Grounds with Bermuda opposing a Trinidad and Tobago Club Select at 2 pm while the Turks and Caicos Islands will be facing British Virgin Islands at 4 pm.

Tomorrow the Cayman Islands tackle Barbados and Mexico face USA South. On Wednesday, Turks and Caicos meet a TT Club Select while Bermuda battle the British Virgin Islands as well. TT are back in action on Thursday against Mexico while the Cayman Islands and Jamaica meet in the day’s other fixture.

The tournament features 10 teams in two groups - the NACRA Cup and the NACRA Trophy.

The NACRA Cup comprises of the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Barbados (Pool A), Trinidad and Tobago, USA South and Mexico (Pool B).

And, in the NACRA Trophy, the entrants are Bermuda, St Vincent/Grenadines (Pool A), British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands (Pool B).

Matches will take place every day until the finals on July 19.


Singing legend Rod Stewart is set to perform at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony as organisers reveal more star-studded names that have been added to the line-up for the event in Celtic Park.

Stewart was born in London but has close ties to Scotland through his Scottish father and is a regular at Celtic Park to watch his beloved Glasgow Celtic Football Club.

The 69-year-old Grammy and Brit Award winner has been inducted into the United States Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on two occasions - as a solo artist and as a member of the band the Faces.

Joining the rocker on July 23 will be Scottish singer Susan Boyle, who shot to fame in the ITV talent show Britain's Got Talent in 2009 and has gone on to sell millions of albums worldwide, and whose performances have been watched more than 300 million times on YouTube.

Other Scottish acts confirmed to appear at the Opening Ceremony are Classical Brit Award winner and violin virtuoso Nicola Benedetti, Glasgow singer/songwriter Amy MacDonald and Julie Fowlis, who found global recognition through the songs she performed in the Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA-winning film Brave.

"We have always said that the Opening Ceremony will present Glasgow and Scotland to a global audience," said Glasgow 2014 chief executive, David Grevemberg.

"But when we got to welcome an iconic talent like Rod Stewart it takes the excitement and anticipation for the Opening Ceremony to a whole new level.

"We will also be welcoming internationally renowned and acclaimed artists Susan Boyle, Nicola Benedetti, Amy MacDonald and Julie Fowlis on the night.

"They will join the thousands of people who are part of our cast  for a unique celebration of the host city and nation which will not only welcome the athletes to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games, but which will also be seen and enjoyed across the world."

Around 2,000 volunteers are currently taking part in rehearsals as part of the Ceremonies cast for the Opening Ceremony.

Last month, organisers announced a UNICEF campaign will be featured on the night showing special films recorded by the likes of Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Alex Ferguson and Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulker, aimed at raising funds for projects being run across Commonwealth countries.

The Opening Ceremony will also feature a near 100 metre wide and 11m high LED screen erected in front of the South Stand at Celtic Park to broadcast images on the night.

Preparations and rehearsals are also taking place for the Closing Ceremony of the Games due to take place at Hampden Park on August 3.


Ahye whips Olympic champ Fraser-Pryce

Michelle-Lee Ahye warmed up for the 2014 Commonwealth Games with the biggest win of her career, at the British Athletics Grand Prix IAAF Diamond League meet, in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday.

Ahye stopped the clock at 11.01 seconds for gold in the women’s 100 metres dash, the Trinidad and Tobago sprinter forcing Jamaica’s two-time Olympic century champion Shelly-Ann Fraser–Pryce to settle for silver in 11.10.

With the victory, Ahye preserved her 100 per cent record this season in the 100m. Ahye is also perfect in Diamond League races. The 22-year-old athlete won on her Diamond League debut, on July 3, clocking 10.98 to win the Athletissima women’s 100m dash. She followed up with yesterday’s impressive victory.

Fraser-Pryce was not the only big scalp claimed by Ahye in Glasgow. American Carmelita Jeter, the 2011m 100m world champion, finished sixth in 11.33 seconds. Ivory Coast sprinter Murielle Ahoure was third in 11.17, while Jamaicans Kerron Stewart (11.22) and Simone Facey (11.30) were fourth and fifth, respectively.

In June, at the NGC/Sagicor National Open Track & Field Championships, Ahye joined the sub-11 club, clocking 10.85 seconds to win her semi-final heat, bolting to the top of the 2014 world performance list in the process. She produced another scorcher in the championship race, storming to victory in 10.88.

T&T’s Keshorn Walcott finished sixth in the British Athletics Grand Prix men’s javelin event, the reigning Olympic champion landing the spear 79.62 metres.

Thomas Rohler enjoyed the best competition of his career, the German winning with a personal best 86.99m throw. Czech Republic’s 2013 world champion, Vitezslav Vesely produced an 85.23m effort, and had to settle for silver. Finland’s Tero Pitkamaki threw 84.95m to pick up bronze.


Argentina’s World Cup victory over the Netherlands yesterday puts the South American team one step away from soccer’s ultimate prize. For its uniform supplier, the championship has already been won, whatever the outcome of Sunday’s final in Rio de Janeiro.

Argentina, sponsored by Adidas AG (ADS), triumphed on penalty kicks in Sao Paulo to eliminate a Dutch side outfitted by Nike Inc. (NKE) of the U.S. In the final, it will face fellow Adidas-backed team Germany, which defeated Nike-supported Brazil 7-1 on July 8. The Herzogenaurach, Germany-based company also outfitted the Spanish team that won the last World Cup in 2010.

The prestige of outfitting the victor counts in a closely contested market that has the two adversaries seeking any edge. Nike, the world’s largest sporting-goods supplier, and Germany’s Adidas, which is No. 2, are benefiting from billions of dollars’ worth of soccer shoes, jerseys and other gear sold this year, partly due to the lift supplied by the World Cup.

“Sponsoring the final teams is the grand prize for the apparel brand,” said John Kristick, global chief executive officer of ad buying agency GroupM, part of WPP Plc. (WPP) “There will be an immediate sales lift in the winning country, but these teams are football powerhouses -- where, win or lose, the support for product sales will remain strong,” said Kristick, who has been involved with the World Cup since 1994 and headed an unsuccessful U.S. bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

Replica Jerseys

Adidas shares fell 0.4 percent to 71.81 euros as of the close of trading in Frankfurt, one of the best performing stocks in the benchmark DAX Index, which slid 1.5 percent. Nike dropped 1.4 percent to $77.63 at 11:34 a.m. in New York.

The World Cup “certainly creates a brand-halo effect,” Tom Ramsden, Adidas’s marketing director for soccer, said before yesterday’s game. “That halo effect then does translate into an increase in sales. I believe you’ll see a growth in sales and visibility and brand exposure in all markets.”

Argentina’s fleet-footed Lionel Messi has been at the center of Adidas’s World Cup advertising efforts, while Germany sports the Bavarian company’s gear from head to toe, including its distinctive black, white and orange cleats.

Adidas has soccer intertwined with its history dating back to World Cups in the 1950s, and this year it’s again the tournament sponsor and match ball supplier. The company has said soccer sales will surpass 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) in 2014 and has sold more than 8 million replica World Cup jerseys -- including 2 million with Germany’s stripes and eagle.

‘Most Visible’

Germany’s stars, including attacker Thomas Mueller and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, have sparked excitement around the team, and more than 500,000 Germany jerseys will be sold outside Europe this year, compared with about 300,000 in 2010, the year of the last World Cup in South Africa, Adidas has said.

“The victory of the German national team already ensures that Adidas will be the most visible brand by far in the World Cup final,” CEO Herbert Hainer said in a statement yesterday after Germany’s dismantling of Brazil. “Adidas is the clear number one in football globally.”

Nike, which started making soccer cleats in 1994, has nearly matched Adidas’s share in the German company’s flagship sport. The company reported June 27 its soccer sales for the fiscal year ended in May jumped 18 percent to $2.3 billion.

At the tournament’s start, Nike sponsored 10 teams featuring the Netherlands, Brazil, the U.S. and France, to Adidas’s nine, including Argentina, Germany, Colombia and Spain.

Nike Message

Nike’s top star, Cristiano Ronaldo, was part of the Portuguese team eliminated last month in the first stage of play. And Brazil’s Neymar, another Nike talisman, had to be carried off the field during the team’s July 4 match against Colombia, which preceded its meltdown versus Germany.

Nike won’t stop communicating its soccer message just because its teams didn’t make the final, spokesman Charlie Brooks said by e-mail.

“As a football brand, it’s not about one match, it’s about every match, and the World Cup for us has been about the incredible brand energy and business benefit throughout the months leading up to it and the month of the tournament itself, not just the final,” Brooks said.

Adidas says it’s agnostic about Sunday’s result. Whether the company’s heritage team, Germany, or frontman Messi’s squad prevails, the brand is getting a lift.

“We look forward to an exciting final on Sunday and are keeping fingers crossed for both our teams,” spokeswoman Katja Schreiber said by e-mail.


T in the Park comes to Falkirk

Trinidad and Tobago 7's prepare for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games

This Saturday will see a different T in the Park and for the rugby enthusiast it will be the only show in town.

The park is Falkirk Rugby Club.

The T is the national Trinidad and Tobago 7’s rugby team who are using Falkirk Rugby facilities in their preparation for the upcoming Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Falkirk Rugby are honoured to have the opportunity to learn from the Trinidad and Tobago players and coaches. There will be a skills session for both squads followed by a semi contact game between Trinidad and Tobago versus Falkirk.

It is not every day that you have the chance to see a national team up close and personal so no matter which club you support or whether you are a player or supporter, whether you are young or old, Falkirk Rugby would like to invite you to come down on Saturday for 1pm and see these fantastic athletes in action.

Keep checking the Falkirk Rugby website for any updates.



Scotland's most famous resident, Nessie the Loch Ness Monster, is set to welcome around 6,500 athletes and team officials at the Glasgow 2014 Athletes' Village when it officially opens its doors on Sunday (July 13).

A sculpture of the mythical beast has been unveiled in the heart of the Athletes' Village in Glasgow's East End, located near Celtic Park, which will stage the Opening Ceremony on July 23 and Games venues the Emirates Arena and the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.

Created by sculptor Stuart Clark, the work of art incorporates a bench and will form the centrepiece of the Village which will host athletes from all 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

The three metre high and nine metre long sculpture is made from Caithness Stone, Scots Elm, grey stone from the North-East of Scotland and Clashach Sandstone from Moray.

The Loch Ness Monster has been one of Scotland's most famous attractions with reports of a mythical creature inhabiting Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands going back centuries.

"I was honoured to be asked to work with Glasgow 2014 and to produce this sculpture," said Clark, who has inscribed the monster's Gaelic name "Each Uisge" or "water horse".

"The Loch Ness Monster is recognised globally as an icon of this country and in this work I wanted to represent the nation's mythology, creativity, ancient history, as well as to highlight the grit and determination shown by all the Commonwealth athletes.

"It is a beast that has inspired our people since before the first written word.

"I hope it inspires all the athletes in the Village."

Glasgow 2014 Head of Village Operations, Tony Sainsbury added: "The monster sculpture is a fantastic addition to the Village representing as it does Scottish folklore.

"Nessie follows in the tradition of sculptures in recent Athletes' Villages and it is sure to become the photo, selfie and upload hit of our Village."

The Village is operational 24 hours a day and has been designed to  give athletes the perfect surroundings to relax as they build up to their competitions, according to Games organisers.

It is divided up into four residential areas called Castle, Clan, Loch and Mountain and also has a temporary 2,000-seat, 24-hour dining hall and gym, a medical facility, a retail zone and a recreational space.

Following the Games, due to end with the Closing Ceremony at Hampden Park on August 3, work will begin on transforming the Athletes' Village site into 700 residential properties as well as a 120-bed care home for the elderly.


WC players happy to be paid but...

Players from Trinidad and Tobago’s 2006 World Cup football team have indicated an intention to pursue a legal battle against the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), despite Government on Monday agreeing to pay a final US $1.3 million settlement owed to them by the local governing body for football.

Yesterday, the Express polled a wide range of persons in the local fraternity for comment on the issue, including former players and administrators, over several generations. However, only  a few were willing to speak on record.

It was unanimously agreed that the matter should now end in the interest of football. And it was suggested that the former Soca Warriors be careful they do not end up being looked upon as a “greedy” bunch. However, that notion was dismissed by former Soca Warriors defender and players’ representative Brent Sancho.

Among the few willing to speak on record were Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis and Jamaal Shabazz, the former Trinidad and Tobago men’s and women’s teams national coach.

Sancho presented the players’ view.

Sancho said that as a group of 13 players, they still had to discuss the next move forward. But, he added they wanted to know how the funds raised for the 2006 World Cup were spent.

“ I don’t think some people understand what we are trying to do. Our getting paid has nothing to do with the litigation process against the Federation,” Sancho declared. “We are on a quest to find out where the money went.”

Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee president Lewis said his understanding is that the final US $1.3 million settlement reached would have been an integrated effort of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) , Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar and  probably the Minister of Sport. He congratulated all concerned, but hoped that in the interest of development and young footballers, the sport should be allowed to move on.

“I think an opportunity has been presented here by the Prime Minister and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, and I say this with respect to all the parties concerned,” Lewis said.

“It is timely in that the current World Cup is about to end and qualifying for a new one is expected to begin in the near future.”

Lewis said qualifying for the World Cup in 2006 should have been the take-off point for Trinidad and Tobago as a football nation. Instead, he suggested the fact that T&T did not factor in 2010 and 2014 should be of greater concern.

“I feel it important that the matter is now put to rest. I would expect that this chapter in the history of Trinidad and Tobago Football as it relates to 2006 to now be closed, ” Lewis added. “It is an important opportunity to move football forward.”

Shabazz voiced similar sentiments.

“I am persona non grata with the TTFA, so anything I say regarding this matter has the tendency to heavily tainted,” the former T&T and Guyana national coach said.

“I am happy that the players received their money. But, I feel the opportunity is there to move on to the work ahead.”

However, Sancho insisted that it was important to determine where TT $200 million in funds raised during the 2006 World Cup campaign went.

“We owe it to every single Trinidad and Tobagonian to unearth where that money gone and try to recoup it,” Sancho said. “Despite financial remuneration we are going to stick to our pursuit. We owe it to football, we owe it to the developmental players.

“We are not saying that we are going to bankrupt anyone. I think the TTFA is doing a good enough job of that themselves,” Sancho added. “We said we are going to explore those avenues to unearth those monies that we said are missing.

“Now if  it means we have to go down a certain road inclusive of closing (them) down, then we have to. If it doesn’t, then we don’t,” Sancho added. “But we all know that we have to go after the person that is culpable for the money that is missing.”


Trinidad and Tobago track star Jehue Gordon just missed out on gold in the men’s 400 metres hurdles, at the Istvan Gyulai Memorial meet, in Budapest, Hungary, yesterday.

Gordon clocked 49.89 seconds to seize silver, the reigning world champion producing the same time as the winner, Great Britain’s 2011 World Championship gold medallist Dai Greene. The 2013 World Championship bronze medallist, Emir Bekric also bagged bronze yesterday, the Serbian hurdler getting home in 50.04.

The Hungary outing was Gordon’s second in Europe this season. Last Thursday, the 22-year-old athlete finished sixth at the Athletissima IAAF Diamond League meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 49.29 seconds--his fastest 2014 run to date.

T&T’s Keston Bledman finished fifth in the Istvan Gyulai Memorial men’s 100m dash in 10.54 seconds.

Evergreen St Kitts and Nevis sprinter, Kim Collins was the class of the field, the 38-year-old winning in 10.31 seconds. The 2003 world champion forced 23-year-old Qatar sprinter Femi Ogunode to settle for the runner-up spot in 10.35. Great Britain’s Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (10.41) and South African Akani Simbini (10.50) were third and fourth, respectively, while sixth spot went to Jamaica’s Michael Frater (10.60).

T&T quartermiler Jarrin Solomon produced a 46.03 seconds run to finish sixth in the men’s 400m. Veteran Chris Brown emerged victorious, the 35-year-old Bahamian completing his lap of the track in 45.21 seconds. Briton Michael Bingham (45.49) finished second, ahead of American Torrin Lawrence (45.65) and South African Wayde van Niekerk (45.71).


A truce has been declared, and with a mere civil retraction for hurtful things said by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), former women’s national team coach Marlon Charles will begin working with American Randy Waldrum to qualify the Soca Princess for the Canada 2015 FIFA Women World Cup.

Charles has in essence agreed to take up the position of Waldrum’s first assistant, but is still hurt by recent developments, including not being informed about women’s team issues, including his demotion.

Last week, the TTFA issued a release indicating it had sacked long-serving former national coach Charles, having brought in former USA Under-23 and legendary women’s college coach Waldrum to head the women’s programme.

“After one month of programme review, concerns raised by players about the direction of the coaching and programme, and under the recommendations of a newly installed Technical Development Committee chairman, the TTFA has decided to relieve Marlon Charles of his present position and install former US U-23 and Notre Dame Coach, Randy Waldrum, as the head coach for the senior women’s team,” the TTFA release stated last week.

However, on Sunday, Waldrum and Charles were seated side by side and plotting strategy as the T&T senior women beat a young Venezuelan team 5-0 at Ato Boldon Stadium.

Also watching on Sunday were TTFA president and Port of Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee, and his general secretary Sheldon Phillips.

When asked to confirm their partnership, both parties replied positively and indicated they were desirous of rekindling the relationship they had on the 2008 T&T Women’s National Under-17 team when Charles was Waldrum’s assistant. Meanwhile, Charles still has to have his “minor issue” worked out with the TTFA, but assures that he would work with Waldrum.

”My situation was never about the coach, because we are friends. So working together is not a problem,” Charles declared. “The relationship between both of us is not an issue. Everything was about what I was standing up for.”

Meanwhile, Waldrum had a good first impression of the senior women.

“My first impression is positive. I think there’s a lot of talent. I think they got some good organisation,” Waldrum said of the side after seeing T&T dominate the match. “There’s enough to work with”.

“Obviously, they need some time together. You can tell they have not been together in a while with the fitness level and some of the pressing collectively, but I have a very positive first impression,” Waldrum added.

Waldrum added that the best players will be given a chance to make the team but that the situation was not similar to 2008, when he desperately had to search for talent to make up the Under-17 side.

“The last time I came here we had three months and when I saw the group we had we needed to find some players from outside. The last time the players had not been playing very long and the level was not very high.” Waldrum said. “I think it’s different now because these players have been playing since a young age. We might have a couple in Europe that would be good to get back, but I think the talent is here.”

Waldrum said because of the short time, he will have to depend on Charles and the technical staff to determine what players to carry to Houston for a one-month training camp ahead of the Women’s Caribbean Cup, the first leg of World Cup qualifying to be held from August 19-26 in Trinidad and Tobago.

Charles added that he was glad Venezuela sent a young team because it gave the Soca Princess a chance to find their legs after playing a first international in a couple of years.


Edmonton's bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games has received a boost after it was named Tracktown Canada following the news it has been chosen to host the 2015 and 2016 Canadian Track and Field Championships.

The 2016 edition will also include the official trials to select Canada's team for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson presented an official proclamation making the city Tracktown Canada

"Edmonton has a rich and successful history in hosting athletic events both nationally and internationally," said Iveson.

"The declaration of Edmonton as TrackTown Canada clearly demonstrates our commitment to continuing to advance athletics in our city and country and instilling our city as a centre of excellence in athletics."

Edmonton has previously held the 1978 Commonwealth Games, the 1983 Summer Universiade, the 2001 International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships and the 2005 World Masters Games.

During the next few years it is also due to the 2015 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships, as well as the annual Edmonton International TrackClassic.

"The Government of Alberta is proud to support the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Edmonton," said Alberta Culture Minister Heather Klimchuk.

"Not only will we have the chance to cheer these athletes on, it's a great opportunity to showcase the incredible spirit of culture and sport that make our capital city and province such wonderful places to live and visit."

Jerry Bouma, chairman of the Pan American Junior Athletics Championships, that rechristening the city TrackTown Canada would help bring focus on its commitment to the sport.

"For Edmonton and its long history with athletics [and major events], this is about building on our storied past and continuing to inspire an exciting future," he said.

Edmonton announced plans in March to bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and it will face competition from Durban.

The Commonwealth Games Federation is due to select the host city at its Annual Meeting in Auckland on September 2, 2015.


Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has appealed to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to come to the aid of former president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation Oliver Camps, who he claims is in debt and stands to lose his home.

In a release yesterday, following Government’s $1.3 million payout to the 2006 Soca Warriors, Warner called on the Prime Minister to intervene and save Camps’ home. Camps was president at the time of T&T’s World Cup qualification for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

“If the Prime Minister really wants to demonstrate that this is truly benevolence and not public relations to lift the flagging image of her Minister of Sport, then I wish to advise her to go further and save the home of Oliver Camps,” he stated.

“This group of footballers who played three matches in the 2006 World Cup in Germany and who never scored a goal nor win a match there and who now stand to benefit from the Prime Minister’s benevolent gesture received $20 million dollars from the Patrick Manning administration, $7 million from FIFA, $4 million from the TTFF, $6 million from Jack Warner through the courts of Trinidad and Tobago and now $1.3 million USD from the People’s Partnership Government; a total sum of close to $50 million dollars and this excludes gifts from private organisations like Clico and others,” claimed Warner.

He stated Camps too was in need of financial help.

Camps, he stated, served football with distinction for over 50 years as Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) president and team manager and was the “most successful football manager ever”, taking the Soca Warriors to the 2006 Germany World Cup.

Warner stated that Camps signed a promissory note of US$480,000  on behalf of the TTFF in order to procure the services of Wim Risenberg as coach of the national team.

“The TTFF has been unable to raise the money and now Al Roberts’ firm - father of the Minister of Sport, is now moving to levy on this senior citizen,” stated Warner.

“Mr. Camps’ home Madam Prime Minister is now threatened.  If he cannot raise the money he will lose it by September 2014, if not before. In this regard I am therefore asking the Prime Minister to be as benevolent to Mr. Camps as she has been to these footballers and save the home of this senior citizen,” stated Warner.

On the money Government will be paying the Soca Warriors, Warner wished the team members well and stated that he hoped this would  finally bring closure to the matter.

“It is my sincere wish that this is the end of this story and that the furniture and the archival material, which the TTFA lost when this team of footballers levied on the TTFF, will now be returned to it,” he added.


Michelle-Lee Ahye continued her fine run of form this season with victory at yesterday’s Montreuil Meeting.

Ahye shrugged off wet conditions, a 1.5 metres per second headwind and a poor start to win the women’s 100 metres dash, the Trinidad and Tobago sprinter crossing the line in 11.32 seconds. Jamaican Carrie Russell finished second in 11.41, while third spot went to Ivory Coast athlete Marie-Josee Ta Lou (11.58).

Ahye has been on fire in 2014, and is currently the world leader in the century at 10.85 seconds--a clocking she produced in the semi-final round at the NGC/Sagicor National Open Track & Field Championships, last month. The 22-year-old athlete won easily in the final, stopping the clock at 10.88.

Last Thursday, Ahye celebrated her IAAF Diamond League debut with victory in 10.98 seconds in the Athletissima women’s 100m in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Ahye is unbeaten in the 100m event this season.

Running in the rain at the Montreuil Meeting, T&T track star Richard “Torpedo” Thompson clocked 10.16 seconds to seize silver in the men’s 100m, behind American Tyson Gay, the winner in 10.04, and ahead of Norway’s Jaysuma Saidy Ndure (10.23).

And in the women’s shot put, T&T’s Cleopatra Borel threw the iron ball 18.60 metres to earn silver. American Michelle Carter topped the field with a big 19.25m effort, while bronze was bagged by Belarus thrower Alena Kopets (18.14m).

At Sunday’s Meeting Città di Padova, in Italy, T&T sprinter Keston Bledman got to the line in 10.45 seconds to finish third in the men’s 100m event. Jamaican Andrew Fisher got home first in 10.35, forcing Qatar’s Samuel Francis (10.44) to settle for the runner-up spot.


An emotional Brent Sancho said yesterday that over the past eight years members of the Soca Warriors team faced humiliation and some of their careers ended as they waited for monies owed to them.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced that US$1.3 million would be paid to the Soca Warriors - the balance owed to them by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).

Some of the players were present at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s yesterday- Sancho, Cyd Gray, David Atiba Charles, Anthony Wolfe, Stern John, Cornell Glen and Aurtis Whitley.

The other six players who will be receiving money are out of the country.

“It’s been eight years, 2,924 days, 70,176 hours. I am overwhelmed.  On behalf of those of us who  have been fighting a long, tough legal battle to get our just due  payment for our efforts at the FIFA World Cup, Germany 2006, this moment means more than any of us can describe,” he said.

He said when the Soca Warriors team returned in June 2006 from Germany, they were heroes, loved by all.

“We didn’t expect asking for what we were promised to be met with eight years of humiliation, torment, black listing and even some cases, career loss,” he said.

He praised the Government and Prime Minister and expressed gratitude for finally acknowledging their pleas.

“And what a time for it to happen. Here we are on the eve of World Cup 2014, Brazil and when our own memories of that time return mixed with the emotions of our unsettled payments, we can truly celebrate and pay tribute to those who have chosen to honour us,” he said.

He noted that the Government  had no legal obligation to settle assist the Soca Warriors but now the country can breathe a collective sigh of relief.

“Those who played their hearts out have asked me to convey  their sincere appreciation.We will all follow the events in Brazil this week with an unfettered spirit and only great memories of the time the Trinidad and Tobago anthem played on the football field in Germany. Thank you all for the recognition. Each one of us, humbly accepts this  gift from the nation.  We feel acknowledged and deeply grateful,” said Sancho.


The 45-athlete contingent, which racked up third-highest medal count, including 10 gold, five silver and seven bronze, at last weekend’s Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Track and Field Championships, in Mexico, is expected to return home today.


T&T athletes completed the three-day competition with an improved gold medal haul compared to 2012’s eight. Jonathan Farinha and Aaliyah Telesford were both double-gold medal earners, with the former having won the Boys’ Under-20 100m dash, before leading the 4x100m team to relay gold. Farinha also placed second in the 200m event in 20.82 seconds, behind Zharnel Hughes, who broke the championship record in 20.33 seconds. Telesford similarly won Girls’ U-20 100m final before she, Zakiya Denoon, Kayelle Clarke and Akila McShine claimed the division’s 4x100m relay title. On Sunday, the final day of competition, Machel Cedenio (45.28 seconds) successfully defended his 400m title just three months after he won gold at the Carifta Games in Martinique. He was five-hundredths of a second off his national junior record breaking run (45.23), which he clocked at the Cayman Invitational, which was also a junior world leading time.


Shakeil Waithe (javelin, 70.39m) was the other gold medal winner in the Boys’ U-20 division. Portious Warren was the only gold medalist in the Girls’ Under-20 division. For T&T’ Boys’ U-18 team, Andwuelle Wright dominated the long jump event as he also defended his title with a 7.15m leap, an improvement from his 7.07m effort two years ago.


That division also saw T&T produce two relay teams earn gold. David Winchester, Akanni Hislop, Corey Stewart and Xavier Mulugata took the spotlight with their gold in the 4x100m relay, while Kobe John, Terry Frederick, Jacob St Clair and Kashief King did the same in the U-18 4x400m. T&T’s U-20 boys’ 4x400m team, led by Farinha and including Ohdel James, Asa Guevara and Breon Mullins won bronze with a 3:13.73 effort. Guevara and Cedenio were part of the U-18 team which won the 4x400m relay event at the last CAC Junior Championships.


Denoon, who helped her team to relay glory also finished with two silver medals from the girls’s U-20 100m (11.47) and 200m (23.63) events. Clarke finished behind her in the 200m, clocking 23.71m. McShine then claimed bronze in same division’s 100m hurdles in 14.05 seconds.


Among the boys’ U-18 other medalists, Hislop finished third in both the 100m (10.63) and 200m (21.27) races, while Ian West amassed 5,888 points to take bronze in the decathlon. Not much separated West and Mexico’s Jafett Juarez, who broke the championship record with 5,945 points.


Only one silver and one bronze came from T&T’s U-18 girls, through Jeminise Parris (13.70 seconds) and Chelsea James (16m), in the 100m hurdles and shot put events, respectively.


The efforts of T&T’s athletes saw this country finish behind only Mexico (100 medals) and Jamaica (42 medals), which supplied 147 and 54 athletes, respectively. In total, 85 events were contested. Following the return of T&T’s athletes, a number of them will turn their focus to the IAAF World Junior Championships, in Oregon, USA, which runs from July 22-27.





Medals standings
1 Mexico 100 (36 gold, 43 silver, 21 bronze)
2 Jamaica 43 (15, 17, 11)
3 T&T 22 (10, 5, 7)
4 Bahamas 20 (7, 8, 5)
5 Puerto Rico 20 (6, 5, 9)


Select Results



Boys Under-18
4x400m relay
1. T&T (Kobe John, Terry Frederick, Jacon St Clair, Kashief King), 3:13.93
2. Bahamas 3:14.70
3. Jamaica 3:16.27


1. Jafet Juarez (Mexico) 5945
2. Jose Hernandez (Puerto Rico) 5912
3. Ian West (T&T) 5888


Boys Under-20


400m finals
1. Machel Cedenio (T&T), 45.28
2. Twayne Crooks (Jamaica), 46.50
3. Warren Hazel (St Kitts), 46.72


1. Shakeil Waithe (T&T), 70.39
2. Denzel Prat (Bahamas), 66.18
3. Orlando Thomas (Jamaica), 63.89



110m hurdles finals (+1.0)
1. Marvin Williams (Jamaica), 13.52
2. Reubin Walters (T&T), 13.59
3. Ricardo Torres (Puerto Rico), 13.76,
4. Aaron Lewis (T&T), 13.85


4x400m finals
1. Jamaica, 3:11.20
2. Puerto Rico, 3:12.70
3. T&T (Ohdel James, Nathan Farinha, Asa Guevera, Breon Mullings), 3:13.73


1. Felipe Ruiz (Mexico), 6440
2. Franciso Olguin (Mexico), 6244
3. Ronald Ramirez (Guatemala), 6072
4. Kevin Roberts (T&T), 5821
5. Victor Isaac (T&T), 5694


Girls Under-20


1. Danna Corral (Mexico), 42.78m
2. Isheka Binns (Jamaica), 42.21m
3. Yulisha De la Rosa (Dominican Republic), 39.68m
4. Chuntal Mohan (T&T), 38.89m​


National sport organisations and the Olympic Committee have to seriously consider adopting a joint approach to sports marketing. An integrated and collective approach is necessary if the intractable issues that are systemic are to be effectively and efficiently addressed.


Local sport is staring into the abyss. There are so many things taking away time, energy and focus from the strategy and execution of the core business of sport.


We live in a global environment and local sport is competing not only for money and capital, but also attention.


So many issues take up management and executive time.


Instead of focusing on improving technology and processes, attention is dispersed to things that may be urgent but not necessarily important.


Focusing on developing a comprehensive plan for the sustainable development is a real problem given the need for firefighting and problem solving.


But regardless of how hard it may be, fundraising and sponsorship is the major priority for all national sport organisations.


A comprehensive plan that manages and coordinates long term marketing from a strategic perspective is urgent and important.


Most sport organisations are experiencing negative economic conditions, institutional failure and significant instability.


It is against this background that it should be obvious that cooperation between national sport organisations has strategic benefits.


Rivalry between sport organisations is unhelpful.


Recently I was trying to come up with a list of the most marketable athletes and sports in T&T. I am still working on it.


How many people involved in T&T sport understand the economics of the industry and the key issues in the marketing of sport?


The importance and commercial significance of sport as an industry is placing a demand on national sport organisations to apply and develop an appreciation of marketing theory.


National sport organisations must take their destiny, brands, assets and future into their own hands.


Too often discussions about what’s wrong with sport points to the direction of government and government agencies.


Moving forward it’s time for sport organisations to change the narrative and conversations.


How can the links between the sport, hospitality, entertainment, tourism and cultural sectors be made and sustained to the benefit of all stakeholders?


It’s not that sport marketing isn’t a big thing, it is that the main beneficiaries are foreign brands.


The local market is clearly saying to everyone involved in T&T sport foreign is better.


Instead of sitting in a corner and lamenting about the situation, we need to take a close look and ask what do all concerned within local sport have to do better.


How do national sport organisations including the Olympic Committee amplify their voices from a marketing perspective and get the brand message out there?


What is the end goal? When T&T sport approaches corporate T&T what will make the decision to spend revenue and invest a financially sensible one?


Is T&T sport good for the brand? Is T&T sport something to be proud of?


Financial sustainability for T&T sport is a top priority.


It comes down to marketing. Market, market, market some more otherwise sooner rather than later oblivion is a certain outcome. Marketing, brand building, brand relationship building, sponsorship, fund raising—whatever spin you but on it, the bottom and top line is national sport organisations need to become marketers.



Questions that national sport organisations can come together to address include:


What do we do best?


Where is the room for improvement?


What is our core service?


How can we strive for continuous improvement?


How do we get better every day?


How can we improve the overall experience for sport stakeholders?


How can we make sport, national sport organisations and athletes more marketable?


Kashief King anchors B U18 4x400m to victory

Kashief King anchors T&T to victory in the boys under 18 4x400m finals on the final day of action of the 20th CAC Junior Track and Field Championships in Morelia, Mexico on Sunday (July 6).


Ian West-bronze in B U 18 decathlon

Bronze medallist Ian West in action in the 1500m of the boys under 18 decathlon on the final day of action of the 20th CAC Junior Track and Field Championships in Morelia, Mexico on Sunday (July 6).


Shakeil Waithe

Gold medallist Shakeil Waithe in action in the boys under 20 javelin on the final day of action of the 20th CAC Junior Track and Field Championships in Morelia, Mexico on Sunday (July 6).


Shakeil Waithe-B U 20 javelin gold.

Shakeil Waithe stands on top of the podium after winning the boys under 20 javelin on the final day of action of the 20th CAC Junior Track and Field Championships in Morelia, Mexico on Sunday (July 6). Waithe beat Denzel Pratt of Bahamas (right) into second and Orlando Thomas of Jamaica (left for the gold).

THE NATIONAL men and women hockey teams will leave for Scotland on Tuesday to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The women’s squad, co-captained by Alanna Lewis and Patricia Wright-Alexis, comprises a host of youth players with seniors Lewis and Wright-Alexis, long serving custodian Petal Derry, Candice Ashton, Kwylan Jaggessar and Brittney Hingh among the few with more than 25 caps under their belt. But make no mistake, where this team falls short in experience they make up for it with speed and energy.

TT, ranked 31st in the world, are grouped in Pool A with New Zealand (fourth), South Africa (11th), India (13th) and Canada (22nd), while Pool B consists of defending champions Australia (second), England (sixth), Scotland (16th), Malaysia (21st) and Wales (32nd).

The men’s squad, coming off of an historic bronze medal at the 2013 Pan American Cup will be led once again by skipper Darren Cowie.

Six players from the bronze medal earning team will not be making the trip due to various reasons including vice-captain Dwain Quan Chan, Kwasi Emmanuel, Kiel Murray, Christopher Scipio, Cogie Butler and Wayne Legerton.

Despite these absences coach Glenn Francis can still call on the experience of Trinidad and Tobago’s most capped player, Kwandwane Browne and 2013 Player of the Year Mickell Pierre.

TT, ranked 29th in the world, are grouped in Pool B with England (fifth), New Zealand (sixth), Malaysia (13th) and Canada (16th) while Pool A consists of defending champions Australia (first), India (ninth), South Africa (12th), Scotland (25th) and Wales (31st).

Both the men and women teams are expected to play a number of warm-up matches prior to the tournament’s start date on July 24.


10-gold T&T third on medal table

Machel Cedenio emerged as the star of the show as Trinidad and Tobago captured three gold medals on the third and final day of the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Track and Field Championships, in Morelia, Mexico, yesterday.
Cedenio crushed his rivals in the men’s 400 metres event, stopping the clock at 45.28 seconds for a huge margin of victory on silver medallist Twayne Crooks, the Jamaican completing his lap of the track in 46.50. Bronze went to St Kitts and Nevis quartermiler Warren Hazel (46.72).
Cedenio, the 2014 world junior leader at 45.23 seconds, is the favourite for gold at the July 22-27 World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA.
Shakeil Waithe is also preparing for the World Juniors meet, and, like Cedenio, warmed up with a comfortable victory on the final day of the CAC Juniors.
Waithe hurled the spear 70.39 metres to strike gold in the boys’ under-20 javelin. Denzel Pratt was a distant second, the Bahamian securing silver with a 66.18m effort. Jamaican Orlando Thomas (63.89m) earned bronze. Waithe is seventh on the 2014 world junior performance list at 72.75m.
The third T&T gold in Morelia yesterday came from the boys’ under-18 4x400m combination of Kobe John, Terry Frederick, Jacob St Clair and Kashief King. The T&T quartet returned a time of three minutes, 13.93 seconds for victory in the event, ahead of Bahamas (3:14.70) and Jamaica (3:16.27).
T&T's Ruebin Walters clocked 13.59 seconds to earn silver in the boys’ under-20 110m hurdles. Jamaican Marvin Williams was golden in 13.52, while bronze went to Puerto Rico’s Ricardo Torres (13.76). Another T&T athlete, Aaron Lewis was fourth in 13.85 seconds.
T&T’s Ian West accumulated 5,888 points to bag bronze in the boys’ under-18 decathlon. Mexican Jafett Juarez earned 5,945 points for gold in the ten-discipline event, while silver was seized by Puerto Rico’s Jose Hernandez (5,912).
Ohdel James, Nathan Farinha, Asa Guevara and Breon Mullings teamed up for bronze in the boys’ under-20 4x400m relay, the T&T quartet producing a 3:13.73 clocking. Jamaica got gold in 3:11.20, forcing Puerto Rico to settle for silver (3:12.10).
T&T finished third on the 2014 CAC Juniors medal table with 10 gold medals, five silver and seven bronze. Mexico were runaway winners with 36 gold medals, 43 silver and 21 bronze, while second spot went to Jamaica with 15 gold medals, 17 silver and 11 bronze.


Gold Silver Bronze Total
Mexico 36 43 21 100
Jamaica 15 17 11 43
Trinidad & Tobago 10 5 7 22
Bahamas 7 8 5 20
Puerto Rico 6 5 9 20
Barbados 3 2 3 8
Bermuda 2 0 2 4
Anguilla 2 0 0 2
Suriname 1 1 0 2
Guatemala 1 0 3 4
Grenada 1 0 1 2
Cayman Islands 1 0 0 1
El Salvador 0 3 6 9
Antigua & Barbuda 0 1 1 2
Costa Rica 0 1 1 2
Dominican Republic 0 0 6 6
Guyana 0 0 2 2
Panama 0 0 1 1
St Kitts & Nevis 0 0 1 1

Lalonde Gordon grabbed gold in the men's 200 metres event at the Leon Buyle Memorial meet in Oordegem, Belgium, on Saturday.
The double Olympic bronze medallist clocked 20.58 seconds to claim top spot in the half-lap race, ahead of Australian Jarrod Geddes (20.68) and Iran's Reza Ghasemi (20.90).
At the Edmonton International Track Classic, in Alberta, Canada, yesterday, T&T's Renny Quow returned a time of 45.67 seconds to finish fourth in the men's 400m event.
Reigning world champion LaShawn Merritt was a comfortable winner of the one-lap race, getting home in 44.30 seconds for a comfortable cushion on fellow-American Josh Mance, the runner-up in 45.02.
Dominican Republic's Luguelin Santos bagged bronze in 45.04. Merritt's 44.30 clocking was a new meet record.
Mikel Thomas finished fifth in the men's 110m hurdles, the T&T athlete clocking 13.80 seconds.
Shane Brathwaite led a one-two finish for Barbados, getting to the line in 13.43 seconds to edge his namesake and compatriot Ryan Brathwaite (13.44) into second spot. American Aleec Harris (13.45) was third.
Justin Gatlin had things all his own way in the men's 100m dash. The American sprinter won in 10.05 seconds,v equalling the meet record established by Jamaican Yohan Blake in 2012. Two other Americans, Charles Silmon (10.21) and Dentarius Locke (10.25) were second and third, respectively.


Gordon Tietjens has named a strong squad for the All Blacks 7s attempt to win another Commonwealth Games title in Glasgow this summer

The New Zealand Commonwealth Games Sevens team selected for the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow has been announced today.

Two additional players will be named as reserves at the end of this week’s training in Mt Maunganui and will travel with the team to the Netherlands for a pre-Games training camp. They will return home if not required.

The team departs for the Netherlands on Monday 14 July. The tournament begins on Saturday 26 July at Ibrox Stadium when New Zealand will play Canada, Scotland and Barbados in pool play.

Gordon Tietjens said the team was a good blend of experience and young talent, and features the return of Pita Ahki who played in the World Cup winning team last year and Declan O’Donnell.

“It’s a strong squad and the majority of the players played in the World Series and played exceptionally well. Pita Ahki is a very good sevens player and excelled for the Blues this year and performed very well in the recent trials. Declan has come back from two shoulder operations and he was simply outstanding a few years ago. He has come back and trained very hard and is very fit. He has those x factors; good feet, good acceleration, is big and strong and gives me great cover out wide.”

The team will be aiming for a fifth successive Commonwealth Games gold medal and features three players who won gold in Delhi – DJ Forbes, Sherwin Stowers and Tim Mikkelson.

“There is some experience there in a team which will be well led by DJ Forbes. You need those players and among them there are new younger players at their Commonwealth Games who will feel the pressure and it is different pressure at a Games.

“To win, it’s all about consistency. It’s being accurate when you need to be, strong defense and dominating possession. If we can play consistently well, and having a strong bench will help, then that plays a big hand in being successful.

“Winning a gold medal at a Commonwealth Games is very special. There is nothing better than seeing a player being presented with a gold medal and listening to the anthem. I am confident if these guys can perform to the best of their ability and be on top of their game we can go very well.”

Kereyn Smith, CEO New Zealand Olympic Committee welcomed the naming of the side. “The defence of New Zealand’s Commonwealth Sevens title at Glasgow will be a momentous occasion. It will take place at the historic Ibrox Stadium, home of the famous Rangers Club and, taking place the first weekend of the Games, will have Kiwis hooked.

“We welcome the players to the team and look forward to seeing them take on the best in the world at Glasgow.”

All Blacks Sevens squad for Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

The team is:

Pita Ahki (North Harbour)

Scott Curry (Manawatu)

Sam Dickson (Canterbury)

DJ Forbes, captain (Counties Manukau)

Bryce Heem (Tasman)

Akira Ioane (Auckland)

Gillies Kaka (Hawke’s Bay)

Ben Lam (Auckland)

Tim Mikkelson (Waikato)

Declan O’Donnell (Waikato)

Sherwin Stowers (Counties Manukau)

Joe Webber (Waikato)


Australia Sevens coach Geraint John names strong squad for tilt at gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this month

The Australian Commonwealth Games Association is pleased to announce the Australian Men’s Rugby Sevens squad nominated by the Australian Rugby Union for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later this month.

Australia’s Men’s Sevens team won silver four years ago at the Delhi Commonwealth Games and will be looking to go one better this year.

The side has been bolstered by the return of Liam Gill and Sean McMahon, who both have a background in Rugby Sevens.

Australia and Queensland Reds player Liam Gill was a member of the 2010 Sevens side that picked up a silver medal in Delhi, while Australian Under 20s captain and Melbourne Rebels player Sean McMahon was a regular on the Sevens World Series circuit as recently as last year.

The 12-man squad also includes a number of Sevens stalwarts, including the in-form Cameron Clark who was recently picked in the 2013/14 International Rugby Board Sevens Dream Team.

Captain Ed Jenkins, the most experienced campaigner in the Men’s Sevens squad, will lead a team featuring nine Commonwealth Games debutants.

Australian Commonwealth Games Association CEO Perry Crosswhite AM said: “We welcome the appointment of the Rugby Sevens team, which completes our Glasgow team selection.

“Australia went very close in Delhi and we hope this team can perform as well, or better, in Glasgow.”

Head Coach of the Australian Men’s Sevens team Geraint John said the squad had been training well and he was confident they could deliver a strong result in Glasgow.

“This is an excellent opportunity to build on a fantastic end of season performance in London, where Australia finished runners up at the final tournament of the 2013/14 Sevens World Series.”

“In this Commonwealth Games squad, I think we have an extremely talented group of players with the right mix of experience and youth. I’m looking forward to seeing what the team can produce in Glasgow,” he said.

This will be Geraint John’s first tournament as Head Coach of the Men’s Sevens team after joining Australian Rugby on 23 June.

*Commonwealth Games debutSixteen countries will compete in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games - Australia, Canada, Cook Islands, England, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and Wales.

Australia has been drawn in Pool D alongside England, Sri Lanka and Uganda.

Australian Men’s Sevens squad for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games:

Ed Jenkins. Club: Sydney University, NSW. Place of Birth: Sydney, NSW

Jesse Parahi*. Club: Northern Suburbs, NSW. Place of Birth: Sydney, NSW

Tom Cusack*. Club: Canberra Royals, ACT. Place of Birth: Canberra, ACT

Sean McMahon*. Club: Endeavour Hills, VIC. Place of Birth: Brisbane, QLD

Sam Myers*. Club: Northern Suburbs, NSW. Place of Birth: Forbes, NSW

Liam Gill. Club: Sunnybank, QLD. Place of Birth: Melbourne, VIC

Con Foley*. Club: University of Queensland, QLD. Place of Birth: Brisbane, QLD

Tom Lucas*. Club: Sunnybank, QLD. Place of Birth: Rockhampton, QLD

James Stannard. Club: Souths, QLD. Place of Birth: Brisbane, QLD

Cameron Clark*. Club: Northern Suburbs, NSW. Place of Birth: Auckland, New Zealand

Pama Fou*. Club: Souths, QLD. Place of Birth: Auckland, New Zealand

Greg Jeloudev*. Club: Sydney University, NSW. Place of Birth: Sydney, NSW

*Commonwealth Games debut


5th July- Port. of. Spain
The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee(TTOC) and Trinidad and Tobago Commonwealth Games Association(TTCGA) will provide medical expenses coverage for Trinidad and Tobago(TTO) athletes participating in the Commonwealth Games .
The landmark announcement of the medical expenses coverage was made  yesterday at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Send Off function  hosted by the TTOC/TTCGA and its corporate partners Bptt, Guardian Group, Scotia Bank, Lisa Communications and Adidas at the Queens Park Oval, President's Box West.
The Send Off was well attended by  athletes who will begin heading to Scotland next week for a pre Games training camp.  Glasgow 2014 Chef de Mission Dr. Ian Hypolite  was presented with the relevant document by Ms Rodelle Phillips of the Guardian Group.
The coverage is for the duration of the Glasgow 2014 Games  and  the TTCGA Pre Games Training Camp.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Richard “Torpedo” Thompson picked up silver in the men’s 100 metres dash at the Meeting Areva IAAF Diamond League meet, in Paris, France, yesterday.

Running into a 0.8 metres per second headwind, Thompson got to the line in 10.08 seconds to secure the runner-up spot, behind American champion Michael Rodgers, who clocked ten seconds flat.

Former world champion Kim Collins, of St Kitts and Nevis, finished third in 10.10, while fourth spot went to Jamaican Nesta Carter (10.12).

Thompson has been in superb form this season. On May 31, the 2008 Olympic 100m silver medallist won at a meet in Florida, USA in a wind-assisted 9.74 seconds. He was also victorious on June 8 at a meet in Hengelo, Netherlands, getting home in 9.95. Three days later, Thompson clocked 10.02 to claim gold at the Bislett Games IAAF Diamond League meet in Oslo, Norway.

Thompson’s best run this season came on June 21 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. In front of his adoring fans, the T&T track star captured the NGC/Sagicor National Open Track & Field Championship men’s 100m title in 9.82 seconds—a new national record and, at the time, the fastest time in the world this year.

Thompson is now second on the 2014 global performance list, behind 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin, the American clocking 9.80 seconds for gold at the Athletissima IAAF Diamond League meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday.


Andwuelle Wright was in dominant mood on day two of the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Track & Field Championships, in Morelia, Mexico, yesterday. The Trinidad and Tobago athlete produced a 7.15 metres leap to secure gold in the boys’ under-18 long jump.

Mexico’s Bryan Sanchez was a distant second with a 6.93m leap, while third spot went to Dominican Republic’s Tony Solis (6.91m).

John Mark Constantine, 100 metres champion Jonathan Farinha, Holland Cabara and Aaron Lewis combined for gold in the boys’ under-20 4x100m relay, the T&T quartet stopping the clock at 40.06 seconds. Jamaica (40.66) and Mexico (40.81) earned silver and bronze, respectively.

Farinha claimed his second individual medal at the Championships when he finished second in the 200m final in 20.82 seconds. Anguilla’s Zharnel Hughes produced a brilliant 20.33 run for gold in the half-lap event. The clocking is a new meet record, bettering the 20.67 standard established by T&T’s Marcus Duncan in 2004.

David Winchester, Akanni Hislop, Corey Stewart and Xavier Mulugata teamed up to grab gold for T&T in the boys’ under-18 4x100m in 41.25 seconds. Bahamas (41.76) were second, while Puerto Rico (42.15) finished third.

Hislop, the 100m bronze medallist on Friday, also finished third in yesterday’s 200m championship race, the T&T sprinter getting to the line in 21.27 seconds. The top two spots went to Jamaicans Chad Walker (21.12) and Fabian Hewitt (21.14).

Zakiya Denoon seized her second individual silver medal when she finished second in the girls’ under-20 200m final in 23.63 seconds, forcing her T&T teammate, Kayelle Clarke to settle for bronze in 23.71. Bahamian Keianna Albury clocked 23.54 to take the gold.

On Friday, Aaliyah Telesford and Denoon finished one-two for T&T in the 100m final.

There was silver for Jeminise Parris in yesterday’s girls’ under-18 100m hurdles, the T&T athlete crossing the finish line in a personal best 13.70 seconds. Jamaican Jeanine Williams won in 13.46—a new Championship record.

And in the girls’ under-20 100m hurdles, T&T’s Akila McShine clocked 14.05 seconds to bag bronze.

Going into the third and final day of the CAC Junior Championships, T&T have seven gold medals, four silver and five bronze.


AMBER THOMPSON sparkled in two equestrian events in Canada recently. The 15-year-old placed second overall and was the Reserve Junior Champion in the first show, a Junior/Adult Class with heights up to a metre.

Thompson won two of the rounds and finished second and fifth in the other two aboard a thoroughbred named Vertigo. The youngster was then crowned champion in the second show, which also featured a combination of juniors and adults, but the heights of the jumps were raised to 1.10 metres. There were three rounds and Thompson was the most consistent of the 30-odd competitors with a second and two thirds.

It was the third overseas outing for Thompson this year as she also had a stint and completed in two events in Florida, USA, in April and represented the country in the Caribbean Junior Show Jumping Championships in Cayman Islands the following month. Thompson is back home training under the watchful eye of coach Patrice Stollmeyer.


...national 100m record-holder pleased over Brown’s return to form

The 9.82 seconds scorcher produced by Richard “Torpedo” Thompson was the big story at the NGC/Sagicor National Open Track & Field Championships, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, two weekends ago.

But there were many sub-plots, including Darrel Brown’s return to form. The former world junior champion got home in 10.05 seconds in the men’s 100 metres final to finish third, behind Thompson--the winner in his 9.82 national record and world-leading time--and silver medallist Keston Bledman, who clocked 10 seconds flat.

“I’m elated,” Thompson told the Express, after the race, “because Darrel is someone...I actually sat in the stands, as a boy, and watched him run, and cheered for him, and got in arguments in the stands over him. It is good to be running against Darrel, who I consider one of my idols. I know he’s been through rougher times than any one of us with his injuries, so it’s good to see him at 10.05 again, qualifying individually (for the Commonwealth Games). I know he’s over the moon. His family, they’ve been very supportive and have been behind him, so I know they’re just as happy as he is.”

With track legend Usain Bolt and his fellow-Jamaican, former 100m world champion Yohan Blake opting out of the individual events at the July 23-August 3 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, Thompson is the early favourite for 100m gold.

“I have to produce those times against the people that matter. They’re going to be bringing their ‘A’ game, and I can’t become lackadaisical. I can’t be content with 9.82. I need to go back to the drawing board, working even harder than before, even smarter than before, and I think I stand a good chance of being on the podium if I can run like I did today.”

Thompson’s one-year-old son, Rhys, witnessed his father’s 9.82 sizzler at the T&T Championships.

“It feels great. I brought him out onto the track with me, had him wave to the fans. I’m getting him in the process of being a champion himself and seeing what it’s like, so hopefully he’ll be running some day...a junior ‘Torpedo’,” said a laughing Thompson. “If not, doing something great as well.”


Part 14: Jehue keeps QRC flag flying

Jehue Gordon is part of a tradition of athletic excellence—a Royal tradition.

Way back in the 1930s, McDonald Bailey attended Queen’s Royal College. He went on to become an Olympic medallist, earning men’s 100 metres bronze for Great Britain at the 1952 Games in Helsinki, Finland.

Wendell Mottley and Edwin Skinner were students at QRC a couple decades after Bailey. They too went on to climb an Olympic podium. Mottley seized men’s 400m silver at the 1964 Games in Tokyo, Japan. And in the 4x400m, Mottley and Skinner were part of the Trinidad and Tobago quartet that earned bronze, teaming up with Kent Bernard and Edwin Roberts.

Skinner, who finished eighth in the Tokyo Games 400m final, is now part of the Jehue Gordon team. Skinner is Gordon’s local manager, and has played a key role in the young athlete’s rise to stardom.

Following his elementary schooling at Maraval RC, Gordon attended Belmont Boys’ Secondary for five years. He then moved on to QRC.

“Jehue as an individual,” Skinner explains, “considers education extremely important. He’s one of the few professional athletes that’s still full-time at university and training to be a world-class athlete. He places importance on both of them. That is why he came to QRC. He had that opportunity to do his A Levels, and also the tradition in track and field. While at QRC, he ran at the Penn Relays.”

Gordon was in fine form at the 2010 Penn Relays in Pennsylvania, USA. Just 18 at the time, he produced a 46.03 seconds split to anchor QRC to fourth spot in the High School Boys’ 4x400m Championship of America.

Three months later, Gordon struck gold in the men’s 400m hurdles at the World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada.

“Attending QRC,” says Skinner, “was like the finishing school for Jehue. It really gave him that experience in track and field and education-wise. And this is why he had that good foundation to move on to be a world-class athlete.”

A visit to the QRC hall for an interview with a group of international journalists brings back many memories for Skinner.

“Track and field has always been a major part of the Queen’s Royal tradition. Years ago when we had our athletic meet, it was a big social event which would be held on weekends. Guys would be dressed up in their best Sunday outfit, and the girls the same way.

“QRC,” Skinner continues, “was also one of the few schools that participated in all the track and field meets in the country, be it Southern Games, Eastern Games...That’s part of the reason we produced a number of world-class athletes.

“Even before our time, we had McDonald Bailey. He ran for England, but we consider him one of our first medallists at the Olympics. He was co-holder of the (100m) world record, and had the world record for most individual British championships, so QRC goes back a long, long way in producing world-class champions.”

Skinner says being part of the QRC Olympic tradition is very special.

“Wendell Mottley, my schoolmate, we were both there at the Olympics, in the finals, so it was a very proud moment for Trinidad and Tobago and for QRC.”

The tradition continued at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, where Richard “Torpedo” Thompson claimed silver in the men’s 100m, and then teamed up with fellow-Royalian Marc Burns—as well as Keston Bledman and Emmanuel Callender—for silver in the 4x100m relay.

Four years later, at the London Games, there was more precious metal for QRC, Thompson and Burns combining with Bledman and Callender for sprint relay bronze. And in the men’s 4x400m relay, Royalian Deon Lendore anchored T&T to bronze.

At the 1964 Games, T&T just missed out on 4x400m silver, Great Britain snatching the runner-up spot from Skinner and company.

Forty-eight years later, at the London Games, Skinner was one of Team T&T’s coaches.

“When I went up to England for the Olympics, I told them I came for my revenge after all those years. And lo and behold, if you remember the race, we were running third, and there was Britain bearing down on us. I said ‘oh no, it’s not going to happen again’. But Deon Lendore held him out and we won the bronze medal. It was a very satisfying moment for me.”

The fact that Lendore is a QRC old boy made revenge doubly sweet for Skinner.

And there was more satisfaction to come, Jehue Gordon becoming QRC’s first senior global athletics gold medallist when he won the 400m hurdles final at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.

The Royal tradition continues.


Ahye wins at first Diamond League meet

Michelle-Lee Ahye struck gold on her IAAF Diamond League debut, in Lausanne, Switzerland, yesterday. The Trinidad and Tobago sprinter topped the Athletissima women’s 100 metres field in an impressive 10.98 seconds.

Running into a 0.3 metres per second headwind, Ahye recovered from an ordinary start to just get the better of Murielle Ahoure, the Ivory Coast athlete also clocking 10.98 to pick up silver. American English Gardner was a distant third in 11.19, while Nigerian Blessing Okagbare was a non-finisher.

“Tonight I felt really good and very pleased to have won my first Diamond League event,” said Ahye, in an interview on the IAAF website ( “The time was good and I’m happy to go under 11 seconds. I know that if I can get the first 20-30 metres right, I can run a good race.”

Two Saturdays ago, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Ahye captured the NGC/Sagicor National Open Track & Field Championship women’s 100m title with a 10.88 seconds bolt. The 22-year-old athlete was even faster in the semi-final round, winning her heat in a personal best and world-leading 10.85.

Yesterday, in Lausanne, Ahye proved that her sub-11 form at Nationals was no fluke.

T&T’s Cleopatra Borel finished fourth in the Athletissima women’s shot put with an 18.88 metres throw.

New Zealand’s Olympic and world champion Valerie Adams threw the iron ball 20.42m for an easy victory, beating Gong Lijiao (19.65m) of China and American Michelle Carter (19.38m) into second and third, respectively.

Reigning world champion Jehue Gordon was sixth in the men’s 400m hurdles, the T&T athlete getting home in 49.29 seconds.

Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson (48.32), American Michael Tinsley (48.40) and South Africa’s Cornel Fredericks (49.00) earned gold, silver and bronze, respectively, while fourth spot went to Dominican Republic’s two-time Olympic gold medallist Felix Sanchez (49.08).

T&T’s Lalonde Gordon clocked 48.38 seconds for eighth spot in the men’s 400m.

Olympic champion Kirani James was on fire in the one-lap race, the Grenadian stopping the clock at a personal best 43.74 to grab gold, ahead of world champion LaShawn Merritt (43.92) of the United States, Saudi Arabia’s Youssef Al-Masrahi (44.43) and Bahamian veteran Chris Brown (44.59).


Trinidad and Tobago ended the Caribbean Island Swimming Championships  (CISC) Open Water Competition on a high after Christian Marsden won the boys’ 14-17 5km event in Barbados yesterday.

Christian won the event in a time of one hour, six minutes, 53 seconds and was also awarded the Champion Trophy for his performance in that age-group.

Coming in second was his T&T’ team-mate Kael Yorke, who clocked 1:07:03.

Among the females in the 14 to 17 age-group, Syriah David took silver in a time of 1:07:47 while her sister Shania won the bronze in a time of 1:11:53.

Also climbing the podium was Theana Hay who secured  silver in the 18 & over female category in a time of 1:10.20.

Shania David and Hay also claimed silver medals in the 10K event on Saturday.

David competed in the female 14 to 17 age-group, while Hay battled in the 18 & over category.

Jivan Chee Foon who competed in the male 18 & over category finished 7th.

The pool events of the championships will begin on Thursday.


Tonya Nero successfully defended her Caricom 10K women’s title, returning a time of 38 minutes, 36 seconds to place ninth overall in Sunday’s race in Antigua.

The triumph was Nero’s third in a row, the Trinidad and Tobago athlete completing a hat-trick of victories.

According to a press release, Nero “was elated for the victory and thanks the Ministry of Sport, NAAA (National Association of Athletics Administrations) and coach Paul Voisin for giving her the opportunity to represent Trinidad and Tobago.”

Nero’s teammate, Jenelle Nedd was second for most of the race. However, she went off course, allowing Guyana’s Euleen Josiah to move into second spot. The distance was too much for Nedd to recover, and she had to settle for third in 42:03.

Guyana’s Cleveland Forde captured the men’s title in 34:52, with local runner Elliot Mason second and Grenada’s Radix Reon finishing third. St Vincent and the Grenadines runner Pamenos Ballantyne was fourth, while seventh spot went to T&T’s Nicholas Landeau in 37:26.



1 Cleveland Forde (Guyana) 34:52

2 Elliot Mason (Antigua) 34:59

3 Radix Reon (Grenada) 35:17

4 Pamenos Ballantyne (St Vincent & the Grenadines) 36:13

5 Meshach Bublin (St Vincent & the Grenadines) 36:29

6 Kamar Thomas (Antigua) 37:17

7 Nicholas Landeau (T&T) 37:26

8 Darison Joseph (Dominica) 38:32


1 Tonya Nero (T&T) 38:36

2 Euleen Josiah (Guyana) 40:48

3 Jenelle Nedd (T&T) 42:03

4 Linda McDowall (St Vincent & the Grenadines) 42:54

5 Kernisha Pascal (Grenada) 43:26

6 Arieta Martin (Jamaica) 44:45

7 Dinnal Julite (Jamaica) 45:14

8 Abbe Davis (Antigua) 49:19


GUYANA’s 15’s Rugby Team captain Ryan Gonsalves was hailed a hero after his penalty kick that scored in sudden death saw Guyana defeating defending champions USA South to win the North American and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) 30 – 27 yesterday in Atlanta Georgia.

Reports reaching Chronicle Sport stated that the Guyanese, known as the ‘Green Machine’ had to play from behind, after trailing 24 – 8 at half time.

Rugby fans who turned up at the Life University Rugby Complex in Marietta, Atlanta, Georgia saw Guyana winning on sudden death to hoist their first ever NACRA 15’s Rugby title in dramatic fashion.

According to information received, Gonsalves converted a penalty after a Claudius Butts try just at half time but the Guyanese ‘ruggers’ still trailed their USA counterparts considerably.

An early second half try by Vallon Adams which saw the captain Gonsalves making good of the conversion sparked a Guyanese come back and the score board read 24 – 15, still in favour of USA South.

As the game progressed, Butts and Adams would carry out relentless attacks on USA South’s defence but as the game progressed Gonsalves missed what would’ve been a potential game winning conversation, and time ran out as full time, the scores were deadlocked on 27 points.

The two teams then went into the two halves of 10 minutes extra time and still a winner could not have been decided sending the game into a ‘score first and win’ situation.

USA South gave up a penalty to Guyana and Gonsalves one of the most experienced player on the team, stepped up and nailed the kick and the rest was literally history.

It was a well deserved win for the team who almost didn’t make it to the championship due to lack of funding, but thanks to NACRA who paid the team’s airfare to Atlanta, the Green Machine was able to reach to Atlanta.


...even as security concerns hold up audit

The Life Sport programme, in its original format, no longer exists. A massive restructuring planned for the beleagured programme effectively shuts down the whole existing system and gives the new line minister—National Security Minister Gary Griffith—iron control over the multi-million dollar outreach programme. Griffith takes control of the programme even as Finance Minister Larry Howai has extended the audit deadline by another two weeks.

“I expect that the audit should be completed in the next two weeks...A lot of work had to be done in verifying payments as well as in visiting the various centres,” Howai said in an e-mail exchange with the Sunday Guardian on Friday. The Sunday Guardian has learned that the auditing delay was due to Central Audit Unit investigators’ fear of visiting some of the Life Sport centres. Howai confirmed that lack of security has created a snag for the Life Sport audit.

“It did impact on the time taken,” Howai said in response to e-mailed questions. He said the Ministry of National Security “did advise that security should be provided and they did in fact provide security for certain visits.” The Sunday Guardian has been told that the security will speed up investigations and allow the report to be completed within the new two-week deadline. Despite the incomplete audit, Griffith is expected to officially take over the programme tomorrow.

Howai said though Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar placed Life Sport under Griffith’s ministry several weeks ago (during the People’s Partnership four-year anniversary gathering on May 24), Griffith was waiting on “formal Cabinet approval before he took over the programme.” Griffith, in a text exchange on Friday, confirmed that he would be assuming full control of the programme from tomorrow. “Yes. With effect from Monday no payment is to be made unless this ministry (National Security) approves it,” he said.

“If they buy a dinner mint, I want to see that dinner mint,” Griffith said. The Sunday Guardian understands that Griffith has already planned sweeping changes which includes the removal of the existing executive and management.  The latter changes would only happen, however, when Howai’s audit is completed. The Sunday Guardian was informed that Griffith has made it known to those within the Life Sport programme that after the audit is completed he “intended to clean up house.”

The NEW Life Sport:

Liaisons with Various Sporting Federations:

By working with various sporting federations and associations, the Life Sport programme will be able to identify qualified coaches and trainers. Life Sport would use its fund to retain those professionals who would then be distributed to the various centres to conduct coaching clinics and help develop sporting skills. Such skills development would go beyond the actual playing of the sport to include the official aspect of the game, such as the refereeing of matches and scoring of games.

It may also include the logistical aspect, including the preparation of pitches, fields and courts with the correct markings, and ensuring that equipment is of the requisite standard. Besides the T&T Olympic Committee, other federations that may be approached for collaboration include the following:

● National Amateur Athletic Association of T&T
● T&T Football Federation
● T&T Cricket Board of Control
● T&T Hockey Board
● T&T Swimming Association
● T&T Badminton Association
● National Basketball Federation of T&T
● T&T Target Archery Federation
● T&T Amateur Boxing Association
● T&T Judo Association
● T&T Amateur Gymnastics Association (TTAGA)
● T&T Netball Association
● T&T Rugby Football Union
● T&T Table Tennis Association
● Tennis Association of T&T
● T&T Volleyball Federation

There is also a proposal to have sport icons work with the youth in the programme to encourage them to follow their dreams in various sporting disciplines. Several icons have already offered their services and are expected to work alongside the certified coaches and trainers.

The revamped Life Sport will cover troubled areas having at-risk youths, as well as be open to any youth that can benefit from this type of programme. Communities on the fringes of depressed communities will also be included. The programmes will also target older members of the community who can become trainers and coaches not only in the area of sports but in areas such as education, nutrition, hygiene and general welfare.

The Physical Training instructors (PTI) department and sport teams of the Defence Force will be heavily involved in monitoring this programme. It is envisaged that the presence of these Defence Force men and women will provide a safeguard against infiltration by known gang members. Defence Force personnel will also ensure that programme participants and supporting staff are not intimidated or threatened, and they will act as monitors.

The Defence Force will also infuse a measure of discipline into the participants, and foster the building of traits expected from sport that are useful in everyday life, including punctuality, discipline, uniformity, adherence to instructions, teamwork and leadership, to name a few.


T&T’s mystery spinner Sunil Narine has been chosen on the West Indies team for the upcoming two-match T20 series against New Zealand next weekend in Dominica.

The right arm off-spinner was banned from playing against the same opponents in the current Test series because he failed to make the June 1 deadline to attend a preparatory camp in Barbados.

He now makes a comeback and so too Keiron Pollard who missed the 2014 World T20 tournament in Bangladesh due to injuries. However, injury will keep all rounder Dwayne Bravo off the park, as he is still recovering from a hamstring strain that now threatens his appearance in the early stages of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) which gets underway on July 11 in Grenada.

Other T&T players called to the squad are batsman Darren Bravo who was not chosen for the World T20 tournament. The dapper left hander has been in form in the Test series and scored a century in the second Test at the Queen’s Park Oval.

Lendl Simmons who had a fantastic Indian Premier League (IPL) with the Mumbai Indians this year, is also on the team, as well as the Royal Challengers Bangalore leg-spinner Samuel Badree.

Simmons got married on the weekend in Trinidad and will be looking to continue his good form. Rounding off the six T&T men on the squad is Test captain Denesh Ramdin.

A notable omission from the team is big Jamaican left hander Chris Gayle who has been rested for this series.

Darren Sammy who was recently removed as Test captain will be back from his stint with Glamorgan from the Natwest T20 Blast in England to lead the team.

The matches will be played at Windsor Park, Dominica, on July 5 and 6.


Darren Sammy (Captain), Samuel Badree, Christopher Barnwell, Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Smith.


Is Trinidad and Tobago ready for CONCACAF?

Given the improved performances of the three (Costa Rica, Mexico and USA) most powerful nations within CONCACAF at the World Cup, several burning questions have to be answered as I am sure they are already oscillating in the minds of many especially those in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU).

Firstly, are CFU members including regional power houses such as T&T and Jamaica prepared to match horns with showings of the likes of Mexico, Costa Rica, USA along with Canada, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti and the improving Panamanians? Secondly, is there a widening gulf between the teams from North and Central America and the CFU? Thirdly, do CFU and its members have all the resources (funding, administrative and technical) to seriously compete with the other proven footballing members of CONCACAF? Can Caribbean countries seriously challenge for the Gold Cup and or consistently perform with satisfaction at this event? T&T has participated in eight of 12 Gold Cup’s with a best performance of third in 2000, whilst Jamaica’s best performance came in 1993 when they placed third. Fourthly, and more importantly how realistic is it to qualify for upcoming World Cups, starting with Russia 2018?

Costa Rica, Mexico and the United States have exceeded all expectations and have represented the CONCACAF region with great determination, commitment and pride during the group stage of 20th FIFA World Cup, Brazil 2014. This is the first time that three CONCACAF teams have advanced out of the group stage. The best performance by a CONCACAF team at a World Cup has been the United States who placed third at the inaugural World Cup in 1930.

These teams did not just also ran but competed fiercely to qualify for the round of 16 and beyond. By the time this column is published both Mexico and Costa Rica second round matches would have been completed. Victory for both of them would set up a quarter final match on Friday.

Costa Rica stands out from the lot as they came out of the ‘group of death’ which featured three former World Cup winners and traditional power houses in world football: Italy, England and Uruguay. They won their group unbeaten, scoring four goals and conceding one. Mexico also played unbeaten and were able to dent all aspirations of Brazil prevailing over them. The United States although they lost to Germany 1-0, demonstrated they are a force to be reckoned with a victory over Ghana and narrowly being deprived of a much deserving victory against Portugal who scored in the virtual last attack of the game to steal a draw.

As much as the region celebrates the performances of the CONCACAF representatives at Brazil 2014, the underlying message is that if T&T is to become a serious consistent contender in CONCACAF it cannot be business as usual. There is an urgent need to focus at all levels at the same time- age groups and senior national teams- men and women. The talk has to be backed by action. For instance, has the much touted benefits of developing youth football from hosting the FIFA Under- 17 World Cup for boys in 2001 and girls in 2010 been realised? Is the local premier league producing the standard of play required to compete regionally and internationally? Is there an integrated system which allows for early talent identification locally and internationally of the best players regardless of where they ply their trade? Are our coaches and technical staffs across all levels on par with each other and connected to an end goal. For instance, Jurgen Klinsmann has overriding control of all football in the US.

As the president of the TTFA and his executive cull over the structure and organization of football at the back of their mind, the question of funding will continue to trouble them. Long term development cannot take place without funding. The state can only contribute so much monies to football development as there are other competing sporting disciplines seeking funding. The TTFA has to find ways to attract private sponsorship. One way this can happen is by top performances especially against top-ranked teams. The respective national teams have to perform at a standard that would command the attention of the private sector. Additionally, the TTFA has to get the public re-interested in supporting football. One cannot forget the nationalistic euphoria that was exhibited on the ‘road’ to Italy and Germany, where the national team played to packed houses. The crowd was definitely the 12th player.

There is no denying that T&T will have to lift its overall standards in order to compete successfully in CONCACAF. However, with the right leadership, effective integrated strategies, funding (state and private sector) and public support, there is no reason why this country cannot perform consistently within CONCACAF and on the world stage. Germany 2006 must always remind us our potential.


Ghana’s president has removed the minister of sport and his deputy from their positions in the wake of the country’s poor performance in the World Cup. The president, John Mahama, gave no reason for the order, but it comes after the team finished bottom of Group G, failing to win any games.

The president’s statement on Saturday said that Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah was now a minister of state in the government while his deputy Joseph Yammin had been sent to the Ashanti region as a regional minister.

The team’s World Cup campaign has been dogged by difficulties and controversy. Ghana’s players threatened to strike unless a cash shipment containing unpaid fees was sent to them. Mahama was forced to send a plane containing £1.76m to Brasília for the players to share.

Meanwhile Sulley Muntari was suspended for what the country’s FA alleged was “an unprovoked physical attack” on an FA executive committee member. Kevin-Prince Boateng was also suspended indefinitely for what the FA said were “vulgar verbal insults” aimed at the team’s coach, James Appiah, during training.

The country’s 2014 campaign was in sharp contrast to the 2010 one, in which Ghana progressed to the quarter-finals and were denied a goal that might have taken them to the semi-finals by a Luis Suárez handball. Ghana’s World Cup ended on Thursday after a 2-1 loss to Portugal.


A youth prodigy given his big break by a suspected associate of Pablo Escobar, Rodríguez has taken Carlos Valderrama’s No10 shirt and may steal his crown as Colombia’s greatest ever player

James Rodríguez’s maturity has long been one of his hallmarks. Having been born in Cúcuta, a city near Colombia’s Venezuelan border, his family uprooted to Ibagué when he was only little. His father, himself an ex-footballer, was largely absent in Rodríguez’s early years and so it was left to his godfather, Juan Carlos Restrepo, to look after his footballing development.

At the age of two Rodríguez would go to watch the now defunct second division side Cooperamos Tolima train. While the players were warming up Rodríguez was seen racing down on to the pitch and mimicking the squad’s exercise drills. As a skinny five-year-old, he enrolled at the Academia Tolimense football school.

But it was at the Pony Futbol championship in 2004 that Rodríguez’s life changed for ever. Every year the infant tournament grabs huge attention in Colombia with games being televised and scouts swarming to the event. It is seen as one of Colombian football’s best breeding grounds, with 11 of the 30 players initially called up by the coach, José Pékerman, having played at the competition.

Radamel Falcao appeared at the 1998 version, but six years later it was Rodríguez and the goal the forward scored directly from a corner that left the greatest impression. He finished as top goalscorer and best player, and in the crowds a highly powerful and controversial ex-associate of the infamous drug baron Pablo Escobar was taking note.

If Rodríguez now partly owes his place among the world’s elite to Pékerman’s support and masterful schooling, back then it was a businessman with suspected ties to Medellín’s drug cartels and vigilante death squads who gave the teenager his big chance.

Gustavo Adolfo Upegui Lopez was president and chief shareholder at Envigado football club where Rodríguez would go on to make his professional debut. To this day the Academia Tolimense claim they were “cheated” out of a fair price when Envigado swooped for Rodríguez.

But Upegui was not a man to be messed with. He had been jailed for 21 months in 1998 for suspected links to cases involving kidnapping as well as organising rightwing paramilitary groups, although he was eventually cleared of the charges. Envigado’s first president, Jorge Arturo Bustamante, had been shot dead in 1993 and a long string of unsolved murders plagued both the club and Upegui until the director himself was murdered in 2006.

But Envigado’s youth setup was second to none and Rodríguez understood the huge opportunity presented to him by Upegui. After uprooting his family to settle in Medellín, the youngster turned to the renowned coach Omar Suárez for private coaching. “That says it all about him,” Suárez commented. “Which other kid his age would consider paying for extra coaching because they want to be the best?”

Rodríguez would go on to play just one top-flight game for the Medellín side but the club would provide the springboard for him to sign for Argentinian minnows Banfield in 2008.

It was here where his career really took off. At 17 Rodríguez made his debut as the youngest foreigner to play in the Argentinian first division before leading the club to their first league championship. Banfield’s manager, Julio Falcioni, heaped on the praise. “He is going to achieve something special with the Colombia national team.”

Rodríguez had already started planting those seeds as a key part of Los Cafeteros’ return to international football’s top table when he captained the under-20 side at the 2011 Toulon tournament. He was named best player and later that year led his country to the quarter-finals of the Youth World Cup.

Three years later and he is the form player in arguably the form team of the World Cup. Last summer’s £38.5m switch from Porto to Monaco underlined the playmaker’s potential as one of the world’s most exciting young players. But it has been at this summer’s World Cup where the midfielder has glided from precocious talent to global star. Back in Colombia few are surprised.

Consecutive man-of-the-match performances against Greece and Ivory Coast helped Colombia brush aside the lassitude that swamped the country’s World Cup preparations after injury to their talismanic striker Falcao.

Balanced, intelligent and technically gifted, Rodríguez has been the drive and vision behind Colombia. And it’s not just as a creative force where Rodríguez has been one of the tournament’s standout players. With three goals he is already Colombia’s all-time top goalscorer at a World Cup finals.

Credit must also go to the sagacious Pékerman whose faith in the young star has allowed Rodríguez to truly blossom. One of the first decisions the Argentinian coach made upon taking the Colombia job in 2012 was to hand Rodríguez the No10 shirt; Carlos “El Pibe” Valderrama’s No10 shirt. It was a huge gamble for a player still only 20.

The ex-Argentina manager’s greatest move perhaps was dragging Rodríguez off the left wing where he had played throughout qualifying to operate inside as a roaming playmaker. Pékerman’s hand might have been forced due to Falcao’s injury, but it was still a bold move.

The 64-year-old coach admitted after beating Ivory Coast that he’d been worried. “It is not easy substituting somebody like Falcao. There’s always a doubt when you make such a change, but my players have all assumed responsibility,” Pékerman said.

Rodríguez has taken it all in his stride. “My responsibility grows,” the midfielder said after Colombia’s 3-0 win over Greece. “But I don’t let the pressure get to me.”

It seems incredible to think now but when Pékerman’s predecessor, Leonel Álvarez, handed Rodríguez his first senior start three years ago in Colombia’s first qualifier, a few eyebrows were raised.

Now the narrative has completely turned on its head. Indeed, if Colombia make history and reach the World Cup’s last eight for the first time, some believe Rodríguez could even assume Valderrama’s mantle as the country’s greatest player of all time.


Reigning men’s 400 metres hurdles world champion Jehue Gordon, 2012 Olympic men’s javelin gold medallist Keshorn Walcott, and the fastest sprinters in the world this year, Richard ‘Torpedo’ Thompson and Michelle-Lee Ahye, are among 43 track and field athletes selected to represent Trinidad and Tobago at the July 23-August 3 Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow, Scotland.

Last Saturday, Thompson clocked 9.82 seconds to win the men’s 100 metres title at the NGC/Sagicor National Open Track and Field Championships, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. The clocking is a new national record and the fastest time in the world this year.

Ahye was also victorious on Saturday, striking gold in the women’s 100m dash with a 10.88 seconds run. She had clocked 10.85 in the semifinal round to move to the top of the 2014 world performance list.

Eight-four athletes in 12 other sports were previously named on the T&T team for the Commonwealth Games. A total of 127 athletes will represent the Red, White and Black in Glasgow.


—Richard Thompson (100, 4x100), Keston Bledman (100, 4x100), Darrel Brown (100, 4x100), Kyle Greaux (200), Jereem Richards (200, 4x400), Rondel Sorrillo (200, 4x100), Lalonde Gordon (400, 4x400), Renny Quow (400, 4x400), Jarrin Solomon (400, 4x400), Jamaal James (800), Kendis Bullard (800), Wayne Davis II (110 hurdles), Mikel Thomas (110 hurdles), Durell Busby (110 hurdles), Jehue Gordon (400 hurdles), Emanuel Mayers (400 hurdles), Kashef Daniel (high jump), Kyron Blaise (long jump), Robert Collingwood (shot put), Quincy Wilson (discus), Keshorn Walcott (javelin), Marc Burns (4x100), Emmanuel Callender (4x100), Deon Lendore (4x400), Zwede Hewitt (4x400)

Women—Michelle-Lee Ahye (100, 200, 4x100), Kai Selvon (100, 4x100), Kamaria Durant (100, 4x100), Reyare Thomas (200, 4x100), Shawna Fermin (400, 4x400), Romona Modeste (400, 4x400), Domonique Williams (400, 4x400), Alena Brooks (800, 4x400), Pilar McShine (1500), Josanne Lucas (100 hurdles, 4x400), Deborah John (100 hurdles, 4x100), Janeil Bellille (400 hurdles, 4x400), Tonya Nero (marathon), Deandra Daniel (high jump), Ayanna Alexander (triple jump), Cleopatra Borel (shot put), Annie Alexander (shot put, discus), Lisa Wickham (4x100)

Officials—George Comissiong (manager), Lester Osouna (coach), Arlon Morrison (coach), Gunness Persad (coach), Gerard Franklin (coach), Ismael Lopez (coach), Michelle Pennie (coach), Robin Brereton (coach), Paul Voisin (coach)

Medical staff—Verne Alleyne, Ian Sharpe, Brent Elder, Dr Anyl Gopeesingh


The Trinidad and Tobago Commonwealth Games Association (TTCGA)/Trinidad AND Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) can confirm the Trinidad and Tobago Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games track and field team is as follows:

WOMEN: Deandra Daniel-High Jump

Cleopatra Borel and Annie Alexander-Shot Put

Annie Alexander- Discus

Michelle Lee Ahye, Kai Selvon and Kamaria Durant-100M

Michelle Lee Ahye, Reyare Thomas-200m

Shawna Fermin,Romona Modeste and Domonique Williams- 400m

Alena Brooks-800m

Pilar McShine-1500m

4x100M- Michelle Lee Ahye, Kai Selvon,Kamaria Durant, Reyare Thomas, Lisa Wickham and Deborah John

4x400m- Shawna Fermin, Alena Brooks, Romona Modeste, Domonique Williams, Janeil Bellille and Josane Lucas

Tonya Nero- Marathon

Josanne Lucas and Deborah John- 100m Hurdles

Janeil Bellille-400m Hurdles

Ayanna Alexander-Triple Jump


Richard Thompson, Keston Bledman and Darrel Brown-100m

Kyle Gereaux, Jereem Richards and Rondell Sorrillo-200m

Lalonde Gordon, Renny Quow and Jarrin Solomon-400m

Wayne Davis, Mikel Thomas and Durel Busby-110 hurdles

Jehue Gordon and Emanuel Mayers- 400m Hurdles

Jamal James and Kendis Bullard- 800m

Kyron Blaise-Long Jump

Kashief Daniel- High Jump

Quincy Wilson- Discus

Robert Collingwood-Shot Put

Keshorn Walcott- Javelin

4X100M Relay-Keston Bledman, Richard Thompson, Darrel Brown, Marc Burns, Rondell Sorrillo and Emmanuel Callender

4x400m-Relay- Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Deon Lendore, Reny Quow, Jereem Richards and Zwede Hewitt


Manager- George Commissiong

Coaches- Lester Osuna,Arlon Morrison,Gunness Persad,Gerard Franklin, Ismael Lopez, Michelle Pennie,Robin Brereton and Paul Voisin

Medical- Verne Alleyne, Ian Sharpe, Brent Elder and Dr Anyl Gopeesingh.

‘Torpedo’ Thompson bolts into top-ten

Before last Saturday’s 9.82 seconds golden run at the NGC/Sagicor National Open Track & Field Championships, Thompson was joint-11th on the all-time global list with Americans Leroy Burrell and Mike Rodgers and Nigeria’s Olusoji Fasuba. All four sprinters had a personal best of 9.85 seconds.

But Thompson chopped three-hundredths of a second off of his Trinidad and Tobago record to move to the top of the 2014 world performance list and, at the same time, jump into the top ten all-time, leapfrogging Canadians Donovan Bailey and Bruny Surin, who are now joint-tenth at 9.84.

Jamaican Usain Bolt is at the top of the list with the 9.58 seconds world record run he produced to strike gold at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany.

American Tyson Gay and Jamaican Yohan Blake are joint-second at 9.69. Two more Jamaicans, Asafa Powell and Nesta Carter are fourth and fifth, respectively, at 9.72 and 9.78. Americans Maurice Greene and Justin Gatlin are joint-sixth at 9.79. And eighth spot is occupied by Jamaican Steve Mullings (9.80).

T&T sprinters, Ato Boldon and Keston Bledman are joint-15th on the all-time world list at 9.86 seconds. They share that spot with American Carl Lewis, Namibian Frankie Fredericks and Portugal’s Francis Obikwelu.

After his record-breaking run, Thompson told the Express that 9.82 seconds was not a clocking he had in mind at the beginning of 2014.

“It was completely off of my radar at the start of the season. The goal was just to be healthy again, to overcome the (hip) injury. I did an interview (with the Express) at the start of the year, and I said it would be nice to just get under 10 seconds again. And here I am with the national record. God is really great, and he blesses those who put themselves in a position to be blessed. This is the hardest I’ve worked, probably ever in my life. I’ve been the most disciplined, and I’m just glad for today’s result.”


Trinidad and Tobago’s senior women national footbal team will play Venezuela’s senior women’s team in two friendlies next month. The ‘Soca Princesses’ first host their Venezuelan counterparts on July 6 at Mahaica Oval, before meeting them a second time two days later at a venue likely to be the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.

The Trinidad and Tobago are one of several Caribbean teams seeking to utilise the expansion of the World Cup to 24 teams to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

The CONCACAF region could for the first time have as many as four representatives at the world tournament. In addition to Canada qualifing as host, North, Central America and Caribbean region (CONCACAF) is guaranteed three automatic qualifying spots (up from two), while the fourth-placed finisher qualifies for a playoff for an additional spot.

From August 19-26, Trinidad and Tobago will host the 2014 Women Caribbean Cup which series as the final round of  Caribbean qualifying for the World Cup in August. In preparation, the TTFA have arranged a month-long training  camp for the team in Houston, Texas, USA, from July 10 - August 10 .

The Soca Princesses are currently engaged in training sessions three times per week at the Hasely Crawford Stadium,  as they look ahead to the Caribbean Football Union final round of qualification towards the CONCACAF World qualifiers  later this year.Coach Marlon Charles is currently overseeing the team’s preparations with a current 20-player training squad.

“Preparations are coming along quite well,” Charles said in an uintyerview with TTFA Media. “The key components we are focusing on at the moment is fitness and injury recovery barring the technical and tactical aspects of the preparations as we look ahead to the Venezuela matches and then the training camp in Houston,” he added.

‘’Most of the senior players are back home and they’ve all been part of the programme since age 11 or so. We have players who have been out on scholarships and are now back home and this is their last hurrah. They love the game and they are extremely committed to getting to the next World Cup.”

Charles said the 20 players in training now are all T&T-based but the door will be opened up following the Venezuela match with the likes of Swedish-based player Ahkeela Mollon and US-based forward Kennya Cordner expected to join the team in Houston.

“We will give every player the  opportunity to vie for selection as we try to assemble the best team possible. I think the players realize that this is about the team and putting country first. They’re now about concentrating on what is best for the team and the country,” Charles added.

“The Venezuela matches are coming at an ideal time as we haven’t played together for some time but this will give us an idea where we’re at at this time and what needs to be worked on as we look ahead to the August tournament.”


Olympic medallist Richard Thompson and Michelle Lee-Ahye are now the fastest athletes in the world for 2014 in the men’s and women’s 100-metre events respectively. New IAAF rankings declared Thompson’s record breaking 9.82 performance at last Saturday’s Sagicor/NGC Senior Open Track and Field Championships held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, caused him to jump to the top spot, ahead of Justin Gatlin of the USA. Ahye’s winning performance at that event was achieved in 10.85 seconds. A closer look at the IAAF standings showed Thompson, who had a difficult 2013 season due to injury, not only bounced back, but went on to register to other top ten performances.

On June 8, at the IAAF World Challenge’s Fanny Blankers-Keon, held in Hengelo, Netherlands, he won in a time of 9.95. It allowed him to clinch the fourth spot, too, on the honour roll. Three days later at the Diamond League series on Olso, Norway, he won in a time of 10.02. For the performance he was ranked ninth according to the IAAF. But for Ahye, it was extra special citing that she held the top three spots. Having recorded a time of 10.88 at the weekend (wind +1.2) Ahye tied for second with Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown. The latter athlete’s time was 10.86 (wind +2.0). At the Francisco “Papuito” Montaner Stadium, in Ponce, Puerto Rico, back in May, Ahye won the women’s 100-metre in 11.04 seconds. But as fate would have it, Thompson and Ahye would share company with other impressive local athletes.

While Keston Bledman was unable to successfully defend his title at the weekend and had to settle for second to Thompson, his (Bledman) time of ten seconds nestled him in eight position according to the IAAF Web site. It was now clear that last Saturday’s battle royale at the Hasely Crawford Stadium bumped other local athletes on the rankings, too. Darrel Brown’s 100-metre performance earned him the 17th spot with a time of 10.05, while Renny Quow’s 400-metre win put him at 18th in the world. Deon Lendore’s victory at the Southern Conference Track and Field Championships, in Lexington, Kentucky, USA back in May (in 44.36) in the 400-metre, had him third in the world. Competing in the 400-metre at last month’s Baie Mahault Invitational (in 44.91) earned Lalonde Gordon the tenth spot.



Rank     Mark     WIND     Competitor
1     9.82     +1.7     Richard Thompson
2     9.86     -0.4     Justin Gatlin
9.87     0.0     Justin Gatlin
9.91     +0.4     Justin Gatlin
9.92     0.0     Justin Gatlin
3     9.93     +1.8     Kemarley Brown
4     9.95     +1.7     Jimmy Vicaut
9.95     +1.4     Richard Thompson
5     9.96     +1.4     Chijindu Ujah
6     9.97     +1.8     Travyon Bromell
7     9.98     +1.4     Simon Magakwe
8     10.00    +1.7     Keston Bledman


Rank    Mark     WIND     Competitor
1     10.85     +1.6     Michelle-Lee Ahye
2     10.86     +2.0     Veronica Campbell-Brown  
10.88     +1.2     Michelle-Lee Ahye
3     11.00     +1.5     Samantha Henry-Robinson  
4     11.03     +1.7     Remona Burchell
11.04     -0.9     Michelle-Lee Ahye
5     11.04     +0.6     Morolake Akinosun
7     11.06     -0.6     Murielle Ahouré
11.07     -0.1     Tori Bowie
8     11.08     +0.5     Kerron Stewart


...Thompson, Ahyee, Bellille, Gordon, Quow stand out

Brian Lewis, president of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC), has described last weekend’s Sagicor/NGC Senior Open Track and Field Championships as a tremendous confidence boaster for this country’s participation at the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, from July 23-August 3.

The performances of the athletes at the three-day meet staged by the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, saw Olympic medallist Richard Thompson of Rebirth dethrone Keston Bledman to reclaim the men’s 100-metre title, and in the process establish a new national record of 9.82 seconds. Thompson previously held the national record of 9.85 since 2011.

Meanwhile, Janeil Bellille of Neon Trackers broke a 16-year-old national record in the women’s 400m to capture the quarter mile title in 51.83. Olympians Jarrin Solomon, Lalonde Gordon and Renny Quow battled for tops honours in the men’s 400-metre finals. It was Quow, however, who got the edge to clinch gold in 45.073.

In a G-sport interview, Lewis said, “Oh… Very encouraging! And it wasn’t only the performances of those who won. It’s great to see for example in the 100 metres Marc Burns and Darrel Brown. They have been around for quite a while being very competitive. Darrel Brown is at his best time I think since 2003. He has had a very tough time and for him to keep fighting and never give up that’s the kind of thing that people must understand: that resilience, that perseverance, that indomitable will.

We look at Michelle Lee-Ahye. Her performances continue to improve year on year. You have some of the younger people coming through (like) Kia Selvon. I am very hopeful.”

He added: “We are going into the Commonwealth Games with a tremendous confidence boaster with this weekend’s track and field performances at the track and field championships. We have this confidence boaster with Njisane’s (Phillip) performances. He seems to be back on track, so to speak, from his health issues earlier this year. George Bovell III seems to be evergreen and still improving. So, I think there is reasonable cause for significant optimism heading into the Commonwealth Games. I like what I am seeing from the young boxer Michael Alexander.”

Lewis scoffed at those in society who insist on ruling out the ability of athletes when their medal copping performances dipped. He described this practice of writing off such athletes as “a little fickle.” The TTOC official marvelled at the speed at which the public build up athletes when they were in championship mode, but were quicker to dismiss their medalling potential when they were going through difficult times.

“After the Olympics (London 2012) they were saying George Bovell III too old and you start to get these hurtful statements being made. Sport, just like life, is something that is full of ups and downs and people don’t recognise that there is a process, especially when you are involved in elite level sports. It’s a process, it’s a journey…not just a destination, and it requires perseverance and indomitable will.

“I believe it is the responsibility of the national sport organisations and the TTOC to be there for our athletes in good times and in bad times. If one was to judge sometimes from the talk shows and social media, you would see at times we tend to be very hard, even harsh on our athletes when they go through a loss of form,” Lewis said.

Lewis added: “I remember just last year, in the CPL (Caribbean Premier League), Dwayne Bravo being booed, at home. Look at the challenges Darrel Brown has had over the last couple years… Renny Quow? We have to understand that there are different reasons why people may lose form, whether it be through injury or other things and it is important that we have an environment that doesn’t come across as being band-wagonist in its approach.”

The TTOC official said he eagerly awaited the return of Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Semoy Hackett who were banned from competition and was not afraid to state his support publicly.

“I am not one of those who is there to be part of any lynch mob on these two female athletes. I have said it in the past and I will continue to say it. In my experiences dealing with them over the years, I have no doubt in my mind that they have a commitment to competing clean and air—that they are not deliberate drug cheats.

“I look forward to seeing them back in the mix. I think it is well publicised that Semoy Hackett’s situation has been brought to closure. She will resume her career sometime next year. From what I have seen in the media in the case of Kelly-Ann Baptiste, her due process is still on-going. That is something we just have to wait on. But I am confident that she will be able to rise above adversity and triumph,” said Lewis.


Thomas Bach marked his first Olympic Day as President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by hosting a special celebration in Lausanne which saw more than 1,000 runners taking part in the 5.5 kilometre Olympic Capital Run.

Launching the run, Bach called on people around the world to get physically active and enjoy the benefits of leading healthy lifestyles as he was joined by a number Olympians, including runner Udo-Obong Enee of Nigeria, Bahrain swimmer Hisham Shehab, Slovakian decathlete Slaven Dizdarevic and cross-country skier Maria Ntanou of Greece.

"We need to continue to spread the popularity of sport and particularly the Olympic Games, but simply consuming sport is not enough - we need people and particularly young people to get active," said Bach.

"We need to get the 'couch potatoes off the couch' - and Olympic Day and particularly Olympic Day runs are one way we can do that."

Events are taking place across the globe today to mark the annual Olympic Day celebrations dedicated to the founding of the international Olympic Movement by Pierre de Coubertin on June 23, 1894.

Olympic Day aims to spread the ideals of the Olympic Movement and promote participation in sport across the globe regardless of age, gender or athletic ability.

The Olympic Day Run has become a feature of celebrations in many countries as people are encouraged to come together to promote respect and solidarity as well as getting physically active.

Bach, joined by Russia's gold medal-winning snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov, also unveiled a new bronze statue of de Coubertin at the IOC's headquarters today.

The statue was sculpted by Chinese artist Xikun Yuan and was a gift to The Olympic Museum from the Chinese Olympic Committee following Beijing 2008.

"Part of Coubertin's genius was adapting the values of Olympism to the modern world - but he didn't just hand us these ideas written in stone - part of his genius was to understand that we must constantly renew ourselves and update the Olympic vision," added Bach.

A number of National Olympic Committees have already held events over the past few days, including an Olympic Day Sports Fair in Suva, Fiji last weekend hosted by the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee, which gave children and adults the opportunity to try a sport at stations set up by a range of national sport federations.

Earlier this month a record 4,500 runners took part in a variety of races in Phnom Penh, Cambodia as part the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia's Olympic Day celebrations, while a series of programmes running over 10 days in Nepal, beginning on June 14, saw children and adults taking part in running, cycling and table tennis events.

In Bahrain, Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Park hosted a number of special events in the town of Arad today featuring activities such as sport folk games, children's games and a skeet board show.

The Zimbabwe Olympic Committee is set to mark Olympic Day by hosting an event in Bulawayo's White City Stadium this coming Saturday (June 28).

As well as both five and 10 kilometre runs, a number of Olympic sports will be on display with participants drawn from primary and secondary schools as well as colleges, and will see amateur and  professional athletes taking part.


Sport in Trinidad and Tobago is facing some significant challenges and the challenges will not be overcome if they remain unappreciated. Talk to the athletes and you get one perspective. Speak to the administrators and you get another. Who is right and who is wrong?

Priority ought to be given to the athletes’ perspective. They are the ones who have to deliver the performances. They are the flag bearers. From the community level right through to the elite level it’s the participants and athletes who matter most.

Last week’s column spoke about a national sport strategy.

Recently the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) together with its high-performance partners Michael Johnson Performance and bpTT held a high-performance workshop.

In addition, MJP performance coach and specialist Drew Cuffee was based at the Sport Company Elite Development Unit (EDU) for three weeks.

Tobias Ottley, the executive manager of the EDU, brings a refreshing open-mindness to the public sector landscape. His willingness to have the TTOC and MJP at the EDU is appreciated.

However, notwithstanding the best efforts of all concerned. It is very clear that high performance in T&T has a long way to go and there is a credible reason why many of our current world-class athletes seek foreign help and interventions.

Simple suggestions were not embraced by those who should be more than happy to improve. The attitude that we know and have the answers isn’t borne out by results. This is not to say that foreign help and interventions are a panacea or the only approach.

What is clear is that it has worked for some national athletes and can work for more of our athletes and team sports and that in the lead up to Rio 2016 it will be a difference maker.

Our world-class athletes know the truth and their actions speak for themselves. Sport organisations such as the TTOC must listen to our athletes especially those who have the inner hunger and desire to be the best in the world.

In the high-performance environment accountability, effectiveness and efficiency are not slogans.

The Michael Johnson Performance workshop and three-week stay working on the ground, exposed deficiencies that must be addressed. Fortunately they are not all big-money items but simple attitudinal and mindset changes.

Meeting the expectations of our athletes is the priority. In this respect we must listen hard to what they say.

We can develop and produce World and Olympic champions on a consistent basis and as a matter of course.

What is holding us back?

What is the policy framework?

There is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Best prepared best planned.

The right support at the right time .There are organisations with a proven track record of delivering high-performance success.

We have no other option but to learn from them.

In a very real sense refraining from addressing the issues will place our athletes in a disadvantageous position.

The time has come for honest talk among those who are positioned to make decisions that will either impact our athletes negatively or positively.

Every organisation involved in local sport must face the music and critically examine themselves.

There are people who seem more than happy to talk down other individuals and organisations. You hear repeated some very unhelpful and unfair statements that can’t have any other objective but to create obstacles.

I am not sure what are the motives but what I am sure about is that our athletes are very clear about what must be done.

Hard decisions have to be made.


Monday 23 June- Port.of.Spain

The Lord Harris Square located opposite to the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee(TTOC) Olympic House on Abrecromby Street  was transformed into a bright and colourful field of dreams for children from various primary schools this morning as the TTOC celebrated Olympic day .

From the time the 2014 Olympic Day celebrations was official opened by TTOC Executive member Wendell Constantine the children enjoyed the opportunity to play traditional games such as  marbles, footsie, hop scotch, draughts and checkers. They also  participated in Tai Chi .

London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Keshorn Walcott along with  Mikhel Thomas , Ayanna Alexander and Commonwealth Games hockey player Pat Borneo, Youth Olympians Abigail Affoo, Malika Davidson and Chelsi Ward took time off from their busy schedule to spend time with the youngsters .

TTOC secretary general Annette Knott said the decision to try something new by moving the Olympic day celebration to the actual day(23 June) proved to be a success.

With the Olympic House transformed into a museum including Olympic themed video presentations children enjoyed learning about the Olympic history and this country's Olympians .

TTOC partners ScotiaBank, Guardian Group, BpTT , Adidas, Lisa along with Olympic Solidarity  and the Port of Spain City Corporation supported the event.

Part 12: Jehue copes with pro athlete/student demands

Jehue Gordon was on top of the world in August last year, his 47.69 seconds run at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia earning him the 400 metres hurdles world title.

But with every success—at the local, regional, and indeed international level—celebrations come to an end. Then, it’s back to the grind, oftentimes working even harder than before. Staying at the top can be a more onerous task than the initial rise.

For Gordon, the task was doubly difficult. In addition to his labour on the track and in the gym, the Trinidad and Tobago athlete had to resume his studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI), where he is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Sports Management.

Gordon’s schedule is very demanding. Well, that’s actually an understatement, for there simply aren’t enough hours in the day for a full-time professional athlete and a full-time university student to comfortably co-exist in one human body.

“It’s very difficult,” says Gordon, “because the Caribbean system is a lot different to the American system. The school has been trying their best to accommodate me as much as possible, especially when it comes to exams.

“I don’t get enough rest,” he continues. “It’s challenging to catch up with the notes especially when you start school two or three weeks late coming in from the Diamond League. My friends pull me out a lot when it comes to taking notes in class, getting tips, studying in groups. My friends play a crucial role.”

The pattern of Gordon’s performances is a reflection of his challenges.

The Maraval hurdler opened his 2012 campaign during UWI’s second semester, clocking 51.13 seconds on March 31. On August 4 — during the school holidays – he ran a then personal best 47.96 in the semifinal round at the London Olympics.

And in 2013, Gordon’s 49.65 seconds opener on March 23 was almost two seconds slower than the 47.69 national record run that earned him the world title on August 15.

Dr Ian Hypolite is Gordon’s coach, and understands what his 22-year-old charge has to cope with.

“He is very, very ambitions as a student. He’s not the type to sit back and rely on gratuities, he’s not the type who is searching for an easy way out. He is as competitive in the classroom as he is on the track, and that makes it difficult because you then have to contend with late hours. He doesn’t complain, though, when he gets the workout.

“Fortunately,” Hypolite continues, “when you look at the record, he always runs his fastest down at the end of the season, or at a major competition when it really really matters. So, it has worked out, but it has been a major challenge nonetheless.”

What has also been challenging for Gordon is the additional attention since his golden Moscow effort.

“When I go to the malls, if I go shopping, if I do anything outside of my normal environment, people recognise me a lot more. They want autographs, pictures, they want me to give their kids advice. I guess now people expect a lot more of Jehue Gordon, compared to before.”

Following his success at the 2013 World Championships, Gordon was showered with gifts, including a house. Yet, when visited by a group of international journalists in April, he was living at Milner Hall—a hall of residence at the St Augustine Campus of UWI.

Like all the students on hall, Gordon does his own laundry. After putting a load of clothes to wash, he explains why he has chosen this simple lifestyle.

“I like to come back into a grounded situation. When you’re out there too much in the public light, you tend to position yourself to be who they expect you to be. And I don’t like anybody shaping my character. That’s why I came back into the school setting, trying to be a normal student, fitting in as a normal person…just being Jehue Gordon.”

With laundry out of the way, Gordon plays a game of table tennis with one of his hallmates. His choice of brain-cooler is no different from the average university student’s. And that’s the way the world champion likes it as he continues to strive for normalcy.


Jorge Luis Pinto and the Costa Rican Football Federation are furious at Fifa for ordering seven of their team’s players to undergo drug tests in the aftermath of the famous World Cup win over Italy.

Diego Maradona has accused world football’s governing body of discriminating against Costa Rica and Pinto, the manager, has made public his displeasure at the abnormal procedure.

Two players from every team are required for doping control after matches but Fifa requested that five additional Costa Ricans were tested. Bryan Ruiz, who scored the only goal of Friday’s game that confirmed Costa Rica’s fairytale qualification to the last 16, was one of them and the others were Keylor Navas, Celso Borges, Christian Bolaños, the substitute Marco Ureña and the unused Diego Calvo and Michael Barrantes.

Fifa say that the mass procedure was necessary because some of the Costa Rica players had been unavailable for the mandatory pre-tournament tests. But there is indignation within the Costa Rican setup as they cannot understand why Fifa chose the moments after one of the greatest victories in the nation’s history to carry out the tests. Fifa, they say, could have chosen any other time since the squad arrived in Brazil.

“The question in all of this is: ‘Why does Costa Rica receive these tests?’” Pinto said. “It’s because Costa Rica is running and running and running, and I congratulate my players for that. They can do doping tests to all of us, including me. We would love it. I hope they do it to all of us.”

Maradona failed a drugs test himself – he was sent home from USA 94 after testing positive for several banned substances, including ephedrine.

“Why test seven players from Costa Rica and not seven from Italy?” Maradona, the 1986 World Cup winner, said. “It’s against the rules. Two players from each team are supposed to undergo doping controls. I know what I’m talking about because it happened to me. But seven players? I’ve never seen something like that.

“Taking seven Costa Ricans to doping shows a lack of respect to the players and to the rules. Costa Rica had an incredible qualification. They had three world champions in the group and they beat them with good football.”

Costa Rica, who beat Uruguay 3-1 in their opening tie, face England in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday. The small central American nation need only a point to ensure that they advance to the last 16 as the group winners.


Climate, cultivating flair and old-fashioned passion mean South American sides are dominating in Brazil
Amid all the goals, thrills and English inquests, a wider pattern is unfolding in Brazil that might yet develop into the World Cup’s most significant narrative.

Just take a look at the various results and standings. Brazil and Mexico lead Group A. Having so stylishly seen off the defending champions, Chile are already through in Group B. Colombia lead Group C. Uruguay have eliminated England from Group D and now have the chance to progress with Costa Rica.

Ecuador are second behind France in Group E while Argentina are making their expected progress in Group F.

That is potentially eight Latin America teams into the last 16 of the tournament. It would be a feat unprecedented in World Cup history but also the continuation of a surprising wider trend that has seen countries from this region steadily increase their participation in the knockout phase from three in 2002, to four in 2006 and then six in 2010.

That this should be happening amid the backdrop of an ever widening gap between the resources in Latin America football and the riches in the major European leagues is especially striking. It certainly begs many questions. In what is the first World Cup to be played in Latin America since 1986, are we again destined for a winner from that same

And, for all Europe’s money, structures, academies and 10-year plans, are we discovering that the best footballers are still those who spent their childhoods honing their technical skills and temperament away from formal coaching and in fiercely competitive street matches.

It is no secret that Arsène Wenger is searching for a striker while working in Brazil for French television and, for what is the most technically challenging position on the pitch, his eyes are trained on South America.

“I have said many times that Europe still produces many fantastic football players but, if you look well, we do not produce strikers well,” Wenger said. “Very few. All of the big strikers come from South America. Last summer, you had Radamel Falcao going to Monaco, Edinson Cavani going to PSG in a big transfer, Luis Suárez, everybody wanted to buy him. Gonzalo Higuain has gone to Napoli for a lot of money, but in Europe that is an area where it is difficult to find.

“In Germany, I can remember in every club you had a big striker, they produced some fantastic ones, but they do not produce young strikers. Is that a result of the way we coach? Of modern life? I don’t know.”

It was certainly hard not to watch Chile outplay England at Wembley last year – and then so brilliantly dispatch Spain earlier this week – and not sense an inherent technical superiority. Any team with Alexis Sanchez in attack and Arturo Vidal in midfield should always be pleasing on the eye and they will face Holland tomorrow in a fixture that will tell us more about whether players who their coach, Jorge Sampaoli, calls the “rebels of football” can mount a realistic World Cup challenge.

Similarly, it is the flair players of Uruguay, Costa Rica, Argentina and Colombia that are excelling. “We are on the rise, we have lots of confidence but we mustn’t lose sight of our objective which is to play good football,” says Teó Gutiérrez, the Colombia striker.

For all the obvious quality of the Latin America players, there does also seem to have been something more at work in Brazil over these past 10 days. Spain, after all, could not dissect a Chile back three that comprised two midfielders relegated with Cardiff and Osasuna and a centre-back released by Nottingham Forest.

In the expressions of Suárez as he waited on the bench for the full-time whistle against England, it was also impossible not to sense a particular motivation at participating in Latin America’s first World Cup for almost 30 years. Even before the tournament, Costa Rica manager Jorge Luis Pinto summed up the attitude of his team at being drawn against England and Italy. “We love the group,” he said. “The braver the bull, the better the bullfight.”

Pride is also at stake and it has been noticeable in Brazil that, even in matches not involving their teams, most South American fans here are supporting countries from their continent. The one predictable exception is explained by the intensity in the rivalry between Brazil and Argentina.

The climatic conditions must also be factored in when you consider that Latin American teams have won the tournament on all six of the previous occasions that it has been hosted in the region. Yes, England’s loss to Uruguay might have played in autumnal English conditions but, in their sluggish performance, you had to wonder what the match in Manaus five days earlier had taken out of them.

The same also seemed true as Italy so struggled in the searing heat against Costa Rica on Friday. “I think the one main obstacle that the European sides will have to overcome is the climate – or, more accurately, the changes in climate the teams could face,” says Ioan Lupescu Uefa’s chief technical officer.

“Playing in different parts of such a big country could be like playing in three different seasons depending on a team’s schedule. Tactics may be very different from one game to the next because of this. If the European teams can negotiate this problem, they have a great chance.

“Two European teams contested the last World Cup final which took place outside Europe so I think that particular ‘mental block’ has now been removed and going to a different continent does not hold the uncertainties that it maybe once did.”

Lupesca, of course, is right and the strong early showing from Latin America still offers few guarantees for the final outcome. For all that improved representation in the knockout phase, the last two World Cup finals have ultimately ended with an all-European final.

The initial signs, however, are that the balance may very well be redressed this year. Uruguay, Colombia and Chile have rarely looked better equipped to compete with the traditional local powerhouses of Brazil and Argentina to provide an all Latin America final. The last time that happened? Back in 1950, on the only previous occasion that Rio’s Maracana has staged the World Cup final.


Richard “Torpedo” Thompson and Michelle-Lee Ahye produced a pair of sizzling performances at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, on Saturday (21) at the Trinidad and Tobago Championships.

Thompson, the 2008 Olympic silver medallist, broke his own national record, bolting to victory in the men’s 100m final in a world-leading 9.82. It was 0.03 faster than the previous record he set in 2011 on the same track.

“I’m thrilled with the performance,” Thompson told the Trinidad Express. “I didn’t come in chasing any time. The national record was the furthest thing from my mind. I knew I had a quality field to deal with, people like Rondel Sorrillo, Darrel Brown, Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, the usual suspects.”

By midpoint in the race, Thompson looked a winner, the Louisiana-based sprinter motoring to the line ahead of defending champion Bledman, the eventual silver medallist in 10.00. There was a welcome return to form for Brown, the former world junior champion earning bronze in 10.05. Burns (10.21) and Sorrillo (10.23) finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Ahye was also on fire at the Crawford Stadium, seizing gold in the women’s 100m in 10.88, having earlier clocked a world-leading 10.85 in the semi-final.

In the final, Ahye darted to the front, and then opened up a huge gap on her rivals, Kai Selvon finishing a distant second in 11.32.

Before this weekend, the 22-year-old sprinter had a personal best of 11.04. She has now moved to second on the Trinidad and Tobago all-time list and is just 0.02 away from the national record.

“It was unexpected,” said Ahye. “For the semis I was like wow. I was shocked. I was very excited.”

Janeil Bellille erased a 16-year-old national record from the books. The Texas A&M University student won the women’s 400m in 51.83, bettering the 51.96 standard established by Beverly Pierre back in 1998.

Renny Quow won the men’s 400m title, edging Lalonde Gordon into second spot. Both athletes clocked 45.08, but Quow had the edge in the photo finish, beating his rival by four thousandths of a second. Jarrin Solomon bagged bronze in 45.59.

At the top of the home straight, Gordon was in front, but Quow reeled in the Olympic bronze medallist close to the end, before out-leaning him at the line.

Wayne Davis was superb in the 110m hurdles, securing gold in a championship record of 13.21. It also broke the Trinidad and Tobago all-comers’ record, set by Roger Kingdom back in 1985. Mikel Thomas – whose national record is just 0.02 than Davis’s winning time – picked up silver in 13.45, while bronze went to Durell Busby in 13.64.


You are cordially invited to the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee’s Olympic Day Celebration on Monday 23rd June 2014 from 9.30 am to 1.00 pm at the Lord Harris Square, Abercromby Street, Port of Spain. ( Can be posted on Thursday)

There will be brief ceremony followed by activities to encourage children to MOVE through Jump Rope, Checkers and Traditional Games…To LEARN the Olympic values of Excellence, Respect and Friendship…To DISCOVER our Olympians.

This event is open to the public and children are especially welcomed.

A radical new proposal has been launched that could altar the balance of power between the British Government and sporting organisations and, if successful, would enable the Government to challenge bodies, including FIFA.

Proposed by former Sports Minister Lord Colin Moynihan, who served as British Olympic Association chairman from 2005 until 2012 when he was replaced by fellow Lord, Sebastian Coe, the Private Members Bill submitted to the House of Lords would give Governments the power to scrutinise bodies, including FIFA, to ensure good governance.

National bodies would also be subject to influence, such as golf clubs who do not admit female members.

In return, the Government would have to submit to a number of statutory requirements to prove it was taking sport seriously, while Health and Education Ministers would place annual reports before Parliament on how they were furthering the public health and school sport agendas and the introduction of new legislation relating to match-fixing.

Although Moynihan, who won an Olympic rowing silver medal for Britain at Moscow 1980, admitted Governments should have no role in the actual rules and regulations of sport, he claimed that increased commercialisation meant that a new bill was overdue.

"The Bill would allow the Secretary of State [for Culture, Media and Sport] to challenge FIFA," Moynihan said..

"If every country followed this line, very swiftly FIFA would respond.

"Over the next 20 years, the governance, transparency and accountability of international sport will be even more of an issue.

"There are billions of pounds in sport and we've got to put in place mechanisms that match that investment."

"Only by demonstrating good governance in sport can Government and British sports administrators use their influence internationally.

"Only through the introduction of best governance among international bodies and federations will the problems that have already beset many of the international organisations - from FIFA today, to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Salt Lake City in 2002, and to Formula One over recent years - be consigned to history."

The Bill was introduced into the House of Lords last week and remains in the earliest of stages.

If it is to be successful it will have to pass two readings before a Committee and a Report stage and another reading, before passing a similar process in the House of Commons, during which time it could be rejected or severely amended.

However, even if it is ultimately unsuccessful, as much as anything else the aim of the Bill is to act as a catalyst to provoke debate and keep the issues therein in the public eye.

Good governance in sport is an issue about which there has been a lot of rhetoric in recent times, with it being one important issue in the Olympic Agenda 2020 reform process currently ongoing within the IOC.

But, with IOC President Thomas Bach, also very keen to ensure the autonomy and independence of National Olympic Committees from their respective Governments, the Bill would potentially throw this into question.

Moynihan believes the Bill would provide a vehicle to solve some of the more intractable debates surrounding sport in Britain, while it could also set a precedent for other countries to follow the British lead.

The ongoing corruption allegations surrounding FIFA in recent weeks ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil highlights the importance of changes included in the Bill, it is claimed.

This follows last month's revelation by The Sunday Times in London that it had seen millions of secret documents which allegedly prove football officials were paid a total of $5 million (£3 million/€3.6 million) to back Qatar's bid for the 2022 World Cup.

Since then, FIFA has largely closed ranks and accused critics of being motivated by racism, with it being likely that President Sepp Blatter will successfully stand for a fifth-term as President despite the criticism.

If successful, Moynihan's attempt would mark the first opportunity to legislate against FIFA, because there is currently no mechanism to force change on the governing body except through internal means.

Among other football-related proposals in the Bill is a suggestion that only a limited number of visas should be granted for overseas players but that if they were not used they could be traded for a "considerable" consideration.

The plan, Moynihan believes, would help address the lack of home-grown talent coming through the system to elite level.


Andrew Lewis’ credible sixth place performance at the North American Sailing Championships over the weekend affirmed him a spot to represent Trinidad and Tobago at the 2015 Pan American Games which sails off in Toronto, Canada, from July 10-26.

The Atlantic sponsored sailor, who will also fly the red, white and black at the September 8-21 World Championships, revealed yesterday that he has been working towards becoming an all-round Laser Class athlete for yet another hectic year of international competition.

Having attained Pan Am qualification by producing several strong showings over the weekend, Lewis was among three other Laser sailors who secured spots. The remaining two were Cy Thompson of the US Virgin Islands and Peruvian Stefano Peschiera.

“I set a few personal goals in the lead up to Rio 2016 (Olympics) and my peek event for next year is the Pan Am Games,” he explained. “So with that being said, you can see how import it is for me. It’s a real honour to represent my county in the second highest Games to the Olympics.

It’s a great feeling. And just like every single race I enter, I go with the intentions to win gold.”

Over the past few months, the 2012 Olympic representative has been continuously competing and training on the water. Admitting that he had a shaky start in the early stages of 2014, Lewis made a couple adjustments to his training team and has since seen great productivity.

“To be honest, my year did not start out as smooth as intended. But I changed up my training programme and I am with a new trainer.

This change has switched my results drastically in a more positive light. I feel like I am back on track,” said a motivated Lewis.

Presently, the promising athlete is in California, USA, training with some of the world’s top Laser Class sailors.

He is expected to continue this development regime until early July and return to TT on July 10. Lewis is currently undergoing preparatory work with American number one Laser Class Charlie Buckingham, second ranked Chris Barnard, third rated Eric Bowers; 2012 Olympian and Brazilian number two Bruno Fontes and Thompson.

“We’re all in one camp and this has been the best training of my life thus far. This is also in preparation for World Championships this year in Spain in September. I have the Canada Olympic Class Regatta from 16-20 of August, then World Championships, then CAC games in mid- November, then a few events next year before the Pan Am,” continued Lewis.


Former England 7s coach and current Fiji Head Coach Ben Ryan has been entrenched in the process of Rugby 7s becoming an Olympic sport, today he looks at what that means, qualification, eligibility, player availability and just about everything you need to know about Rio Qualification

Next season is different.

The ‘soft’ opening to Rugby 7’s into the Olympics has been going on for some time as pundits and supporters gaze into the future to see what it might bring. For the teams on the ground and the players with ambitions to be walking beside their national flag on the opening ceremony at the Rio Olympics on August 6th 2016, it begins properly on the Gold Coast.

Qualification to be one of those dozen starts in Oz

So, with so many not clear about how everything comes together and some of the changes, I thought I would try my best to have some clarity here.

I say twelve but it’s actually eleven, as Brazil has gained automatic qualification as hosts. It doesn’t matter if you agree or don’t agree with that, that’s the status quo and so the first part of qualification begins with next year’s HSBC World Sevens Series.

The top four at the end of the 2014/15 series are straight through to Rio and though it hasn’t be confirmed, it would be logical to also seed those teams as the top four for the Olympic Competition. That means plenty of jostling between those positions to get top seed status, which would probably also mean for number one seeds sharing a group with the bottom seeds, again, not confirmed but likely to be Brazil.

Making that top four will be huge for those sides. It allows planning and none of the pressure that undoubtedly will come with the next stage of qualification;

Six of the remaining spots will be decided through the regional competitions, split as:

Asia (3)

Europe (4)

Oceania (2)

Africa (3)

North America (2)

South America (2)

That leaves one spot, which will be decided, from a 16-nation repechage tournament with the teams made up from the regions above and the number from each of those regions in brackets. Winner gets the golden ticket.

Ok, so that’s the process. However, a few other changes and curve balls next year too….

Team GB Qualification

I haven’t mentioned GB to this point, as it would have confused things. In short, it looks like England will be the nominated team next season to try to gain an automatic spot for GB by getting in the top 4.

That means if Wales or Scotland achieves that, they cannot take their slot – only England getting top 4 counts. It also doesn’t mean that an England side would then represent GB. It merely acts as a tool to try to get GB a spot at Rio.

If England DO NOT achieve a top 4 finish then GB will have to qualify via a European competition.

With the possibility that France could roll out their 15s test stars in that with their best 7s players, as well as the threat of sides like Spain, Russia and Portugal, in potentially a one off tournament - this is by no means a straightforward route and there is a real threat of no Great Britain team being in Rio.

Team GB and the process around that has not been publicly confirmed, so we are all in the dark around it. England have put more of a development spin on their programme this season, but with the hopes of the other nations with them achieving top 4, that might have to be re looked at. If they do what they did this season then the combined home nations can breath a huge sigh of relief but if not….

It is all very interesting – throw Wales and Scotland potentially helping the process by beating some of the other top 4 candidates next year and it’s a series not to be missed!


As its Olympic Qualification next year, it means all players have to be qualified under Olympic eligibility rules and that means they have to have a passport for that nation. No exceptions. As you have seen with Halai’s exclusion from the NZ sevens side to compete at the Commonwealth Games (they have the same eligibility criteria), not everyone that has played international sevens also holds a passport for that country.

Qualifying on residency is a lot easier than getting a passport in nearly every competing country so there will be players next season that will not be able to play for their respective teams until they have a passport. Having seen at first hand the pacific players in other countries teams playing under residency criteria, it might now be the time to look at this globally and see whether three years is just too short a time frame to become eligible to play for another country. I haven’t got a firm opinion on this but targeted poaching happens in other Olympic sports and this whole area needs a careful eye kept on it to see how it develops.


A ripple from this is a window that will also exist next year for players to effectively ‘switch’ countries back to a country they have a passport to.

Ill try to explain this as simply as possible, so:

If you haven’t played for 18 months for one of the “capped” teams in the nation you have already played for, AND hold a passport for another country then you can play in next year’s series for that country. Interestingly, once you make the switch, you are then available to be chosen for the nations XV’s test side too. You cannot switch back.

After this season, the 18 months will go up to 3 years and the switch can only happen in an Olympic qualifying event or the Olympics itself, so if you don’t do it next season then its not again possible until the actual Olympics.

If it I put this into a practical example, I will use Josh Drauniniu – sure you don’t mind Josh! Gets you some airtime!

He played for England 7s in 2011 and hasn’t played for any other national England sides since. He holds a Fijian Passport (as well as a UK one) as was born and raised in Fiji so would be eligible for me to select if I wanted to and he wanted to. He could then play for Fiji at national 15’s level. Let me just make clear that this is just an example and not a clever ploy to lure Josh to back to Fiji! I just know the timings in this example in this and it just illustrates the point and also shows you that players do exist out there in this category.

IRB Reg 9

Next year IRB Reg 9 is in place. This means that clubs must release players to participate in a HSBC World Series event. The IOC and IRB have publicly voiced their opinion that they want to see some of the 15s stars of the game playing in Rio and this is another helpful tool to allow the nations the possible ability to use them next year in preparation and to bolster their qualification chances.

In practice, it’s not quite as straight forward.

I do not think the clubs have been aware of this and I am sure they don’t want to lose key players for large part of the season. Now, if I was being devil’s advocate, it’s a bit like taking a banned substance you thought was ok and hadn’t read the label. It is not an excuse to simply say you were not aware as this change has been in the public domain for some time and some clubs will have prepared for this possibility when they singed players that were in this bracket.

Again the Pacific nations are the ones that would benefit the most out of this as there are large numbers playing overseas that have previously shown to be world-class players in international sevens. Nearly every Fijian star of the overseas club game has played huge amounts of 7s growing up and knows the game well, so the transition for them will be far easier than nearly every other nation as long as they are given some time to adjust and get the required fitness.

As National coach, I want to make sure Fiji are in the top four next year and have every opportunity to win a gold in Rio. Samoa will feel the same. Without the finances and other resources of our rivals, for Fiji and Samoa (and in the regionals, Tonga), this gives us the potential to have a tool that helps us balance that out a bit and I would sincerely hope that the rugby community sees that as well.

No one wants to risk a player’s livelihood but the opportunity to show just why rugby sevens is now an Olympic sport – that small countries with little resources can be up there fighting for a gold medal with the best talent they have, is possible.

Plenty to digest and goes to show you why next year is just that little bit different. I can see just as much action off the field as on it next year! Yet, the positives of ensuring Rugby, albeit in the sevens format, can be shown off in the best light possible to the rest of the sporting world in Rio is what needs to be in everyone’s mind. The reality of Rio will be soon upon us.


Former England 7s coach and current Fiji Head Coach Ben Ryan has been entrenched in the process of Rugby 7s becoming an Olympic sport, today he looks at what that means, qualification, eligibility, player availability and just about everything you need to know about Rio Qualification

Next season is different.

The ‘soft’ opening to Rugby 7’s into the Olympics has been going on for some time as pundits and supporters gaze into the future to see what it might bring. For the teams on the ground and the players with ambitions to be walking beside their national flag on the opening ceremony at the Rio Olympics on August 6th 2016, it begins properly on the Gold Coast.

Qualification to be one of those dozen starts in Oz

So, with so many not clear about how everything comes together and some of the changes, I thought I would try my best to have some clarity here.

I say twelve but it’s actually eleven, as Brazil has gained automatic qualification as hosts. It doesn’t matter if you agree or don’t agree with that, that’s the status quo and so the first part of qualification begins with next year’s HSBC World Sevens Series.

The top four at the end of the 2014/15 series are straight through to Rio and though it hasn’t be confirmed, it would be logical to also seed those teams as the top four for the Olympic Competition. That means plenty of jostling between those positions to get top seed status, which would probably also mean for number one seeds sharing a group with the bottom seeds, again, not confirmed but likely to be Brazil.

Making that top four will be huge for those sides. It allows planning and none of the pressure that undoubtedly will come with the next stage of qualification;

Six of the remaining spots will be decided through the regional competitions, split as:

Asia (3)

Europe (4)

Oceania (2)

Africa (3)

North America (2)

South America (2)

That leaves one spot, which will be decided, from a 16-nation repechage tournament with the teams made up from the regions above and the number from each of those regions in brackets. Winner gets the golden ticket.

Ok, so that’s the process. However, a few other changes and curve balls next year too….

Team GB Qualification

I haven’t mentioned GB to this point, as it would have confused things. In short, it looks like England will be the nominated team next season to try to gain an automatic spot for GB by getting in the top 4.

That means if Wales or Scotland achieves that, they cannot take their slot – only England getting top 4 counts. It also doesn’t mean that an England side would then represent GB. It merely acts as a tool to try to get GB a spot at Rio.

If England DO NOT achieve a top 4 finish then GB will have to qualify via a European competition.

With the possibility that France could roll out their 15s test stars in that with their best 7s players, as well as the threat of sides like Spain, Russia and Portugal, in potentially a one off tournament - this is by no means a straightforward route and there is a real threat of no Great Britain team being in Rio.

Team GB and the process around that has not been publicly confirmed, so we are all in the dark around it. England have put more of a development spin on their programme this season, but with the hopes of the other nations with them achieving top 4, that might have to be re looked at. If they do what they did this season then the combined home nations can breath a huge sigh of relief but if not….

It is all very interesting – throw Wales and Scotland potentially helping the process by beating some of the other top 4 candidates next year and it’s a series not to be missed!


As its Olympic Qualification next year, it means all players have to be qualified under Olympic eligibility rules and that means they have to have a passport for that nation. No exceptions. As you have seen with Halai’s exclusion from the NZ sevens side to compete at the Commonwealth Games (they have the same eligibility criteria), not everyone that has played international sevens also holds a passport for that country.

Qualifying on residency is a lot easier than getting a passport in nearly every competing country so there will be players next season that will not be able to play for their respective teams until they have a passport. Having seen at first hand the pacific players in other countries teams playing under residency criteria, it might now be the time to look at this globally and see whether three years is just too short a time frame to become eligible to play for another country. I haven’t got a firm opinion on this but targeted poaching happens in other Olympic sports and this whole area needs a careful eye kept on it to see how it develops.


A ripple from this is a window that will also exist next year for players to effectively ‘switch’ countries back to a country they have a passport to.

Ill try to explain this as simply as possible, so:

If you haven’t played for 18 months for one of the “capped” teams in the nation you have already played for, AND hold a passport for another country then you can play in next year’s series for that country. Interestingly, once you make the switch, you are then available to be chosen for the nations XV’s test side too. You cannot switch back.

After this season, the 18 months will go up to 3 years and the switch can only happen in an Olympic qualifying event or the Olympics itself, so if you don’t do it next season then its not again possible until the actual Olympics.

If it I put this into a practical example, I will use Josh Drauniniu – sure you don’t mind Josh! Gets you some airtime!

He played for England 7s in 2011 and hasn’t played for any other national England sides since. He holds a Fijian Passport (as well as a UK one) as was born and raised in Fiji so would be eligible for me to select if I wanted to and he wanted to. He could then play for Fiji at national 15’s level. Let me just make clear that this is just an example and not a clever ploy to lure Josh to back to Fiji! I just know the timings in this example in this and it just illustrates the point and also shows you that players do exist out there in this category.

IRB Reg 9

Next year IRB Reg 9 is in place. This means that clubs must release players to participate in a HSBC World Series event. The IOC and IRB have publicly voiced their opinion that they want to see some of the 15s stars of the game playing in Rio and this is another helpful tool to allow the nations the possible ability to use them next year in preparation and to bolster their qualification chances.

In practice, it’s not quite as straight forward.

I do not think the clubs have been aware of this and I am sure they don’t want to lose key players for large part of the season. Now, if I was being devil’s advocate, it’s a bit like taking a banned substance you thought was ok and hadn’t read the label. It is not an excuse to simply say you were not aware as this change has been in the public domain for some time and some clubs will have prepared for this possibility when they singed players that were in this bracket.

Again the Pacific nations are the ones that would benefit the most out of this as there are large numbers playing overseas that have previously shown to be world-class players in international sevens. Nearly every Fijian star of the overseas club game has played huge amounts of 7s growing up and knows the game well, so the transition for them will be far easier than nearly every other nation as long as they are given some time to adjust and get the required fitness.

As National coach, I want to make sure Fiji are in the top four next year and have every opportunity to win a gold in Rio. Samoa will feel the same. Without the finances and other resources of our rivals, for Fiji and Samoa (and in the regionals, Tonga), this gives us the potential to have a tool that helps us balance that out a bit and I would sincerely hope that the rugby community sees that as well.

No one wants to risk a player’s livelihood but the opportunity to show just why rugby sevens is now an Olympic sport – that small countries with little resources can be up there fighting for a gold medal with the best talent they have, is possible.

Plenty to digest and goes to show you why next year is just that little bit different. I can see just as much action off the field as on it next year! Yet, the positives of ensuring Rugby, albeit in the sevens format, can be shown off in the best light possible to the rest of the sporting world in Rio is what needs to be in everyone’s mind. The reality of Rio will be soon upon us.

- See more at:

Former England 7s coach and current Fiji Head Coach Ben Ryan has been entrenched in the process of Rugby 7s becoming an Olympic sport, today he looks at what that means, qualification, eligibility, player availability and just about everything you need to know about Rio Qualification

Next season is different.

The ‘soft’ opening to Rugby 7’s into the Olympics has been going on for some time as pundits and supporters gaze into the future to see what it might bring. For the teams on the ground and the players with ambitions to be walking beside their national flag on the opening ceremony at the Rio Olympics on August 6th 2016, it begins properly on the Gold Coast.

Qualification to be one of those dozen starts in Oz

So, with so many not clear about how everything comes together and some of the changes, I thought I would try my best to have some clarity here.

I say twelve but it’s actually eleven, as Brazil has gained automatic qualification as hosts. It doesn’t matter if you agree or don’t agree with that, that’s the status quo and so the first part of qualification begins with next year’s HSBC World Sevens Series.

The top four at the end of the 2014/15 series are straight through to Rio and though it hasn’t be confirmed, it would be logical to also seed those teams as the top four for the Olympic Competition. That means plenty of jostling between those positions to get top seed status, which would probably also mean for number one seeds sharing a group with the bottom seeds, again, not confirmed but likely to be Brazil.

Making that top four will be huge for those sides. It allows planning and none of the pressure that undoubtedly will come with the next stage of qualification;

Six of the remaining spots will be decided through the regional competitions, split as:

Asia (3)

Europe (4)

Oceania (2)

Africa (3)

North America (2)

South America (2)

That leaves one spot, which will be decided, from a 16-nation repechage tournament with the teams made up from the regions above and the number from each of those regions in brackets. Winner gets the golden ticket.

Ok, so that’s the process. However, a few other changes and curve balls next year too….

Team GB Qualification

I haven’t mentioned GB to this point, as it would have confused things. In short, it looks like England will be the nominated team next season to try to gain an automatic spot for GB by getting in the top 4.

That means if Wales or Scotland achieves that, they cannot take their slot – only England getting top 4 counts. It also doesn’t mean that an England side would then represent GB. It merely acts as a tool to try to get GB a spot at Rio.

If England DO NOT achieve a top 4 finish then GB will have to qualify via a European competition.

With the possibility that France could roll out their 15s test stars in that with their best 7s players, as well as the threat of sides like Spain, Russia and Portugal, in potentially a one off tournament - this is by no means a straightforward route and there is a real threat of no Great Britain team being in Rio.

Team GB and the process around that has not been publicly confirmed, so we are all in the dark around it. England have put more of a development spin on their programme this season, but with the hopes of the other nations with them achieving top 4, that might have to be re looked at. If they do what they did this season then the combined home nations can breath a huge sigh of relief but if not….

It is all very interesting – throw Wales and Scotland potentially helping the process by beating some of the other top 4 candidates next year and it’s a series not to be missed!


As its Olympic Qualification next year, it means all players have to be qualified under Olympic eligibility rules and that means they have to have a passport for that nation. No exceptions. As you have seen with Halai’s exclusion from the NZ sevens side to compete at the Commonwealth Games (they have the same eligibility criteria), not everyone that has played international sevens also holds a passport for that country.

Qualifying on residency is a lot easier than getting a passport in nearly every competing country so there will be players next season that will not be able to play for their respective teams until they have a passport. Having seen at first hand the pacific players in other countries teams playing under residency criteria, it might now be the time to look at this globally and see whether three years is just too short a time frame to become eligible to play for another country. I haven’t got a firm opinion on this but targeted poaching happens in other Olympic sports and this whole area needs a careful eye kept on it to see how it develops.


A ripple from this is a window that will also exist next year for players to effectively ‘switch’ countries back to a country they have a passport to.

Ill try to explain this as simply as possible, so:

If you haven’t played for 18 months for one of the “capped” teams in the nation you have already played for, AND hold a passport for another country then you can play in next year’s series for that country. Interestingly, once you make the switch, you are then available to be chosen for the nations XV’s test side too. You cannot switch back.

After this season, the 18 months will go up to 3 years and the switch can only happen in an Olympic qualifying event or the Olympics itself, so if you don’t do it next season then its not again possible until the actual Olympics.

If it I put this into a practical example, I will use Josh Drauniniu – sure you don’t mind Josh! Gets you some airtime!

He played for England 7s in 2011 and hasn’t played for any other national England sides since. He holds a Fijian Passport (as well as a UK one) as was born and raised in Fiji so would be eligible for me to select if I wanted to and he wanted to. He could then play for Fiji at national 15’s level. Let me just make clear that this is just an example and not a clever ploy to lure Josh to back to Fiji! I just know the timings in this example in this and it just illustrates the point and also shows you that players do exist out there in this category.

IRB Reg 9

Next year IRB Reg 9 is in place. This means that clubs must release players to participate in a HSBC World Series event. The IOC and IRB have publicly voiced their opinion that they want to see some of the 15s stars of the game playing in Rio and this is another helpful tool to allow the nations the possible ability to use them next year in preparation and to bolster their qualification chances.

In practice, it’s not quite as straight forward.

I do not think the clubs have been aware of this and I am sure they don’t want to lose key players for large part of the season. Now, if I was being devil’s advocate, it’s a bit like taking a banned substance you thought was ok and hadn’t read the label. It is not an excuse to simply say you were not aware as this change has been in the public domain for some time and some clubs will have prepared for this possibility when they singed players that were in this bracket.

Again the Pacific nations are the ones that would benefit the most out of this as there are large numbers playing overseas that have previously shown to be world-class players in international sevens. Nearly every Fijian star of the overseas club game has played huge amounts of 7s growing up and knows the game well, so the transition for them will be far easier than nearly every other nation as long as they are given some time to adjust and get the required fitness.

As National coach, I want to make sure Fiji are in the top four next year and have every opportunity to win a gold in Rio. Samoa will feel the same. Without the finances and other resources of our rivals, for Fiji and Samoa (and in the regionals, Tonga), this gives us the potential to have a tool that helps us balance that out a bit and I would sincerely hope that the rugby community sees that as well.

No one wants to risk a player’s livelihood but the opportunity to show just why rugby sevens is now an Olympic sport – that small countries with little resources can be up there fighting for a gold medal with the best talent they have, is possible.

Plenty to digest and goes to show you why next year is just that little bit different. I can see just as much action off the field as on it next year! Yet, the positives of ensuring Rugby, albeit in the sevens format, can be shown off in the best light possible to the rest of the sporting world in Rio is what needs to be in everyone’s mind. The reality of Rio will be soon upon us.

- See more at:

Isn’t leadership about the captain being the last to leave the ship?

Something is just not adding up. It’s well established that youth, children and young people follow the example of their elders. These days it’s an uphill battle keeping young people motivated and inspired.

Finding positive role models who can be used as positive examples isn’t an easy task. Where have we gone wrong as a country and society?

Do we have a culture that encourages sacrifice? How do we encourage young people to put aside a sense of entitlement and/or dependency?

Last Friday government and opposition MPs united in parliament to raise their own retirement allowances—29 votes in favour, no votes against.

According to media reports, the decision was based on the desire to provide for those who have served their country through yeoman service at great sacrifice of their own personal circumstances; their family life and their health.

It was said that our parliamentarians had contributed to this country at great personal sacrifices and have shown an unparalleled level of patriotism.

So what about the rest of us? What about the long-suffering population who over the years would have placed collective and individual trust in the legislature and executive to lead and govern us well and put in place policies and action plans that serves the best interest of the nation?

How do we ask young people to make personal sacrifices and to forgo feelings of entitlement and dependency?

Getting to the mountain top and achieving anything of significance, purpose and merit requires sacrifice.

Athletes who dream of ascending to the pinnacle have to work hard and make many sacrifices. Nothing worthwhile can be achieved without toiling upwards through the night. It comes with the territory. Excellence and achievement are demanding task masters.

Everywhere our sportsmen and sportswomen turn, they see and read where it’s one rule for some and another rule for them.

Aren't they patriots? Don’t they make personal sacrifices? Don’t they have families?

How do we ask our youth and young people to contribute to building a nation and a society? How do we ask them to put country before self? How do we ask them to put the welfare of others first? How do we show them how to be great leaders?

Our athletes deserve much better than they are currently getting. Time is not a luxury. Time lost can’t be regained.

The system is failing those who deserve the support the most.

National sport organisations must get together and create a national sport strategy that will define a blueprint for the sustainable development of sport and set out guidelines for the reduction of inequities.

A national sport strategy will provide policy advice and strategic guidance to the nation and ministers of government on policies for sport and physical recreation and also monitor programmes and systems.

It will propose and advocate for sport to be considered as an independent sector and for the economic impact of sport to be recognised.

Sport has proven its ability to have a positive impact on the country's international, regional and continental image.

T&T has a rich sport history. Building on that history is a responsibility not to be taken lightly.

We have been inspired by Rodney Wilkes who won this country’s first Olympic medal when T&T participated in its first summer Olympic Games.

Our success at the London 2012 Olympics created high expectations for more Olympic medal success. Rio 2016 is two years away.

Time is not on the side of our athletes.

There is much that needs to be done. We can’t carry on as if all is well.


One of the best-known symbols in marketing, let alone world sport, reaches an important milestone this week.

June 2014 marks the centenary of the presentation by Pierre de Coubertin to those attending the sixth Olympic Congress in Paris of the five multicoloured Olympic rings and the Olympic flag.

The symbol of the interlaced blue, yellow, black, green and red rings, representing the five continents, is today recognised instantly by a good proportion of the world's seven billion or more people.

It was not until 1920 in Antwerp, however, that the white flag bearing the five rings could be seen flying in an Olympic stadium.

This was because of the outbreak later in 1914 of the conflict now known as the First World War; this prevented the 1916 Olympic Games being staged, as planned, in Berlin.

As explained in an Olympic Museum information sheet, the fifth modern Olympics in Stockholm in 1912 had turned out to be the first Games featuring participants from all five continents.

A year later, the five rings appeared at the top of a letter written by Coubertin, founder of the Modern Olympics.

According to the information sheet, Coubertin "drew the rings and coloured them in by hand".

While most today would probably accept that the symbol and flag were the most important products of that 1914 Congress, contemporary newspaper reports suggest that participants were more concerned with burning issues such as the participation of women in the Olympics and the sports that should make up the programme.

One paper, the Sydney Morning Herald, described debate of a motion that women should be allowed to take part in lawn tennis, swimming, skating and foils.

The Times of London carried a short Reuters report to the effect that Congress had decided that future Games should be "decided within three weeks so that the results could be more easily classified, and that due solemnity might be given to the opening and closing ceremonies".

The report continued, "Although the Congress has already expressed the view that the number of events was too great, it agreed this morning, at the request of various countries, to the inclusion of the following new events: archery, rugby football, hockey and ice hockey.

"These events will, however, be optional."

While attitudes on some issues change dramatically over time, others, it seems, prove as enduring as the five-ring symbol itself.


International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach's Agenda 2020 is set to reach a new milestone this week as the 14 Working Groups meet to discuss the proposals submitted for the future of the Olympic Movement.

The groups, which are made of up of key stakeholders, including IOC members, athletes, and figures from International Federations and National Olympic Committees, as well as representatives from Google, Transparency International and the World Bank, are gathered at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne to analyse the recommendations put forward by Olympic and sport officials and individuals.

Of the thousands of submissions received by the April 15 deadline, almost half of those came from Olympic officials, while about a quarter came from the public.

The process in bidding for the Games, sports on the Olympic Programme, IOC membership, good governance and youth strategy are among the matters due to be discussed.

Proposals submitted also include one put forward by the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF) that calls for stricter procedures to ensure future host nations adhere to the Olympic Charter principles of human rights, gender equality and inclusion, while one from the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) urges the IOC to be a "rampart against discriminatory laws and practices".

The Working Groups are due to conclude their meetings on June 24 before presenting an outline of their findings to the IOC Executive Board at its next meeting on July 7 until 9.

This will then be discussed at the Olympic Summit, which will be attended by all the key stakeholders of the Movement, later next month.

The contributions will then be presented to the IOC Commissions in September, before being discussed again at an Executive Board meeting the following month.

The refined Olympic Agenda 2020 proposals will finally be presented for discussion by the entire IOC membership and final approval at an Extraordinary Session in Monaco on December 8 and 9.


T&T Olympian Deon Lendore, a junior at Texas A&M brought glory yet again for his school when he captured a gold medal in the 400m event at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, in Eugene, Oregon, USA, on Friday. Lendore, who earlier this year won the NCAA 400m indoor crown, stopped the clock in 45.02 seconds, after winning heat one in 45.18. He became only the second runner from his school to capture the 400m outdoor crown. The last Texas A&M athlete to win it was Curtis Mills in 1969, who set a school record of 44.67, which Lendore broke recently with a 44.36-second effort in winning the South-Eastern conference title. It was the perfect double for Lendore, who finished runner-up in the outdoor event in 2013.

Lendore had to endure the pressure of home-favourite, Mike Berry, who held a good challenge against the T&T runner particularly in the final 70m. Berry placed second in 45.07. In March, Lendore claimed his first US-national individual title after winning the NCAA Indoor Championships 400m final in 45.21 seconds. Lendore, who has been described by his coach Pat Henry as the fastest quarter-miler in the country said he was pleased with his recent achievements. “I was trying to get the double because it’s a nice double to have,” he said. “So I’m thankful I accomplished that goal. I know the crowd was helping Berry a lot, but I tried to use the crowd to help me power back into the lead and get the win.” Lendore was expected to feature in his team’s 4x400m final, which took place last evening. Meanwhile, another T&T athlete, Janeil Bellille, who represents Texas A&M, placed third in the women’s 400m hurdles on Friday. She clocked 56.14 seconds, an improvement on her 56.44 which she ran a day prior in the semifinal. The race was won by her team-mate, Shamier Little in 55.07 for a school record.


T&T's Keston Bledman claimed bronze yesterday in a Caribbean-dominated 100m final at the IAAF Diamond League, in New York, USA, finishing in 10.23 seconds. Jamaican pair Nesta Carter and Yohan Blake took gold and silver, respectively, but were both unable to duck under the ten-second mark. Carter won in 10.09, while Blake, the Diamond League 100m record holder (9.69) finished in 10.21 seconds. Another Jamaican, Kemar Bailey-Cole placed eighth in 10.33.


Also claiming bronze for T&T yesterday was multiple CAC gold medalist and Olympic shot put thrower Cleopatra Borel, who threw an impressive 19.04m. The Mayaro-born athlete made her best effort on the third attempt after throwing 18.08m on the first and faulting on the second. She then threw 18.21m on her fourth attempt. Valerie Adams of New Zealand won the event in 19.52m, while Michelle Carter of the USA was edged out in second with her 19.51m attempt.


Also in action for T&T were World Champion Jehue Gordon and Olympic bronze medalist Lalonde Gordon, both of whom were far from their best. Gordon (Jehue) placed seventh in the 400m hurdles clocking 49.81, only ahead of Jamaica’s Leford Green, who placed eighth in 50.87. The race was won by Javier Culson of Puerto Rico, who ran a world-leading 48.03. USA’s Michael Tinsley finished second in a season-best 48.56, while Cornel Fredericks of South Africa took third in 48.58- also a season best.

Meanwhile, Gordon (Lalonde) placed eighth and last in his event, the men’s 400m sprint clocking 45.68 seconds.
USA’s Lashawn Merritt took his Diamond League 400m tally to 12 points after winning the race in a blistering 44.19 seconds for a meet record. South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk (44.38) placed second for a national record, while Bahamian Chris Brown ran a season-best 44.61 seconds for third place.


TRINIDAD and Tobago won their very first set in the 2014 edition of the Women’s Pan American Volleyball Cup when they extended Cuba past three sets for the very first time in Mexico on Saturday.
After losing their first three matches of the tournament in straight sets, the five-time Caribbean champions were beaten 25-17, 25-18, 20-25, 25-10 by four-time champs Cuba.
T&T had never taken a set from the regional powerhouses before and just last month the Cubans had beaten them to qualify for the World Championships in September.
T&T still have a chance of getting to Italy, however, as they will host Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama in the middle of next month and the winners will secure the 24th and final place in “Worlds.”
But that chance is getting slimmer by the minute as the Mexicans will be the overwhelming favourites based on their performance in this tournament.
Two days after upsetting the Peruvians in five sets, the hosts almost allowed a two-set lead to slip before they recovered in the decider to stun the previously unbeaten Canadians 27-25, 27-25, 13-25, 14-25, 15-9 on Saturday.
The same thing almost happened to the group favourites, but two-time champs Dominican Republic recovered in time to edge Peru 25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 18-25, 15-12 in the other Group A match in Mexico City.
In Group B action in Hidalgo, two-time defending champs United States also made it four from four when the world No. 2 crushed the Costa Ricans 25-13, 25-9, 25-11 to convincingly win the five-team group and move straight into Wednesday’s semi-finals.
And with Puerto Rico on a bye, Argentina were 29-27, 25-17, 25-15 winners over Colombia in the other match in the group.
The Group A winners, determined when Dominican Republic opposed Canada when the round-robin phase of the tournament concluded last night, will also move straight into the semis.
The second and third-placed teams will contest quarterfinals tomorrow.
The champions will be crowned Thursday night in Mexico City and will qualify for the World Grand Prix in the United States in July next year.
T&T tackled Mexico in a preview of next month’s World Championship qualifier in the final match of the round-robin phase last night.
In their 82-minute contest against Cuba on Saturday, Melissa Vargas was the leading scorer with 24 points, four more than this country’s captain Krystelle Esdelle, who had led all scores with 14 points on Thursday against the Canadians and was the game’s joint leading scorer with 13 the day after against Peru.


Trinidad and Tobago quartermilers, Deon Lendore and Carlyle Roudette teamed up with American Aldrich Bailey and Grenadian Bralon Taplin for gold in the men’s 4x400 metres relay, on the final day of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Outdoor Track & Field Championships, in Eugene, Oregon, USA, on Saturday.
Roudette split 44.7 seconds on the second leg, while Lendore anchored in 44.11 as Texas A&M University won in two minutes, 59.60 seconds, missing out on the American collegiate record by just one-hundredth of a second. University of Florida clocked 3:00.42 to finish second, ahead of Louisiana State University (LSU) in 3:01.60.
“It was an amazing experience and I’m happy to be here as a senior,” Roudette said, in an interview on the Texas A&M website, “It was an amazing run, I couldn’t ask for a better way to go out. I just wanted to put my team in a good position to win. I was able to come back on Florida and close the gap so we could make it a close run for Deon on the anchor.”
Lendore, the individual 400m champion, said the collegiate record was a team goal.
“Going into the race we had a lot of hope for each other especially after the time we ran in the semifinal (3:00.76). We knew there was a chance we could break the collegiate record. We came so close, but we missed it this time. Hopefully next year or in the near future we will get the record.”
Earlier on Saturday, Lendore anchored Texas A&M to silver in the men’s 4x100m in 38.84 seconds. He outleaned another T&T athlete at the line, Shermund Allsop and his LSU teammates taking bronze in 38.85. Florida (38.73) grabbed gold.
T&T’s Janeil Bellille was part of the Texas A&M team that secured silver in the women’s 4x400m in 3:25.63. University of Texas won in a meet record time of 3:24.21, while third spot went to University of Oregon (3:29.03).
“I’m really blessed and happy to be part of an amazing team,” Bellille said. “Today meant a lot to the team, so I came out and put my best foot forward in the relay.”
Texas A&M captured the women’s team title with 75 points. Texas (66) and Oregon (59) were second and third, respectively.
In the men’s team competition, Texas A&M finished third with 41.5 points. Oregon (88) captured the title, while Florida (70) secured the runner-up spot.
LSU (29 points), Steve Waithe’s Pennsylvania State University (5) and Durell Busby’s University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2) were fourth, 44th and 64th, respectively.
On Saturday, Waithe finished fifth in the men’s triple jump with a 16.14m effort—a new personal best.


Franz Beckenbauer has been banned by Fifa from taking part in any football-related activity for 90 days. The governing body alleges that he has failed to co-operate with the ongoing inquiry by Michael Garcia into Fifa’s vote to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

Fifa said the ban on the German football legend is provisional, pending the completion of a formal investigation into his alleged non-co-operation. On Friday night Beckenbauer reacted with surprise to the news, telling Sky Sport Germany: “I had to check the date at first. I thought it was April the first and thus an April fool.”

Beckenbauer was one of the 22 members of the Fifa executive committee who in 2010 cast their secret votes for World Cup hosts, and he has never declared for which countries he voted. Last weekend, based on a cache of documents in its possession, the Sunday Times alleged that Beckenbauer visited Qatar before and after the vote, at the invitation of Mohamed Bin Hammam, the Qatari exco member who has since been banned by Fifa from football activities for life following corruption allegations.

The Sunday Times reported that in June 2011, Beckenbauer visited Qatar as part of a business delegation for the Hamburg shipping company ER Capital Holding, for which Beckenbauer was an adviser and ambassador. He has since 2012 also been an ambassador for the Association of Russian Gas Producers.

Fifa said that Garcia, the chairman of the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee, has been seeking to interview Beckenbauer but received no co-operation, to the point where Garcia requested disciplinary action in the form of the ban.

“A breach of the code of ethics appears to have been committed,” Fifa said in a statement. “The apparent breach relates to Mr Beckenbauer’s failure to co-operate with an ethics committee investigation despite repeated requests for his assistance, including that he provide information during an in-person interview or in response to written questions provided in both English and German.”

Fifa said the formal investigation is being led by another member of the ethics committee, Vanessa Allard of Trinidad & Tobago.

Beckenbauer, who played 103 times for Germany and won the World Cup as captain in 1974, then as the Germany coach in 1990, has for years become involved in a plethora of business interests, often set up by his adviser, Fedor Radmann.

Beckenbauer told the German media this week that he did not respond to Garcia’s request for an interview because he did not understand all the questions sent to him in English and had asked for a meeting to talk about it in German. After the ban was announced Beckenbauer said that his nominal position at Bayern Munich was his only remaining official football role, although Beckenbauer is also a special advisor to Fifa’s football committee. “If they mean my honorary presidency at FCB, then I can live with it,” he said.


Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben inspired the Netherlands to a 5-1 comeback thrashing of Spain in one of the most unforeseen results in FIFA World Cup™ history.

A Xabi Alonso penalty put the defending champions ahead but, after David Silva had spurned a glaring chance to double the lead, the Dutch ran riot. Van Persie and Robben hit doubles apiece, both netting majestic goals, with Stefan de Vrij also getting on the score-sheet as Spain conceded over four times for the first time since 1963.

La Roja began the game by monopolising possession, but it was the Oranje who created the first noteworthy chance. Robben slid a sumptuous ball in behind the defence for Wesley Sneijder, who carried it into the box but hit his shot straight at a relieved Iker Casillas.

Moments later, Andres Iniesta won possession in the Netherlands’ last third and slipped the ball to Diego Costa. The Brazil-born striker was inside the box, but his touch let him down and allowed Ron Vlaar to get back and admirably stifle the danger.

Spain did go ahead on 27 minutes though. Following a neat passing move, Costa cut inside Stefan de Vrij and was tripped. The referee pointed to the spot and Xabi Alonso’s low, firm penalty found the bottom corner.

La Roja should have doubled their lead on 42 minutes. Andres Iniesta skipped inside his marker and exercised his extra-sensory vision and immaculate execution of pass to send David Silva one-on-one with Jasper Cillessen. The Manchester City playmaker attempted an elaborate chip, which the Ajax goalkeeper was away to tip round his post.

Silva held his head in his hands, and the Netherlands swiftly punished his mistake. Daley Blind played a long ball over the top of the Spain defence and, rather than bring the ball down, Van Persie produced a superb first-time header which looped over Casillas and went in.

Eight minutes into the second half the Oranje went in front. Robben, in mid-air, delightfully controlled a long ball forward, cut inside Gerard Pique and, with the aid of a deflection, fired the ball home.

It was almost 3-1 minutes later, with Robben leading a rapid counter-attack which ended with Van Persie cannoning the ball against the crossbar. But the Netherlands did double their lead on 64 minutes. Sneijder whipped a free-kick into the back post and, with Van Persie putting Casillas off, De Vrij bundled it in at the back post.

It got worse for Spain eight minutes later. Casillas, ahead of a seemingly straightforward clearance, miscontrolled the ball. Van Persie pounced, took it round him, slid in and poked it into the empty net.

Robben sealed a 5-1 success with another marvellous individual goal, showcasing blistering pace to escape the Spanish backline, rounding Casillas and fizzing the ball home.

Robben, Jeremain Lens and Sneijder all had chances to grab the Netherlands’ sixth of the night, but 5-1 was how it finished.


An under-strength T&T women’s volleyball team, ranked 31st in the world made a losing start to their Group A campaign at the 13th Pan American Volleyball Cup after going under Dominican Republic 12-25, 11-25, 16-25 at the Juan De La Barrera Gymnasium, Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday.


For the world eighth ranked Dominican Republic Yonkaira Peña had a match high with 15 points, followed by veteran Annerys Vargas and captain Bethania De la Cruz with nine and eight points respectively while Brayelin Martinez added six and Candida Arias, five in the straight sets win.


On the other side of the net, T&T which was without Jalicia Ross-Kydd, Sinead Jack and Channon Thompson had a team-high eight points while captain Krystle Esdelle and Darlene Ramdin chipped in with six points apiece.


It was dominant showing by Dominican Republic against the reigning five-time Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association champions as it dominated 35-21 on spikes, 10-4 on blocks and 3-2 on aces while committing only 12 errors to T&T’s 27.


In the other Pool A matches, Canada defeated Peru 25-18, 26-24, 23-25, 25-20 and a very youthful Cuba dominated Mexico 25-19, 25-17, 25-21.


At the Carlos Martinez Balmori Multi-purpose Hall in Pachuca, Hildago in Pool B, two-time defending champions, USA overcame Costa Rica 25-19, 25-19, 30-28 and Argentina battled past 25-14, 25-22, 28-26 while the match between Costa Rica and Brazil was not played due to the latter’s late arrival.


Last night, T&T came up against Canada in its second match while today it faces Peru from 4 pm followed by Cuba tomorrow at 4 pm as well and Mexico on Sunday night from 8 pm to end round-robin play.


The tournament in Mexico, comes less than a month T&T ended second to Cuba in their FIVB Women’s World Championship NORCECA Third Round qualifiers to Italy last month in La Habana, Cuba and will serve as preparations for the Fourth and final round of FIVB World qualifiers at Central Regional Indoor Sports Arena, Chaguanas, involving Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua, from June 22-30.


The winners of each of the pool at the end of the round-robin series will qualify straight to the semifinals while the second and third placed teams will meet in cross-over quarterfinals ahead of the semifinals and final.


This year marks the eight straight year T&T is participating at the Pan American Cup with its best-ever finish—tenth for the past five years—after being 12th, both in 2007 and 2008.


Last year, defending champions USA swept past Dominican Republic 25-12, 25-20, 25-18 to capture the gold medal in Lima, Peru.


With the win, USA became only the second country to successfully defend its throne in the history of the intercontinental event, joining Cuba who won consecutive titles in 2004 and 2005.


The gold medal was their third tying with Brazil in second place behind Cuba’s four while Dominican had to settle for their sixth silver medal to go with two gold and three bronze medals.



Women’s Pan American Cup Podiums


Today’s matches:



Group A:
Venue: Juan De La Barrera Gymnasium, Mexico City, City:
4 pm: T&T vs Peru
6 pm: Cuba vs Canada
8 pm: Mexico vs Dominican Republic



Group B:
4 pm:  Puerto Rico vs USA
6 pm: Costa Rica vs Colombia
8 pm: Brazil vs Argentina




Group A:
4 pm: T&T vs Cuba
6 pm: Peru vs Dominican Republic 
8 pm: Mexico vs Canada




Group B:
4 pm: Colombia vs Argentina
6 pm: Brazil vs Puerto Rico
8 pm: Costa Riva vs USA


Machel Cedenio headlines the 49-member T&T team that will be competing at the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships in Morelia, Mexico from July 4-6. 
Cedenio will be aiming to improve on his two silver medals won at the previous edition of junior event held in Santo Domingo in Dominican Republic in 2010.


T&T team


Boys U-20: 100m: John Mark Constantine,100m/200m: Jonathan Farhina, 200m: Holland Cabare, 400m: Theon Lewis, 400m, Machel Cedenio, 800m/1500m, Nicholas Landeau, 800m/1500m, Ashton Gill, 110m Hurdles & 400m Hurdles: Aaron Lewis, 110m Hurdles: Ruebin Walters, Long Jump/Decathlon: Kevin Roberts, Discuss & Shot Put: Kenejah Williams, Javelin: Shaquille Waithe, Decathlon: Victor Issac



Boys U-20: 4x100m: Jonathan Farinha, John Mark Constantine,  Holland Cabare, Micah Ballentyne, Aaron Lewis, Ruebin Walters.



4x400m: Machel Cedenio, Theon Lewis, Odel James, Asa Guevera, Nathan Farinha, Ruebin Walters,



Girls U-20: 100m/200m: Zakiya Denoon, 100m: Aaliyah Telesford, 200m: Kayelle Clarke, 100m Hurdles: Akila Mc Shine, Shot Put: Portious Warren, Javelin: Chuntal Mohan



Girls U-20: 4x100m: Zakiya Denoon, Aaliyah Telesford, Kayelle Clarke, Mauricia Prieto, Trishelle Leacock, Akila McShine



Boys U-18: 100m/200m: Akanni Hislop, 100m: Corey Stewart, 200m/400m, Jacob St Clair, 400m: Kashief King, 800m: Terry Frederick, 800m: Myles Jackson, 110m Hurdles/400m Hurdles: Kobe John, 110m Hurdles: Xavier Mulugata, 400m Hurdles: Dwight St Hillaire, Long Jump: Andwelle Wright, High Jump: Omari Benoit, Javelin: Tyriq Hosford, Vandel Joseph, Decathlon: Ian West



Boys U-18: 4x100m: Akanni Hislop, Corey Stewar, Xavier Mulugata, David Winchester, Kobe John, Jacob St Clair, Andwele Wright



4x400m: Jacob St Claire, Kashief King, Terry Frederick, Dwight St Hillare, Kobe John, Myles Jackson



Girls U-18: 100m/200m: Jenea Spinks, 100m Hurdles: Jeminise Parris, Discus Throw: Shaiann Charles, Discus/Shot Put: Chelsea James, Shot Put & Javelin Throw, Akida Briggs, Javelin Throw, Asha James, Heptathlon: Ayana Glasgow, Anya Akili, Khamani Roberts


Double Olympic champion Mo Farah intends to compete for England in the 5,000 and 10,000m at this summer's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Farah has not raced since the London Marathon in April, when he finished eighth on his debut in the event.

The 5,000m is the first men's track title to be decided in Glasgow, before the 10,000m takes place five days later. Neither event has heats.

Farah, 31, is also the defending world champion over both distances.

He broke Steve Cram's 28-year-old 1500m British record last year before turning his attention to the marathon.

Farah's involvement is a boost to Games organisers, with Britain's Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill absent because she is expecting her first baby and Jamaican sprinting legend Usain Bolt yet to commit.

Farah is scheduled to run in a special event at the Diamond League meeting in Glasgow on 12 July,  with the Commonwealth Games commencing 11 days later.

The Londoner, who will face stiff competition from Kenyan and Ugandan athletes at the Commonwealth Games, finished ninth in the 5,000m at the 2006 Games in Melbourne but withdrew from the 2010 Games in Delhi because of fatigue.


Jehue Gordon’s triumph in the men’s 400 metres hurdles at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, last year, was only the fourth senior global athletics title for Trinidad and Tobago.

Just 21 at the time, Gordon followed in the footsteps of 1976 Olympic 100m champion Hasely Crawford, 1997 200m world champion Ato Boldon, and 2012 Olympic gold medallist Keshorn Walcott.

Crawford and Boldon were beneficiaries of the American collegiate system. Walcott was not.

Like the reigning Olympic men’s javelin champion, Gordon is a home-grown talent. But while Walcott was guided to the top by Cuban coach Ishmael Lopez Mastrapa, Gordon’s support team is total local.

Dr Ian Hypolite and Edwin Skinner are the senior coaches at Memphis Pioneers—a successful Port of Spain-based athletics club with close to 150 members.

It’s Good Friday, traditionally a lazy day in T&T. But for a group of committed Memphis athletes, the public holiday is not a day of rest, but rather, an opportunity for an earlier than normal week-day training session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Some of these focused athletes are as young as seven, and are new to the concept of organised training. At the other end of the spectrum is the club’s first world champion.

Memphis is a family, and Gordon is at home as he and his teammates go through their daily grind at the Crawford Stadium and then at the club’s gym, a stone’s throw away.

It is Hypolite who coaches Gordon, and the medical doctor was rewarded for the athlete’s golden run in Moscow with the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) 2013 Coach of the Year award.

Skinner serves as Gordon’s local manager, but he is a top-quality coach in his own right.

That’s not all. The fit as a fiddle 73-year-old brings even more to the table, for he was a world-class athlete in his day, earning Olympic bronze in 1964 as part of the T&T 4x400m relay team.

“Mr Skinner,” says Gordon, “is a living legend—1964 Tokyo Olympics; he was one of the founders of Memphis Pioneers; he stayed there, he gave back to the club, he gave back to track and field. Mr Skinner has his own business now, so he was successful on the track and he is successful off the track. He is definitely somebody I tend to follow in the footsteps of.”

Skinner says Gordon is a rare gem.

“Every so often he would come and talk to me, especially before a major race. He sees me, I guess, as a mentor and he shows me a lot of respect. It’s very rewarding.

“I consider myself fortunate to have Jehue. He is blessed with talent, and has all those qualities that the coaches love. He is disciplined, and does not suffer from the fear of failure because he has experienced it in his life.”

Gordon speaks in glowing terms of Dr Hypolite.

“He’s very versed in everything. When it comes to dressing, when it comes to women, when it comes to intellectual capacity, he is the guy to go to. He knows a good bit of everything. He’s definitely somebody I look up to. He has done so much for himself, for his country, for his family most importantly, and for me. I guess I could say he’s my second dad.”

Like all good fathers, Hypolite has a vision for his “son” and is willing to run with him every stride of the way en route to the goal.

“There is a lot of scope for the development of his speed, particularly his flat quartermiling speed. When you look at the history of the event, guys really hit their peak round about 26 to 28. Jehue is 22, so to me there is still some scope for strength development. I’m hoping that once he remains injury-free, once there’s no major injury, then we can pull that altogether.”

Already a senior world champion at 22, there’s a strong sense that Moscow won’t be the last golden moment for Gordon and his total local Dream Team.


Japanese tyre giant Bridgestone has officially become a top tier worldwide Olympic sponsor until 2024.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach made the announcement today at the company's global headquarters in the Japanese capital Tokyo, alongside chief executive and Board of Bridgestone chairman Masaaki Tsuya.

It means Bridgestone sits alongside 10 heavyweight companies, which include McDonald's and Visa, as a member of the The Olympic Partner (TOP) programme.

As well as the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the deal will cover the two games to be held in Asia - Pyeongchang 2018 and the Summer edition in Tokyo in 2020.

It will also be in place for the 2022 Winter Games, a location for which will be decided on July 31 next year, and the 2024 Summer Games.

Bridgestone will "supply tyres and related services to support the transport operations at Games time", including vehicles for the athletes, media and officials.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: "Bridgestone is a global leader in its field, and we are delighted to welcome the company to the TOP programme and are excited about the long-term commitment they have shown to the Olympic Movement."

The deal was first mooted last month, with the company paying a reported 35 billion yen (£204 million/$344 million/€252 million) to become an IOC sponsor, according to Japanese news agency Kyodo News.

"As a global corporation, Bridgestone is excited to partner with the entire Olympic Movement, a group of organisations that not only brings together the world's athletes at the greatest athletic festival, but also blends this celebration of sport with a spirit of service to community, social responsibility, a respect for diversity and a commitment to the fundamental principles of Olympism," said its chief executive Tsuya.

"We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship where, through this partnership, we will communicate on a global basis our commitment to society as well as our brand message."

The deal covers a number of product categories, including seismic isolation bearings, non-motorised bicycles, and the full range of tyres manufactured by Bridgestone.

Tsunekazu Takeda, the IOC's Marketing Commission chairman, President of the Japanese Olympic Committee and vice-president of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, said "I am delighted that a leading Japanese company, Bridgestone, will become the 11th Worldwide TOP Partner and the second TOP Partner to commit through to 2024.

"As the first Partner the IOC has signed under my chairmanship of the Marketing Commission I am also personally very happy that we were able to make this global announcement in Tokyo."

Bridgestone was founded in 1931 in Fukuoka.

Its name comes from a calque translation and transposition of ishibashi, meaning "stone bridge" in Japanese.

It has nearly 150 production facilities in more than 25 countries.

Last year, the company signed a deal until 2017 to become the title sponsor of Copa Libertadores, South America's equivalent of Europe's UEFA Champions League.

It is also a sponsor of the International Ski Federation's Alpine Ski World Cup events and involved in the National Football League, National Hockey League and the Professional Golfers Association in the United States.

Bridgestone joins Coca Cola, Atos, Dow, GE, McDonald's, Omega, Panasonic, P&G, Samsung, Visa, as a TOP sponsor.

The IOC says money generated by commercial partnerships accounts for more than 40 per cent of Olympic revenues.


Shock has been expressed throughout Fiji after the death of 21-year-old sprinter Roy Ravana Jr in a drive-by shooting in Sacramento.

Ravana Jr, one of the island nation's greatest talents, won a 400 metres hurdles bronze medal at the 2011 Pacific Games before competing in the 60m heats at the 2012 World Indoor Championships in Istanbul.

He had already been selected for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer. 

The sprinter has been studying in the United States for two years and was expected to take up an athletics scholarship at the University of Louisiana later this year.

He was fired upon in the Fruitridge district of the Californian city on Monday (June 9) after reportedly assisting another person who had already been shot, with it being claimed afterwards that he was not part of a gang, but had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Two people have already been arrested in connection with the incident, both of whom are under the age of 18.

The incident has caused consternation across Fiji, with Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama among those to express his shock and sadness.

"Like all Fijians, I am appalled that Roy - an innocent bystander - should lose his life in this way," he said.

"To have his life cut short when he had so much promise is a terrible tragedy.

"Many people dream of being given an opportunity to pursue success overseas, Roy was living that dream when he died.

"And many young Fijians, even those who didn't know him personally, will feel a sense of shock and loss at his passing."

Joseph Rodan Snr, President of Athletics Fiji, also told the Fiji Sun that it was the "saddest day to lose one of our promising athlete, an athlete who is groomed and developed for Fiji and had a lot of potential".

He added: "Athletics Fiji mourns the loss of our asset and our deepest condolences to the family during this difficult time".

The incident is a tragic blow for Fiji in their preparations for the Commonwealth Games, beginning in Glasgow on July 23, after the nation was only permitted to compete in March following the lifting of a ban on Fiji's membership of the Commonwealth, in place since 2009 because of a military coup orchestrated by Bainimarama three years earlier.

Since March, it emerged that neither Fiji's netball or rugby sevens team would be permitted to compete, because the qualification process for those sports had already been completed.


Shock has been expressed throughout Fiji after the death of 21-year-old sprinter Roy Ravana Jr in a drive-by shooting in Sacramento.

Ravana Jr, one of the island nation's greatest talents, won a 400 metres hurdles bronze medal at the 2011 Pacific Games before competing in the 60m heats at the 2012 World Indoor Championships in Istanbul.

He had already been selected for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer.  

The sprinter has been studying in the United States for two years and was expected to take up an athletics scholarship at the University of Louisiana later this year.

He was fired upon in the Fruitridge district of the Californian city on Monday (June 9) after reportedly assisting another person who had already been shot, with it being claimed afterwards that he was not part of a gang, but had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Two people have already been arrested in connection with the incident, both of whom are under the age of 18. 

Roy Rovana Jr competing in the 2012 World Indoor Championships in Istanbul ©Getty ImagesRoy Rovana Jr competing in the 2012 World Indoor Championships in Istanbul ©Getty Images

The incident has caused consternation across Fiji, with Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama among those to express his shock and sadness.

"Like all Fijians, I am appalled that Roy - an innocent bystander - should lose his life in this way," he said.

"To have his life cut short when he had so much promise is a terrible tragedy.

"Many people dream of being given an opportunity to pursue success overseas, Roy was living that dream when he died.

"And many young Fijians, even those who didn't know him personally, will feel a sense of shock and loss at his passing."

Joseph Rodan Snr, President of Athletics Fiji, also told the Fiji Sun that it was the "saddest day to lose one of our promising athlete, an athlete who is groomed and developed for Fiji and had a lot of potential".

He added: "Athletics Fiji mourns the loss of our asset and our deepest condolences to the family during this difficult time".

The incident is a tragic blow for Fiji in their preparations for the Commonwealth Games, beginning in Glasgow on July 23, after the nation was only permitted to compete in March following the lifting of a ban on Fiji's membership of the Commonwealth, in place since 2009 because of a military coup orchestrated by Bainimarama three years earlier.

Since March, it emerged that neither Fiji's netball or rugby sevens team would be permitted to compete, because the qualification process for those sports had already been completed.

Today, the 6th IWG World Conference on Women and Sport will open. The response to our invitation to "Lead the Change - Be the Change" has been extremely positive, more than 800 people from nearly 100 countries are joining us at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki, Finland. Now we are welcoming everyone else to participate in the conference online! You can watch the live stream from the main auditorium on:

Don't forget to take part in the debate! Selected messages will be displayed on the Message Wall. Choose one of the three options to participate:

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Olympic medallist Richard Thompson says he is proud to have recorded his first sub-ten performance in two years at Saturday’s IAAF World Challenge’s Fanny Blankers-Keon, held in Hengelo, Netherlands.

The three-time Olympic medallist captured the men’s 100 metres event in 9.95 seconds.

On his Facebook page, he posted, “Got another win tonight in Hengelo (Holland). This time a wind legal 9.95 seconds, my first sub-10 since the 2012 London Olympics...3rd fastest time in the World for 2014. Praises to the most high!”

In a G-Sport interview, he made it clear, however, that the gratifying weekend performance was not grounds for him to become over confident. The champion athlete said he needed to retain his level of calm and focus, as the remedial work he was now undergoing was helping him to achieve the desired rewards.

“It feels great to be under 10 seconds again. However, it's no time to celebrate or be content. There's still a lot of work to be done. That being said, I'm pleased with the direction things are heading in for the Commonwealth Games, which is my number one priority this year. Being at the Michael Johnson Performance Centre (MJPC) in Dallas, really, allowed me to channel my energy in the right direction. We identified what the problem was and devised a plan to directly deal with it. Beyond that, we were able to look at other weaknesses and strengthen them.”

Thompson has gained access to the facilities at MJPC through an arrangement between the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) and energy company BPTT.

He achieved the feat on the weekend of his birthday, which was spent traveling to Europe.

“So it was a bit satisfying to run well and make up for the day lost. There's still a lot of time for many people to improve, so I don't want to get ahead of myself and start prematurely claiming medals in Glasgow (Scotland) just yet.

“Everyone is still working hard and that's just what I plan to do as well, to give myself a fair shot of being in the mix. It will be interesting because we know the big guns always show up ready to the big show.”

Late yesterday, Thompson won the 100m at the Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway in a time of 10.02 seconds.


Springboks Bryan Habana and Schalk Brits have been named in the South African sevens rugby squad for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

Neil Powell has also included Cornal Hendricks, who is set to make his full Sprinboks debut this weekend, as well as regulars Frankie Horne, Kyle Brown, Chris Dry, Cecil Afrika, Justin Geduld, Branco du Preez and Seabelo Senatla.

Super Rugby players Cheslin Kolbe (Stormers) and Warren Whiteley (Lions), complete the squad.

Scotland: Head coach Stephen Gemmell has named Sean Lamont and Tommy Seymour in his 12-man squad for this year's Commonwealth Games.

Lamont, who last played for Scotland Sevens in 2009, comes into the squad with 86 international caps and having also been a part of the 2002 Commonwealth Games squad in Manchester.

Seymour, with eight caps to his name, has also been named but has not yet been involved with the Sevens side before.

"Sean is a player with a significant amount of Scotland caps," said head coach Gemmell.

"The pace, power and physicality he will bring tot his squad allied with his Sevens understanding, gathered from the World Series and a previous Commonwealth Games, will be invaluable.

"Tommy is a proven finisher at international and professional level. His skill set is relevant across the board for Sevens, as a strong defender and he is good with the ball in the air."

Squad: Richie Vernon, James Eddie, James Johnstone, Roddy Grant, Scott Riddell, Colin Shaw, Lee Jones, Colin Gregor, Scott Wight, Mark Bennett, Sean Lamont, Tommy Seymour

New Zealand: Gordon Tietjens has named an experienced squad to prepare for this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The squad features the inclusion of Kurt Baker and Pita Ahki who were both members of the All Blacks Sevens squad that won last year's Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.

“To go to a Commonwealth Games and do well you need players with experience," said Tietjens.

"I’ve selected three Super Rugby players who have played well for the team. Kurt Baker was important in terms of winning that gold medal in Delhi and Pita Ahki did well for the All Blacks Sevens in Russia so both are fine sevens players."

NZ squad: Pita Ahki, Kurt Baker, Tomasi Cama, Scott Curry, Ambrose Curtis, Sam Dickson, DJ Forbes, Jack Goodhue, Bryce Heem, Akira Ioane, Gilles Kaka, Ben Lam, Tim Mikkelson, Declan O'Donnell, Lote Raikabula, Sherwin Stowers, Joe Webber, Adam Whitelock


The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee is pleased to announce the team selected to compete at the 2nd Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

The team will be led by the Chef de Mission Kwanieze John and includes representatives of 4 National Sporting Organizations.  Young Ambassador,  Jeanette Small will accompany the team.

The athletes representing Swimming will be announced on the 20th June 2014.

At the first Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore in 2010 Trinidad and Tobago won a Gold medal in Swimming. /Christian Homer.

Three athletes from Tobago will travel to Nanjing representing Athletics.   A total of 11 Athletes and 6 officials will represent the Trinidad and Tobago at the Games


Team List





Jeminise Parris


Akkani Hislop


Chelsea James


Andwuelle Wright



Beach Volleyball

Chelsi Ward


Malika Davidson




Abigail Affoo




4 athletes to be selected

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee and Commonwealth Games Association is pleased to announce the team selected to compete at the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014.

The team will be led by the Chef de Mission Dr. Ian Hypolite and includes representatives of 13 National Sporting Organizations.

Mr. Brian Lewis President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee is looking forward to Trinidad and Tobago having our best Commonwealth Games ever.  The Athletics team will be announced on the 24th June 2014.

The present team is made up of 84 Athletes and 49 officials including a Medical team of 14 and Sports Psychologist Dr. Margaret Ottley.




George Richard Bovell

2 athletes

Dylan Carter




Michael Alexander

2 Athletes

Aaron Prince




Njisane Phillip

2 Athletes

Quincy Alexander




William Albert

3 Athletes

Marissa Dick


Khazia Hislop



Hockey Men

Darren Cowie

16 athletes

Mickel  Pierre


Andrey Rocke


Marcus James


Shaquille Daniel


Tariq Marcano


Stefan Mouttet


Kwandwane Browne


Ishmael Campbell


Aidan De Gannes


Solomon Eccles


Dillet Gilkes


Nicholas Grant


Michael II Otis O’Connor


Jordon Reynos


Akim Toussaint







Hockey Female

Patricia Wright-Alexis

16 Athletes

Petal Derry


Alanna Lewis


Kwylan Jaggassar


Amie Olton


Savanah De Fretias


Amanda George


Avion Ashton


Elise Olton


Kayla Brathwaithe


Fiona O’Brien


Dana-Lee De Gannes


Brianna Govia


Tamia Roach


Zene Henry


Brittney Hingh



Judo  1 Athlete

Christopher George




Joelisa Cooper

12 Athletes

Kalifa Mc Collin


Janelle Barker


Samantha Wallace


Rhonda John Davis


Tricia Liverpool


Onella Jack


Anika La Roche Brice


Candice Guerero


Kemba Duncan


Alicia Liverpool


Daystar Swift



Rugby 7’s

Agboola Silverthorn

12 Athletes

David Gokool


Aasan Lewis


Kelson Figaro


Shaquille Tull


James Phillip


Jonathon O’Connor


Anthony Lopez


Keishon Walker


Joseph Quashie


Rowell Gordon


Jesse Richards






Michael Perez

5 athletes

Norris Gomez


Marlon Moses


Rhodney Allen


Roger Daniel




Colin Ramasra

4 Athletes

Kale Wilson


Kerrie Sample


Charlotte Knaggs



Table Tennis

Dexter St. Louis

8 Athletes

Curtis Humphreys


Aaron Wilson


Yuvraj Dookram


Rheann Chung


Ashley Quashie


Aleena Edwards


Catherine Spicer




David Cottle

1 athlete


I don’t know if to feel angry, sad, frustrated, hopeless or emotionless.


Two boys- brothers—one 9 and the other a 15 year old were executed at 3 pm last Sunday. Two gunmen entered their home made them lie down on their stomachs next to their mother and a 16 year-old neighbour.


The two brothers were then shot once in the back of their heads. According to media reports police sources said the 15 year old was well known to them.


Neighbours were quoted as saying the end wasn't unexpected as the two brothers (9 and 15) were known troublemakers. Their mother worked Sunday to Sunday in a supermarket to make ends meet. No mention of the boys’ father. How many more must die? How many more mainly afro Trinidadian male teenagers must die before this society reaches the tipping point of intolerance for the cold blooded murders.


Have we become indifferent to what such tragedies say about us as a nation have we fallen so far so fast?


These deaths are in the main avoidable. What are we doing as a society? Do we care enough or is it that it’s someone else’s problem to solve?


The situation can be retrieved but not if we continue to engage in polite conversations that are nothing more than public relation exercises.


Corruption, drugs, guns, crime, teenage pregnancies, and absentee fathers. Serious sums of money are being thrown at various solutions but yet the perception remains that nothing is working and where meaningful results can be found it appears as if it is nothing more than a drop of water in the vast ocean.


Saying it’s a social issue intellectualises and dehumanises the sheer tragedy that we as a society seem collectively to be either ignoring or denying. Sure we talk about it around the water cooler or in our social circles. We all have views and opinions about how to address the problems.


How many more must die?


This is not about statistics this is about flesh and blood. Human beings. How many more must die?


A 9 year old deemed a terror is executed. When children, mere babies, are now written off you better smell the coffee. We have a problem a deep seated structural, systemic, sociological and spiritual human problem.


I make a simple call. Let’s put aside the denials and the artful dodges.


Our society needs help.


Sport is ready and willing to answer the call. Whatever funding is available must now get into the hands of the right people and right organisations.


This is not a laughing matter—not when children are being executed.


National sport organisations and the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic committee must stand up and champion the cause of sport and the positive role models that can be found among our world class athletes. Sport can make a powerful and positive difference once resources are applied ethically, honestly, effectively and efficiently. Any other option or approach will only ensure that sport is part of the problem rather than a solution.


Sport matters. Life matters. Children matter. How bad can a 9-year-old be? That bad?


Where are the sport clubs and national sport organisations? Where are the positive role models?


How do we use sport as a tool to make a positive difference? Children love sports and they love to play sports. Children making babies and children killing children when children should be playing sports. Let’s not trivialise or minimise the problem. Turning a blind eye is a temporary and convenient short term solution. This is not to say that solving the problems is in any way easy. But no matter how difficult the issues may be to overcome. One life saved matters more than the huge mountain we are climbing or building. Sport can help not hurt.


Brian Lewis is the president of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the TTOC


T&T Olympic and FINA World Long and Short Course Championships bronze medal swimmer, George Bovell III, has expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of his first weekend of international competition which resulted in a gold medal in the 50m freestyle and silver in the 50m backstroke.


Competing at the 51st Mel Zaljac Meet held at the University of British Columbia Aquatic Centre, University Boulevard, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada May 22-25, the 30-year-old Bovell, won gold in the 50m freestyle in 22.91 seconds, well ahead of his Club Wolverine team-mate Geoff Cheah who was second in 23.32 while Yuri Kisil and Zach Hayden were joint third in 23.33.


Earlier in the preliminary heats, Hayden was the top qualifier in 23.29 ahead of Bovell (23.51), Kisil (23.71) and Cheah (23.79). He got silver in the men’s 50m backstroke in 26.97 behind Russell Wood (26.66) while Jeffrey Swanston took bronze in 27.10.


In the heats Bovell was the sixth fastest qualifier in the 50m backstroke heats in 27.66 seconds after being seeded second with a time of 25.96 behind Wood (25.69).


Bovell also won the 50m butterfly B-final in 25.55 followed by Rohan Jacobs (25.85) and Stephen Calkins (25.91) while he qualified for the 50m breaststroke gold medal swim after he qualified as the fifth fastest from the heats with a time of 29.53, but opted out of the event.


The four-day meet for the former NCAA champion was the first since he last competed in November 2013 at the FINA World Cup in Beijing, China, winning silver in the 100m individual medley, his 13th of the season.


And commenting on his performances, Bovell said, “It was a good starting point for me. I purposely opted to do a lot of racing in quick succession which affected the times, but at this stage of my season the times are unimportant, it was about learning what mistakes I have a tendency to make so that I may address them in practice these next coming weeks. I was pleased to come away with a gold and silver.


Asked about the return to swimming of 22-time Olympic medallist and 18-time gold medal winner Michael Phelps who retired after the London 2012 Olympics, Bovell replied, “It is obvious that there are many reasons involved, but I doubt he will be as formidable as he was before and will not compete across such a broad range of events.


Not one to back down from competition, Bovell who was third in the Athens Greece Olympics, 200m individual medley final behind Phelps and Ryan Lochte added, “If he wants to come into the 50m freestyle I would welcome it and take pleasure in showing him what speed and technique are all about, but I doubt he will, so his comeback does not really affect me as we won't be direct competitors. I expect he will swim the 100 free for the relay, and the 100m butterfly and 200 individual medley.”


Up next for Bovell will be the USA Swimming Arena Santa Clara Grand prix June 20-22 in Northern California at the George F Haines International Swim Centre where he expects to face down old arch rival, USA Olympians Anthony Ervin and Nathan Adrian. At that meet Bovell said he does not intend to swim as much races as he did in Canada as the emphasis will be on the performances itself.


Following that meet he will then jet off to the French Open in early July and then the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, at the end of July in Glasgow, Scotland, as he builds up to the World Short Course Championships in Qatar in December where he hopes to win the 100m IM.


Last year during the FINA World Cup, Bovell’s 13 medal tally included one gold, five silver and seven bronze while the 200m IM Olympic bronze medal winner at Athens 2000 got bronze in the 50m freestyle World Championship Long Course final in Spain last year to add to his bronze medal won in the 100m IM at the 2012 December’s 11th FINA World Short Course Championship in Turkey.


France-based professionals Dexter St Louis and Rheann Chung leave tomorrow for Paraguay, where they will compete in the Latin American Top 12 table tennis tournament.

The Top 12 serves off on Friday and concludes on Sunday.

St Louis told the Express that the Ministry of Sport facilitated their participation in the prestigious tournament.

“Again I want to say special thanks to Anil Roberts and his ministry for assisting us, as he has always done, by providing the airline tickets. He has been really good to us, and I thank him for that.

“My teammate and (2011) Pan Am Games gold medallist, (Argentine) Liu Song, is going to Paraguay also. The competition is really tough because the winner qualifies for the next World Cup.”

After Paraguay, St Louis and Chung will step up their preparations for the July 23-August 3 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

“Our next stop is at the Heritage Oil Open in Sussex, London (England), where all expenses are paid for by the organisers for both of us,” St Louis explained.

One of the all-time greats in the sport was among the players listed to compete in Sussex.

“(Sweden’s) Jan Ove Waldner was supposed to be playing, but I understand he is not coming because of some appearance fee issues. However, many of the players who are participating in the Commonwealth Games will be there. Then there is Commonwealth Games. Since last year September, after every training session—and believe me it’s ten per week—my mind is on these Games. I think a medal is difficult, but I have the level to stand up to the best in the Commonwealth. If not, I will stay home and go on vacation in Nice with my family.”

St Louis is a five-time Caribbean men’s singles champion, while Chung has won the Caribbean women’s singles title on five occasions.



There is an urgent need for politicians, policymakers, administrators and practitioners to differentiate between the ‘Development of Sports’ and ‘Sports for Development.’ This is required to save the ‘innocence’ of sports from becoming the proverbial verbal football of politicians and the general public for all the wrong reasons.


In recent times a lot has been said about sports, however, a great deal has either been oversimplified, overestimated, omitted and or totally ignored. As a corollary sports is being saddled with an unpleasant character and image.


The ‘Development of Sports’ focuses on athletes excelling in their respective sporting disciplines on the world stage. Therefore, the significant focus is on talent identification and the provision of resources—funding, training facilities, scholarship etc—to athletes representing the country on the world stage such as the Olympics where gold medals and world records are the ultimate return on such investments. The objectives, targets and outcomes of the ‘Development of Sports’ are clearly stated and measurable. Additionally, opportunistic political and economic actors use any sterling performances on any sporting world stage to serve their respective causes.


On the other hand, ‘Sport for Development’ focuses on sports as a means of building the social life of society especially as it relates to health, community integration and addressing social issues facing ‘youth at risk’ such as juvenile delinquency, gang activities and a general breakdown in the social fabric of the society. Although the objectives are clear, the targets and outcomes of ‘Sports for Development’ programmes are problematic to measure.


In the last two (2) years or thereabout, a number of programmes have been initiated under the umbrella of ‘sport for development.’ The main programmes have been the ‘Hoop of Life’ basketball project and the LifeSport programme. The ‘Hoop of Life’ project is aimed at social control of ‘youth at risk’ in crime ‘hotspot’ areas throughout the country.


After two (2) years the programme is being reviewed for its management and effectiveness. The LifeSport programme is also directed at young males who are at ‘risk’ of engaging in sociably questionable lifestyles. The programme is currently being audited for any managerial irregularities. Lennox Bernard’s ‘Give a Sporting Chance,’ in his contribution to the Ryan Report (2013) “No Time to Quit: Engaging Youth At Risk,” also addressed the potential of sports as a mechanism of addressing social deviance. Each of these projects will be analysed from a sporting perspective in subsequent columns.


Any attempt to effectively use sports as a means of addressing ‘youth at risk’ requires an analytical framework to assess deviance and collect robust and reliable data to constantly evaluate the overall programme. To date, there has been much discussion about the programmes but little information forthcoming on the basis of the respective strategies have been implemented. For instance who is defined as ‘youth at risk’? Is the data collected thus far able to justify the continued use of sports as a social intervention?


Additionally, why has youth sports been identified as possessing the potential answer to the variety of social issues facing young people today? Can it be said with assurance that sports is the best means to inculcate important life skills? Is sports the focus? Is sports a sustainable industry for participants of the programmes?


Are there other programmes already existing to which the resources could be combined to provide greater opportunity to the participants? Is the technical expertise of psychologists, social workers etc being used in conjunction with sporting personalities? It must not be assumed that playing sports automatically results in a person being an effective coach or mentor especially when dealing with ‘youth at risk’.


How is the programme being measured in terms of outcomes? Is the implementation approach top-down or collaborative where participants are part of the decision making process? How is the data being collected? How is the data being used in the re-evaluation of the programme?


If the problems facing ‘youth at risk’ are related to structured economic decline and inequalities in the communities identified, why is there a belief that organized youth sport programmes will solve the many problems? In other words, if at the end of the day the youth has to return to social and economic conditions that do not allow him to use his newly acquired skills, how will the programme be viewed? Since the state is involved in these programmes, is there any guarantee to the participants that the programme will continue if a new government is elected or even if a new minister within the same government takes control of the programme?


As much as the intention may be good, it is important that those who want to use sports as a means of quieting social deviance, to remember that sports is only a tool in the development process and as such must not be expected to produce miracles. Let us stop playing ‘sports’ with sports!!!


Abilene Wildcats’ Jonathan Farinha followed up his 100m triumph on Saturday, with an easy win in the boys’ Under-20 200m dash, on the closing day of NGC NAAA National Junior Track and Field Championships, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, yesterday.

Farinha was the only runner to clock under 21 seconds and the World Junior qualifying standard (21.20) in the 200m dash, with a 20,68 effort. His teammate Holland Cabara (20.68) and Alpha Athletics’ Micah Ballantyne (21.74) claimed silver and gold, respectively, but both were unable to secure qualifying standards for either the World Junior Championship in Athletics or the CAC Junior.

Meanwhile, favourite in Under-20 javelin, Shakeil Waithe won the event as expected with a 66.03m throw, ahead of Adrian Williams of St Kitts and Nevis (61.76m).

The Rebirth athlete, however, could not meet the World Junior standard (68.50m), but was well ahead of the 58m CAC Junior qualifying standard.

In a (2.5s) wind assisted finish, Zakiya Denoon, Kayelle Clarke and Aaliyah Telesford, turned up to take gold, silver and bronze, respectively, in the girls’ Under-20 200m final.

Denoon also doubled up from her 100m exploits a day prior, where the won in a World Junior qualifying time of 11.41 seconds. Telesford and Clarke also claimed World Juniors qualifying times a day prior with second and third placed finishes in the 100m final.


The Cayman Islands is set to send its largest ever delegation to the Commonwealth Games after naming 28 athletes to represent them at Glasgow 2014.

The announcement was made by the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee (CIOC) today, which added that the athletes will compete in seven sports at the Games - athletics, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, shooting, squash and swimming.

"This is the largest team that we have ever sent to a Commonwealth Games, in more sports than ever represented and we're extremely excited to support our athletes who have worked so hard to get here," said CIOC President Donald McLean.

The athletes include many familiar names on the national and international scene, including 2012 Olympian Kemar Hyman, national record holderin both the 100 and 200 metres.

Hurdler Ronald Forbes will also make his way to Scotland in July alongside up-and-coming boxer Tafari Ebanks and swimmer Brett Fraser.

The Cayman Islands recorded its best ever result at a Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 when Cydonie Mothersill-Stephens won the nation's first ever gold medal, in the 200 metres.

The medal was one of just two won by the British overseas territory, following a bronze at Manchester in 2002, claimed by Kareem Streete-Thompson in the long jump.

The delegation travelling to Glasgow for this year's Games, which is due to begin on July 23, is led by a 10-strong athletics team, with swimming and squash also being heavily represented with six members apiece.
To see the full Cayman Island squad for Glasgow 2014, click here.


This country has not lauded and rewarded Lincoln “Tiger” Phillips for the superb work he did as technical director for football at the T&T Football Association (TTFA) in getting the Soca Warriors to FIFA World Cup Germany back in 2006. That’s the view of Valentino Singh, sports editor of the T&T Guardian. He made the comment at Thursday’s launch of the Phillips books titled Rising Above and Beyond the Crossbar: The Life of Lincoln “Tiger” Phillips held at the Century Ballroom, Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain. Phillips served as technical director for football for seven years.


Singh said, “It seemed to me that everything Lincoln Phillips touched had an element of magic to it. Did it occur to you that the only time T&T qualified for the football World Cup final, Lincoln Phillips was technical director for football in T&T? You know, that escapes us simply because in all the celebrations Lincoln did what he is accustomed doing: sat in the background. He did what he had to do (while) everybody celebrated. Another person probably would have gone out there and made a lot of noise. What about me!? Everybody was collecting money left, right and centre. Lincoln never got himself involved in that. A modest man! A humble man! A man that knows how to laugh…how to enjoy life! “Lincoln is truly a legendary sportsman, but I want to assure you that what you will find in the pages of Rising Above and Beyond The Crossbar is not merely about sport. It is about a man who was blessed with a certain amount of talent and he utilised it in a meaningful way not only to establish himself as a man of valour. Lincoln transformed the mind set of an entire university with one GCE pass; found himself at Howard University, a school that didn’t understand the importance of sport, (and) was able to take people who were intellectually way ahead of what he was and got them to understand the value of sport. Today, Howard University, I think, is one of the most recognised universities in America because of the good work Lincoln did in getting them to understand that sport is in itself a tool for social development.”


Phillips, during his feature address told the gathering of sporting legends and lovers they should not be fooled into believing that his rise to success was due to his singular efforts. “Yes! I have been very successful, but if anybody feel they can be successful in life and do it by themselves, then that person is a fool. I am not a fool. I was successful mainly because of my family. My wife (Linda) has been with me for 49 years. She has given me four beautiful, wonderful young men. My eldest son, Sheldon–I’m so proud of him–is now secretary of the TTFA. Two of them played professional soccer. My grand-daughter turned to me one day and said ‘grandpa, you are the best! My seven-year-old grandson came up stairs with stripes on his chest and said ‘I am a tiger’. So my success in life is because of my family,” Phillips said. “I don’t like clichés, but there is one I have to use over and over. What happens in life depends on your attitude. Your attitude determines your altitude. I believe in it. I allowed myself to be taught by people who knew and I want to bring this back to T&T. I want more coaches to humble themselves sometimes and open their minds. Coaches (and) administrators, open your minds.”


Ruebin Walters, Shakeil Waithe and Jonathan Farinha are among the athletes who will be on show at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain this weekend, at the NAAA National Junior Track and Field Championships.
Walters is fifth on the 2014 world junior performance list in the men’s 110 metres hurdles with a 13.57 seconds clocking. And in the 400m hurdles, he is 18th at 51.46. Walters is listed for both events at Junior Champs, and will be using the meet as a warm-up for the July 22-27 World Junior Championships, in Eugene, Oregon, USA.
Waithe, the reigning Carifta Games boys’ under-20 javelin champion, is seventh on the 2014 world junior list with a 72.15 metres effort. He throws tomorrow at the Crawford Stadium.
Farinha also has a top-10 global ranking. He is joint-eighth on the men’s 100m list at 10.27 seconds. And in the 200m, the 18-year-old sprinter is 11th at 20.72. Farinha is tipped to complete the sprint double this weekend.
The highest-ranked T&T junior athlete this season, Florida-based Simplex quartermiler Machel Cedenio is not home for the Championships.
Cedenio will compete at the June 21 and 22 NGC/Sagicor Open Championships. Cedenio is the 2014 world junior leader in the men’s 400m at 45.23 seconds which is a T&T under-20 record.
Aaliyah Telesford is listed for both girls’ under-20 sprints at Junior Champs. Telesford is joint-17th on the global 100m list with an 11.49 seconds run. Action at the Crawford Stadium gets going at 9 a.m., today and tomorrow.


TRINIDAD AND Tobago’s female sprinter Semoy Hackett will be back on the track from May 1 next year (2015) after serving a two year and four-month ban from the International Association of Athletic Administration (IAAF) in February.


The Louisiana State University athlete was slapped with the ban following two positive tests for the stimulant methylhexaneamine in 2012 and a year later in 2013.


The first positive test came at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCA) Division 1 Championship and was followed by another during the Sagicor National Track and Field Championship at the Hasely Crawford Stadium a few months later.


A release from the local governing body for athletics- the National Association of Athletic Administration (NAAA) yesterday states that a settlement was reached among the lawyers of the IAAF and Hackett, in consultation with the legal counsel of the NAAA in February.


The release stated that as a result of a confidentiality provision that details of the agreement among the parties were not released and will not be released.


However the NAAAs added that because of ongoing queries and in light of the public interest that it would release the key details of the settlement- which indicate that Hackett’s ban was for two years and four months, ending on April 30. This means that the stocky sprinter will be allowed back on the tracks from May 1.


Meanwhile the local governing body which is headed by ex-national runner Ephraim Serrette did not make mention of actions taken, if any, to another female TT sprinter Kelly Ann Baptiste.


Often people think sports and they think “fun” or “anything goes” but the sports and sports medicine industry is a business like any other industry and in T&T is not an easy one to manoeuvre within, much like any other industry here. Many young graduates return home with visions and dreams to do their part to make things better here, only to find themselves either changing careers or searching for any opportunity to leave.

Most people would have heard the story about the two shoe salesmen. Two shoe salesmen from competing companies were sent to a foreign country to assess the market potential for selling shoes there. They both did their research and came up with the same conclusion: nobody there wore shoes. Both went to the same telegraph company with the same assessment except the message of shoe salesman one said that there was no opportunity because no one in the country wore shoes while the other sent that it was a fantastic opportunity because no one in the country wore shoes.

Isn’t this what life is usually about? Perspective! When two authorities on a topic disagree on a point it is often about perspective and what influences that perspective. In the story of the two salesmen, the conclusions arrived at by each salesman was based on their strengths and their ability to deliver successfully within the given environment.

On a blog I came across, I read one man’s account of the rest of the story. Apparently salesman number one returned home and went on to build a successful business in ladies dress shoes in a new marketing territory that included another first-world country, France. He became extremely wealthy and lived a secure and comfortable life.

Salesman two set up shop in the foreign country in pursuit of his vision. He projected sales of 15,000 in his first year of business but was disappointed to realize less than 100 sales. The project was in jeopardy. Payroll cuts were made, threats of abandonment made by home office, the general atmosphere in the company was anxious and depressed, etc. By all standards, the first year appeared to be a failure.

Wait! The story goes on. During that first year, salesman two, being the type of entrepreneur-minded individual he was, spent the year monitoring the market’s behavior—some things that he had missed when he first researched the market.

He learnt that many liked the “idea” of shoes but found them to be claustrophobic and did not like having to constantly stop to empty the sand from them. So, he started to bring in sandals. Another segment of his market had no interest in wearing shoes and rather enjoyed being bare-footed. However, they would often cut their feet on rocks and debris. So, salesman two found a lotion made by a German firm that would toughen up the soles of the feet. In an area completely unrelated to feet, he started to bring in straw hats and walking sticks for this population that spent many hours in the hot days, walking.

Year two he broke even. Year 3 was a little better again. The hats were a hit, he could not keep enough of the lotion in stock and he had developed a niche market for his shoes. It wasn’t until seven years later that salesman two became a millionaire.

In T&T, the same scenario seems to play out all the time in the sports industry. New generations of professionals, energetic and eager return home only to realize how differently things operate here from the world they trained in and how unreceptive it is. Feelings of frustration and despondence step in quickly. They become misunderstood and accused of being pompous when they come with only good intentions. Still, this is the real world. School does not prepare you for this part.

To be adaptable does not mean you have to lower your standards but it does mean humbling yourself to understand your new environment. There is a lot of trial and error involved which is why alliances are important but it is possible to gradually develop a niche. Like salesman two, diversifying may be necessary which brings new opportunities for learning but embrace such challenges and as best you can and never stop believing in the change you can make.

Often the young graduate says, “I need to unlearn everything I learned in school,” but this is not the answer. It is more about building on that knowledge and applying it appropriately, like salesman two did. He did not give up, he just remained diligent.


A two-year project to renovate and rebuild the headquarters of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) has been announced today, meaning that employees will have to vacate the premises on a temporary basis.

Workers are due to move out of the office in the Frankfurt Otto-Fleck-lane site on June 18, and move into temporary premises six kilometres away on the road to Neu-Isenburg, five days later.

House One, where DOSB officials are based, will be completely rebuilt, while House Two, where other sporting federations and institutions are housed, will be partially renovated.

The news was announced by the DOSB following an Executive Board meeting today, the last such meeting to be held at the headquarters before renovation begins.

DOSB director general Michael Vesper claimed the work is necessary because the office is comparable with a "dinosaur" and "in no way longer meet the requirements of a modern, functional and prestigious office building".

Alfons Hörmann, who replaced Thomas Bach as DOSB President last December, added "the decision for the new building is also a long-term decision for Frankfurt", while vice-president Hans-Peter Krämer claimed they "want to make the headquarters fit for the future".

Krämer explained that the project, muted since 2011, is now confirmed, and that this is possible only due to the financial support provided from the city of Frankfurt and the federal state of Hesse, for which they are "very grateful".

The project will be monitored by regular meetings of a specially convened DOSB Planning Committee, and it is hoped the renovated building will be fully open for use by 2016.

Following the release of a new logo earlier this month, the decision to develop new headquarters marks the latest stage of a modernisation process currently ongoing within the DOSB.


Michael Johnson Performance have continued their expansion into the football market ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Ivory Coast national football team have announced that they will base themselves at the world renowned Michael Johnson Performance Centre in Dallas before they head to Brazil.

The squad, which includes world stars Didier Drogba, Gervinho, Yaya and Kolo Toure face Colombia, Greece and Japan in Group C, will be using the world class Michael Johnson Performance facilities prior to their friendly against El Salvador at the Toyota Stadium in Dallas.

This follows the launch of Michael Johnson Performance at St. George’s Park in the UK in partnership with Perform at England’s National Football Centre.

Founder and former Olympic and World Champion, Michael Johnson, commented; “We are delighted to welcome Ivory Coast to Michael Johnson Performance for their World Cup preparation.

“It is a significant step into the football industry for MJP and continues to cement our position within the market.

“The pre season preparation programme has been very well received in the UK and I am personally looking forward to coming to the UK and coaching some of the sessions in June.”

MJP is known widely in the US as the destination for NFL athletes for off-season training and conditioning and recently launched its UK HQ at St George’s Park, in an attempt to bring its outstanding facilities and coaching expertise to football.

The UK Pre-Season programme will create bespoke training for athletes including a focus on speed, injury prevention, nutrition analysis and support, massage and physiotherapy, mental skills training and more.

MJP, founded by the former World and Olympic champion Michael Johnson, operates training centres and trains athletes around the world, including some of the world’s most recognisable elite, professional, and Olympic athletes and teams.

Former athletes that have been through the MJP experience include, Detriot Lions’ Ndamukong Suh, Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner, Baltimore Ravens’ Michael Oher and 400m World Champion Jehue Gordon.


In some vital aspects, sport in T&T remains very much in the dark ages, in particular, in respect to concepts such as long-term athlete development (LTAD), sport science, good governance, sports law, sports marketing and sport management.
Since 1997 the TTOC has hosted numerous workshops and seminars in an effort to build capacity within NSOs. UWI and UTT cannot be faulted. Dunning-Kruger, however, remains pronounced. However, there is a silver lining behind the dark cloud. As there is a growing band of young men and women who have studied and qualified in sport science technologies or sport management. Practitioners don’t have it easy as they find themselves between the proverbial rock and hard place—pioneers and therefore a bit ahead of their time.
Asking these young and passionate newcomers to volunteer their time and effort in a labour of love is a bit harsh. But unfortunately it is the reality of the situation. The perception may be somewhat different. But that is just what it is—perception, not reality. No national team can survive, far less, thrive in the international crucible without legal and ethical sport science interventions. It is impossible to get on to the podium without the use of sports science and all its branches. It is also difficult to raise participation levels and retention rates without a LTAD approach to sport development.In the modern world of sport, sportsmen and women are given individual programmes and daily computerised data on their training performances, the attention to detail ensures that every move is now monitored and analysed.
National teams adopt the GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking device. Worn in training vests, the GPS tracker enables sports scientists to give an individual rundown of each athlete’s performance following training. Heart-rate monitors, ice baths, vitamin D beds, deep-freeze refrigeration technology, eye coaches, Tai Chi.
There are gravity-free treadmills and underwater treadmills. World class sportsmen and women now include yoga as part of their fitness routine. Computerised analysis of opponents is the new norm rather than the exception to the rule. Many of our NSOs are populated by traditionalists who refuse to adapt their thinking to the modern realities of grassroots and elite level sport and as a result continue to place our athletes—elite, age grade and developing in situations where they can only fail. They live in the past—their thinking and methods locked in backward time travel, in an age where Facebook, the Internet and GPS are now part of everyday conversations in sport. NSOs must embrace the modern realities and challenges. Instead of beating a steady path to the Ministry of Sport and Sport Company begging for a hand out as if money is the panacea. The responsibility of regulating, administrating, managing, marketing and developing a particular sport is the purview of national and international governing bodies. Through the process of affiliation with international bodies NSOs are granted the exclusive right to run their respective sport. NSOs must remember they are membership bodies and not public authorities.
Addressing the problems, solving the issues and meeting the challenges head on cannot be delegated. Sport leaders must lead. Sport leaders must innovate, create and inspire. Lead from the front. Don’t pass the buck. In the absence of vibrant, dynamic well organised NSOs, it can be argued there is no need for a Ministry of Sport or Sport Company. There is an evolution taking place in 21st century T&T. It is exciting. T&T Sport can be a legitimate and authentic contributor to this evolution. But NSOs cannot solve modern problems with caveman tools.


In some vital aspects, sport in T&T remains very much in the dark ages, in particular, in respect to concepts such as long-term athlete development (LTAD), sport science, good governance, sports law, sports marketing and sport management.
Since 1997 the TTOC has hosted numerous workshops and seminars in an effort to build capacity within NSOs. UWI and UTT cannot be faulted. Dunning-Kruger, however, remains pronounced. However, there is a silver lining behind the dark cloud. As there is a growing band of young men and women who have studied and qualified in sport science technologies or sport management. Practitioners don’t have it easy as they find themselves between the proverbial rock and hard place—pioneers and therefore a bit ahead of their time.
Asking these young and passionate newcomers to volunteer their time and effort in a labour of love is a bit harsh. But unfortunately it is the reality of the situation. The perception may be somewhat different. But that is just what it is—perception, not reality. No national team can survive, far less, thrive in the international crucible without legal and ethical sport science interventions. It is impossible to get on to the podium without the use of sports science and all its branches. It is also difficult to raise participation levels and retention rates without a LTAD approach to sport development.In the modern world of sport, sportsmen and women are given individual programmes and daily computerised data on their training performances, the attention to detail ensures that every move is now monitored and analysed.
National teams adopt the GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking device. Worn in training vests, the GPS tracker enables sports scientists to give an individual rundown of each athlete’s performance following training. Heart-rate monitors, ice baths, vitamin D beds, deep-freeze refrigeration technology, eye coaches, Tai Chi.
There are gravity-free treadmills and underwater treadmills. World class sportsmen and women now include yoga as part of their fitness routine. Computerised analysis of opponents is the new norm rather than the exception to the rule. Many of our NSOs are populated by traditionalists who refuse to adapt their thinking to the modern realities of grassroots and elite level sport and as a result continue to place our athletes—elite, age grade and developing in situations where they can only fail. They live in the past—their thinking and methods locked in backward time travel, in an age where Facebook, the Internet and GPS are now part of everyday conversations in sport. NSOs must embrace the modern realities and challenges. Instead of beating a steady path to the Ministry of Sport and Sport Company begging for a hand out as if money is the panacea. The responsibility of regulating, administrating, managing, marketing and developing a particular sport is the purview of national and international governing bodies. Through the process of affiliation with international bodies NSOs are granted the exclusive right to run their respective sport. NSOs must remember they are membership bodies and not public authorities.
Addressing the problems, solving the issues and meeting the challenges head on cannot be delegated. Sport leaders must lead. Sport leaders must innovate, create and inspire. Lead from the front. Don’t pass the buck. In the absence of vibrant, dynamic well organised NSOs, it can be argued there is no need for a Ministry of Sport or Sport Company. There is an evolution taking place in 21st century T&T. It is exciting. T&T Sport can be a legitimate and authentic contributor to this evolution. But NSOs cannot solve modern problems with caveman tools.


The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee( TTOC) will  develop a good governance code for National Sport Organizations and Governing bodies affiliated to the national Olympic Committee.
The TTOC  with the support of Olympic Solidarity host annually between  4 to 6 sport administration courses.  
The objective is to build the sport administration ,sport management and sport governance capacity within national sport organizations.
The development of a good governance code for sport is the natural next step.
Good governance within sport organizations is an absolute necessity  and critical success factor if sport in Trinidad and Tobago is to achieve sustainable growth and development and fulfill its potential.
The TTOC in this regard will be proactive in facilitating the development and acceptance of a good governance code for national sport organizations.

HSBC World Sevens Series champions New Zealand have named an 18 man initial squad for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow with 3 Super Rugby players included and the experience Cama returns

Sir Gordon Tietjens has rewarded Crusaders backline utility Adam Whitelock with a spot in his initial sevens squad for the Commonwealth Games.

Tietjens has named an 18 man squad which includes Super Rugby players Kurt Baker and Pita Ahki.

Whitelock was called up for the last two legs of the just completed world series and Sir Gordon Tietjens believes he has more to show.

"Adams been at two tournaments and expressed real interest in sevens and certainly performed when he needed to over the season as well."

Meanwhile, veteran duo Tomasi Cama and Lote Raikabula have been re-called after missing the last two legs of the world series.

Tietjens says their experience becomes invaluable at a tournament like this.

He says going to a Commonwealth Games it's very hard to take new players and Cama and Raikabula are too good to look past when in form.

Six players will be dropped before the team heads to Glasgow in July.


Women claim bronze medal

T&T’s national women’s 4x100m celebrated this country’s first ever medal at the IAAF World Relay Championship, when the foursome, anchored by Kai Selvon clocked 42.66 seconds to claim bronze, in Nassau, Bahamas, on Saturday.

The bronze medal-winning women, which also included Kamaria Durant, Michelle-Lee Ahye and Reyare Thomas, finished behind the United States (41.88) and Jamaica (42.28). T&T moved into the final after finishing second in the opening heat, and third overall with a season-best 42.59, behind the US (42.29).

T&T bowed out of both the women’s 4x200 and 4x800m final after failing to complete either.

T&T claimed bronze in the 4x400m in a time of 2:58.34, a new national record. First was the USA with 2:57.25. Third was Bahamas with a time of 2:57.59.

T&T claimed silver in the men’s 4x100m relay edging Great Britain into third place in a time of 38.04, a season best. Jamaica won the event with a time of 37.77.

The T&T team 4x100 team included Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Rondel Sorillo and Richard Thompson.

Speaking after the final, both Ahye and Durant said they were pleased at the result. “(It) Felt really good for the whole team. (I’m) really happy that we were able to get a medal, especially since it was the first for Trinidad and Tobago. Also, I thought the competition was tough and we had to run our hearts out,” said Ahye.

Durant said it was important for T&T to get a medal since it was the first ever World Relay Championship.

“First time medalling for Trinidad and Tobago, so really excited about that,” she said, adding, “(I) thought the track was really fast and the competition on the whole was very exciting.”

Unfortunately, T&T’s 4x400m women: Shawna Fermin, Domonique Williams, Romona Modeste and Alena Brooks, failed to make it past the heats. T&T (3:30.91) finished fourth behind Nigeria (3:27.07), Brazil (3:30.37) and Italy (3:30.67) in Heat One, and ninth overall.

T&T’s men’s 4x400m team, comprising Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon (two of four runners in T&T’s bronze medal team at the 2012 Olympics), Renny Quow and Machel Cedenio eased into last night’s final after placing second (3:01.06) in the heat, behind a star-studded Olympic champion team, the Bahamas, which set the Championship record in 3:00.30.

Bahamas ran with all four runners, Chris Brown, Michael Mathieu, Demetrius Pinder and Ramon Miller, who led the country to glory in 2012. Overall, T&T finished third in the heats, behind Great Britain (3:00.74). T&T lined up in lane five in the final.

The highlight of the inaugural World Relays on Saturday, was Jamaica’s 4x200m which smashed the world record with a gold medal run in 1:18.63. Anchored by multiple Olympic medialist Yohan Blake, the Jamaicans led a Caribbean-strong final, which saw St Kitts finish runner-up in 1:20.51, and Barbados fourth in 1:21.88. France took third in 1:20.66.


Trinidad and Tobago produced a sizzling run in the men’s 4x400 metres final, at the IAAF World Relays, here in Nassau, Bahamas, late yesterday.

Lalonde Gordon, Renny Quow, Machel Cedenio and Jarrin Solomon captured bronze at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, establishing a new national record in the process--two minutes, 58.34 seconds.

Gordon put T&T in pole position with a strong leadoff leg. Quow was impressive too, and when Cedenio got the baton he was second, marginally behind Bahamas’ Chris Brown.

Solomon also received the baton second, but LaShawn Merritt was right on his shoulder. The American moved past the T&T anchor with about 150 metres to go.

The urgings of a 15,000-strong crowd were not enough to propel Bahamian Michael Mathieu over the line ahead of Merritt, the world champion overhauling his fellow-anchor to hand United States gold in 2:57.25. Bahamas clocked 2:57.59 to take silver.

After press time, last night, T&T hunted precious metal in the men’s 4x100m event.

Running in heat one in the qualifying round, Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Rondel Sorrillo and Richard "Torpedo" Thompson combined for a 38.09 seconds clocking—good enough for second spot and an automatic berth in last night’s championship race.

Great Britain finished first in heat one in 37.93.

Jamaica went into the final as the fastest qualifiers, the northern Caribbean team clocking 37.71 seconds. Great Britain and T&T were second and third fastest, respectively.

In the women’s 4x400m “B” final, Shawna Fermin, Alena Brooks, Magnolia Howell and Romona Modeste produced a 3:33.21 effort to finish fourth.

Australia emerged victorious in 3:31.01, forcing Bahamas (3:31.71) to settle for the runner-up spot. Canada (3:32.58) finished third.

In the “A” final, the Americans grabbed gold in 3:21.73, while silver went to Jamaica (3:23.26) and bronze to Nigeria (3:23.41).

T&T were non-finishers in the women’s 4x200m and 4x800m events.

In the 4x2, the first exchange, between Michelle-Lee Ahye and Reyare Thomas, was never completed, and Kai Selvon and Kamaria Durant were left stranded.

United States (1:29.45), Great Britain (1:29.61) and Jamaica (1:30.04) earned gold, silver and bronze, respectively.

Jessica James ran the opening leg for T&T in the 4x800m, and at the end of her two laps she trailed the field.

Fermin was charged with second leg duties, but was unable to complete her assignment. Her injury did not seem serious, but the discomfort was sufficient for Fermin to abort her run.

Neither Brooks nor Modeste got the opportunity to break a sweat.

United States were golden in the event in 8:01.58. Kenya clocked 8:04.28 to secure silver, while bronze was bagged by the Russians in 8:08.19.


Kamaria Durant, Michelle-Lee Ahye, Reyare Thomas and Kai Selvon re-wrote the history books at the Thomas Robinson National Stadium here in Nassau, Bahamas, on Saturday night. They teamed up for the first-ever global medal from a Trinidad and Tobago women’s relay team, and also became the country’s first podium finishers at the inaugural IAAF World Relays.

The T&T quartet completed their lap of the track in 42.66 seconds, edging Nigeria (42.67) into fourth spot. The Americans, anchored by Lekeisha Lawson, claimed gold in 41.88, while silver went to Jamaica in 42.28.

Durant, the newest member of the team, ran the leadoff leg for T&T. “It was exciting being in a final,” Durant told the Express, “and being with these girls. I don’t even know what to say because I know these girls have been in it longer than me and I know they’ve been longing for it. Just to be with them is an achievement. I’m very happy.”

Ahye was superb on the back straight, the in-form sprinter setting up T&T’s push for precious metal. “Yes, the door has officially opened,” Ahye declared after the race. “Look out for us more in finals and on the podium.”

The experienced Thomas ran the third leg for T&T, handing the baton to Selvon. Thomas was a relieved woman on Saturday night. “It has been years the women tried to mount the podium, so this was a great opportunity.”

Selvon, who outduelled Nigeria anchor Francesca Okwara in a keen battle for bronze, was also thrilled to be part of a victory ceremony at a global championship. “We’ve been working at it for a long time. We’re just happy to see we pulled through this time and we executed. We’re proud of one another.”


THE HASELY Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo will be the stage for Trinidad and Tobago’s clash with  Barbados, in a Men's 2014 15-a-side North America and Caribbean Rugby Association(NACRA) Championship encounter.
Trinidad and Tobago,  the reigning South division champions, will go into battle with Barbados at 4 pm.
Last year, the Calypso Warriors lost 26-18 to USA South in the NACRA final played  at Fatima College Ground, Mucurapo Road.
Trinidad & Tobago last won the NACRA 15s Rugby Championship in 2008. They are the reigning NACRA 7s champions.
Curtis Nero,  Manager of the Trinidad and Tobago team, said that the local players are hard in training and  determined to get past Barbados .
Adam Frederick, the TT captain, said that the home advantage will play a big part  and urges the public to come out and support the Calypso Warriors.
Trinidad and Tobago team - Adam Frederick (captain), John Hill, Mark Griffith, Felician Guerra, Aaron Rocke, Trizene Mc Lean, Kareem Figaro, Jamal Clark, Shaquille Tull, Gordon Dalgliesh, Rowell Gordon, Wayne Kelly, Jonathan O’Connor, Jamal Frank, Aasan Lewis, Agboola Silverthorn, Anton Celestine, James Phillip, Anthony Lopez, Keishon Walker, David Gokool, Joseph Quashie, Daryl Scott, Andre Cabrera, Justin Mc Lean, Anderson Joseph.
The  NACRA championships is divided into two competitions and four divisions, with a relegation/promotion system play-off integrated as well.
The two competitions are the Championship League and the Cup League. The Championship League consists of two three team divisions with Bermuda, Cayman and the USA South making up the North, while Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago are in the South division.  Teams play a round robin schedule during May and June with the top team from each division playing June 28th to determine NACRA supremacy.

THE HASELY Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo will be the stage for Trinidad and Tobago’s clash with  Barbados, in a Men's 2014 15-a-side North America and Caribbean Rugby Association(NACRA) Championship encounter.
Trinidad and Tobago,  the reigning South division champions, will go into battle with Barbados at 4 pm.
Last year, the Calypso Warriors lost 26-18 to USA South in the NACRA final played  at Fatima College Ground, Mucurapo Road.
Trinidad & Tobago last won the NACRA 15s Rugby Championship in 2008. They are the reigning NACRA 7s champions.
Curtis Nero,  Manager of the Trinidad and Tobago team, said that the local players are hard in training and  determined to get past Barbados .
Adam Frederick, the TT captain, said that the home advantage will play a big part  and urges the public to come out and support the Calypso Warriors.
Trinidad and Tobago team - Adam Frederick (captain), John Hill, Mark Griffith, Felician Guerra, Aaron Rocke, Trizene Mc Lean, Kareem Figaro, Jamal Clark, Shaquille Tull, Gordon Dalgliesh, Rowell Gordon, Wayne Kelly, Jonathan O’Connor, Jamal Frank, Aasan Lewis, Agboola Silverthorn, Anton Celestine, James Phillip, Anthony Lopez, Keishon Walker, David Gokool, Joseph Quashie, Daryl Scott, Andre Cabrera, Justin Mc Lean, Anderson Joseph.
The  NACRA championships is divided into two competitions and four divisions, with a relegation/promotion system play-off integrated as well.
The two competitions are the Championship League and the Cup League. The Championship League consists of two three team divisions with Bermuda, Cayman and the USA South making up the North, while Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago are in the South division.  Teams play a round robin schedule during May and June with the top team from each division playing June 28th to determine NACRA supremacy.

Baku 2015 today announced Procter & Gamble (P&G) as its first sponsor for the inaugural European Games.

The company will back the first ever Games in a deal which will see Baku 2015 promoted via P&G products across Azerbaijan.

"We would like to welcome Procter & Gamble as the first official partner of the European Games," said Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sports and chief executive of Baku 2015.

"I am sure with their support we can help promote the Games across the whole of Azerbaijan."

The deal is a coup for Baku 2015 as P&G, an American multinational consumer goods company whose headquarters are in Cincinnati, are also a TOP Olympic sponsor.

Its "Thank You, Mom" campaign for London 2012 and Sochi 2014 was widely hailed as a great success.

The deal was announced on the eve of a meeting of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Executive Committee here tomorrow, which is due to be followed by the EOC Seminar on Thursday and Friday (May 23 and 24) when Baku 2015 are due to make a presentation to the 49 National Olympic Committees who will compete in the Games.

Taygun Gunay, director of P&G Azerbaijan, said: "P&G is very proud of the partnership with Baku 2015 and considers this as a natural continuation of its successful on-going cooperation with the International Olympic Committee and Azeri National Olympic Committee.

"The agreement that we sign today demonstrates the united purposes of the Baku 2015 European Games - to improve life through sport – and of P&G to touch and improve people's lives.

"P&G will support the Baku 2015 European Games through its world-class brand-building capability and retail customer relationships in virtually every retail outlet in Azerbaijan.

"We see high potential in the Azerbaijan market.

"We plan to continue investing in this market and bring benefits to the local community."

It is estimated that P&G products, including Ariel, Duracell, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Olay, Vicks and Wella, serve nearly five billion people around the world.

"Procter & Gamble have a long-standing history of supporting major international sports events and we are delighted to be welcoming them on board as our first official partner," said Charlie Wijeratna, the Baku 2015 commercial director,

"As a company, they understand the importance of using the power of sport to help change lives for the better and that is why they are a perfect partner for the first ever European Games."


Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee has stated that the matter involving the outstanding payments due to the 13 2006 World Cup players is very much on the front burner for his administration.

Speaking on Monday, Tim Kee emphasised the need for the matter to be put to rest, adding however that the TTFA was not in possession of the necessary funds at this time. “I wish to categorically state that this matter is still very much on the front burner. As a matter of fact, if we had the funds now, these players would get their monies today or tomorrow,” Tim Kee stated.

He added that the timing of the release by the players was questionable with the country set to play two of its biggest international matches in some time and collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism to promote the country in Buenos Aires with the launch of supporters charter for the game at the Estadio Monumental on June 4.

“Perhaps there is the belief that the TTFA will acquire a large sum of funds from this game which is not true. Argentina will not pay a large sum of money to a country like Trinidad and Tobago. Instead it would have to be the reverse but we were quite willing to accept the invitation to play them as they will cover our expenses in Argentina in terms of accommodation and so on and the same goes for the Iran game,” he explained.

“What we may benefit from is the charter being arranged with the  Ministry of Tourism which will see fans purchasing packages from which money will go back into the TTFA for development.

“Even so, it’s not a huge amount. But rest assured that while we are still short of funds, that all efforts are being made to acquire the funding to pay the players. And you will recall that when I came into office that was one of the very first things we did last year which was making a payment of around ten million. We have some outstanding amount for them which we are seeking at this point in time,” Tim Kee added.


Steve Waithe captured the men’s triple jump title, at the Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships, in Indiana, USA, on the weekend. The Pennsylvania State University student jumped 15.85 metres.

Waithe also competed in the men’s long jump, the Trinidad and Tobago athlete finishing fourth with a 7.32m leap.

University of Iowa senior, Carissa Leacock was fifth in the women’s long jump (6.09m) and 12th in the triple jump (12.00m).

Last Thursday, at the USATF (USA Track & Field) New York Twilight Series Meet, Lalonde Gordon clocked 20.47 seconds to win the men’s 200 metres event. Another T&T athlete, Andre Marcano was sixth in 21.91.

Marcano emerged victorious in the men’s 100m final in 10.38 seconds. Adrian Crichlow got home in 10.60 to finish fifth. Gordon was third fastest in the preliminaries in 10.62, but opted out of the final.

At the Summit League Outdoor Championships, in North Dakota, on the weekend, Deborah John grabbed gold in the women’s 100m hurdles in 13.75 seconds. The North Dakota State University student had clocked 13.67 in the qualifying round.

In the 100m final, John got to the line in 12.45 seconds to finish sixth. Her preliminary round time was 12.14.

Deandra Daniel seized silver in the women’s high jump, at the ECAC/IC4A Outdoor Championships, in New Jersey. The Coppin State University sophomore cleared 1.82m. Another T&T athlete, Morgan State University’s Jeanelle Ovid went over the bar at 1.68m to finish 13th.

Haysean Cowie-Clarke was 14th overall in the men’s 100m dash in 10.85 seconds. His Coppin State teammate, Mark London returned a time of one minute, 51.03 seconds for 18th spot in the men’s 800m.

And Morgan State’s Emmanuel Stewart was 27th in the men’s javelin (57.76m) and 28th in the discus (38.95m).

Kai Selvon bagged women’s 100m bronze at the American Track League meet, in Georgia, the T&T sprinter getting home in 11.48 seconds. Geronne Black (11.85) was 11th overall.

At the Conference USA Outdoor Championships, in Texas, Robert Collingwood threw a personal best 18.23m to finish third in the men’s shot put. His twin brother and University of Southern Mississippi teammate, Richard Collingwood was fourth with a 16.45m effort.

Richard threw 47.41m to finish 11th in the discus.

Florida International University (FIU) sprinter, T’Keyah Dumoy was ninth in the women’s 200m (24.33) and 19th in the 100m (11.93). And in the women’s triple jump, University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) junior Aeisha McDavid finished 26th with a 10.85m effort.

Emmanuel Callender was fifth in the Georgia Tech Invitational men’s 100m final in 10.50 seconds. He had produced a 10.40 run in his qualifying heat. In the 200m, Callender (21.48) was 14th fastest.

Ade Alleyne-Forte finished eighth in the men’s 400m in 47.14 seconds, while Pilar McShine clocked 4:30.53 for 10th spot in the women’s 1500m.

And at the Shanghai Diamond League meeting, in China, on Sunday, T&T’s Mikel Thomas was eighth in the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.64 seconds.


This Saturday Trinidad & Tobago Senior Men’s National 15s Team will start their defence of its 15-a-side Caribbean Championship Title against Barbados at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, with a kick off time of 4:00 p.m.  Trinidad & Tobago, who relinquished this title some years ago, is eager to successfully defend its Title and show dominance over the Caribbean Islands.

The always calm Team Manager, Curtis Nero says that the Team is hard at training and is quite confident of victory over the ever improving Bajans.  The Team will be captained by veteran Adam Frederick, who has stated that his team knows what is required to defeat the Bajans.  He also reiterated that the home advantage will play a big part in his Team’s success and urges the public to come out and grant that support.

The Trinidad & Tobago Team will take twelve players from the Team that defeated the Bajans in 2013 and as such it is felt that we are well equipped to deal with anything the Bajans may throw at us.

The Team is listed as follows:
John Hill
Mark Griffith
Felician Guerra
Aaron Rocke
Trizene Mc Lean
Kareem Figaro
Jamal Clark
Shaquille Tull
Gordon Dalgliesh
Rowell Gordon
Wayne Kelly
Adam Frederick (Captain)
Jonathan O’Connor
Jamal Frank
Aasan Lewis
Agboola Silverthorn
Anton Celestine
James Phillip
Anthony Lopez
Keishon Walker
David Gokool
Joseph Quashie
Daryl Scott
Andre Cabera
Justin Mc Lean
Anderson Joseph

During the bpTT/Michael Johnson Performance (MJP)/Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) high performance workshop held last week at Olympic House. Lance Walker, MJP’s global performance director of MJP expressed the point of view that the much talked about T&T carnival mentality is a blessing that can be used to drive, develop and maintain a high performance culture and mind set.

As set out in the Olympic Charter one of the many roles of the TTOC is to encourage the development of high performance sport as well as sport for all- as such High performance is a priority for the TTOC and significant effort and investment has been made to develop the TTOC High performance programme.

Whenever a discussion is taking place in respect of high performance sport there are many views and opinions about the status of high performance sport in T&T.

At last week’s workshop, which was attended by 30 coaches all of whom were involved in some form or fashion with the high performance end of local sport, there was in-depth discussion around the question of is there a high performance culture and mind-set within national sport organisations?

There is an obvious need for ongoing attention. Most of the coaches present felt they still had much learning to undergo.

The onus is on the TTOC to live up to its role and mandate and encourage the development of high performance sport.

Moving off the high performance topic there are some disturbing trends developing in the world of sport especially around major sport events.

Sport around the world is facing serious and potentially damaging risks to the credibility and integrity of sport.

This increasing risk is further exacerbated by the failure of sport leaders to come to grips with the reality and balance that is needed when sport is used as a political tool.

The old rhetoric that sport and politics shouldn’t mix is just that old. Sport is now perceived as an important political tool and driver of policy.

Many world sport leaders openly court governments and politicians and even though the IOC and FIFA to name two international sport governing bodies have within their statues rules that appear to protect the autonomy of sport.

In recent years there has been an exponential growth in the public and political profile of sport. An expanded social agenda has seen the use of sport as a tool to address social inequality, crime and conflict.

The power of sport to make a positive difference and the relevance of the values of sport has been shown to have a significant and transformative impact. The social agenda and the perceived legacy benefits encourage major cities and countries to invest not just funding but emotion and policy objectives.

But it has come at a price that sport leaders worldwide don’t seem to have considered or contemplated.

Cue Brazil and the fraught build up to the FIFA World Cup. The IOC has cause for serious concern in respect of Rio 2016.

Trinidad and Tobago sport leaders are well advised to take heed—when your neighbour house on fire wet yours.

When facilitating the use of sport as a political tool sport leaders must be mindful that motives and values aren’t always shared or common. Is sport the means or the end?

There are consequences for those who fail to ensure that the best interest of their sport is the priority. It is important that there be a strategy and a risk management process in place.


The national team scheduled to compete at the inaugural IAAF World Relay in Bahamas was announced yesterday by the National Association of Athletics Administration (NAAA).

The World Relays will get underway from May 24-25 and will see athletes from this country compete in the Men’s 4x100m and 4x400m events as well as the Women’s 4x100, 4x200, 4x400m and 4x800m races.

This country’s best shot at a medal is undoubtedly the Men’s 4x100m team which earned bronze medal at the London Olympics in 2012. Making up the team is two-time Olympics relay silver medallists Richard Thompson and Marc Burns, Keston Bledman, Darren Brown and Rondel Sorrillo.

The national team will arrive in Bahamas on May 22 and will be managed by veteran Dexter Voison. The TT manager yesterday explained that the athletes were selected on availability and form. He also expressed confidence in the contingent especially the Men’s 4x100m team.

“TT has a history in recent years in medalling at major meets specifically the Men’s 4x100 and men 4x400 teams The Men 4x100m team was upgraded to silver in the 2012 Olympics...and our quarter-milers have showed some good form with Lalonde Gordon, Renny Quow and young Machel Cedenio doing well,” Voison said.

TT World Relays contingent

MEN’S 4x100 - Keston Bledman, Richard Thompson, Marc Burns, Darrel Brown, Rondell Sorrillo.

MEN’S 4x400 - Lalonde Gordon, Renny Quow, Machel Cedenio, Jereem Richards, Jarrin Solomon, Zwede Hewitt.

WOMEN’S 4x100 - Michelle-Lee Ahye, Kai Selvon, Kamaria Durant, Geronne Black, Aaliyah Telesford, Reyare Thomas.

WOMEN’S 4x400 - Shawna Fermin, Alena Brooks, Domonique Williams, Romona Modeste, Jessica James, Magnolia Howell.

WOMEN’S 4x200 - Michelle-Lee Ahye, Kai Selvon, Kamaria Durant, Geronne Black, Aaliyah Telesford, Reyare Thomas.

WOMEN’S 4x800 - Shawna Fermin, Alena Brooks, Domonique Williams, Romona Modeste, Jessica James, Magnolia Howell.


Tomorrow (Saturday 17th May) the Trinidad and Tobago Commonwealth Games Association(TTCGA) will hold the last of three  fitness tests conducted for athletes and team sports seeking selection for the 2014  Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

The testing will be held at the Jean Pierre Indoor Court from 8am .

The TTOC is overseeing its High Performance  fitness criteria with the help of the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) High Performance Unit.

Participants in team sports have a compulsory fitness standard to meet.

The team sports qualified for Glasgow are netball, rugby sevens and hockey (both men and women).

In two months time The Glasgow Games will get underway ( July 23-August 3).

Trinidad and Tobago’s(TTO) best ever Commonwealth Games medal haul is nine, at the 1966 edition in Kingston, Jamaica.

There is exercising and then there is training. There are workouts that help you make progress towards your fitness goals, and then there are practices that are artfully designed take you to the mental and physical limits of what you believe you are capable of and beyond. These practices, that few are willing to do, through the process of destroying you, create champions.

For most young people Saturday morning is an opportunity to sleep off a hangover from the night before but in the sport of swimming Saturday mornings have a special connotation. They are the “coup de grace” so to speak, intended to finish you off after you are already exhausted from putting in at least nine two hour swimming sessions, plus three weight room sessions that week. There is never any doubt about it, Saturday morning practices will make you earn your weekends!

After a meditative early morning drive on the quiet roads of Ann Arbor I arrive at the University of Michigan Swimming Pool where I am practising with the Club Wolverine Elite Swim Team, coached by my longtime US coach Mike Bottom and Mark Hill.

After entering the facility, I proceed down a long corridor lined with the swim caps of all the team’s past Olympians on the wall of heroes, towards a sign that reads “It’s not every 4 years it’s every day”.

I duck into the locker room and change into my cold damp swimsuit that has not yet dried properly from the night before, I grab my goggles and cap, fill my water bottle and walk out, ready for whatever awaits me.

We are starting to gather at the far end of the swimming pool, nervously speculating about what awaits us as we limber up, foam roll and progressing through some active stretching on our own. I am surrounded by Olympians, NCAA Champions and inspired, talented pro and college swimmers coming up through the ranks.

Our world-renowned coaches, Mike Bottom, Mark Hill and Dr. Josh White come out from their offices onto the deck and hand out colorful sheets of paper with the workouts printed on them. We huddle for a minute, almost in disbelief as we synthesise the cryptic looking sheet of distances and times in front of us.

“The Pain Train is coming!”, we joke as we reconcile ourselves to our fate. With our coaches we discuss what we are doing, the few personal twists on things, what the focal points are and how they will make us better. Then without hesitation we dive in. Bring it on!

In swimming we dedicate a few practices every week to forcing our bodies to adapt so that they may better tolerate lactic acid, allowing us to finish our races without fading, and to keep our technique when our nervous system is fried. I am from a school of swimming in which we colour code levels of intensity based on heart range and the energy system used which designates the colour purple to this type of training.

I imagine it as a deep purple. To be honest we are afraid of purple, because this type of training requires the highest level of intensity, repeating swims at or close to race pace, racing each other, with limited rest and breathing, which painfully forces your muscles to seize up, setting your lungs on fire, physically prohibiting you from moving properly, giving you a headache, fading vision, nausea and vomiting. It literally begins to kill you.

These physical aspects are only part of the challenge. Firstly this set cultivates a certain type of courage that enables a person to push themselves to their limit, knowing full well, the physical hell that awaits them there as their body begins to fail.

Secondly this type of training requires a great degree of mental fortitude in order to keep one’s composure, and execute race strategy, maintaining proper technique, thus defying the body’s basic instinctual life preserving urges to breath and stop.

After an initially slow warm up of technique work, kicking, repeats of 50m underwater, we progress to some speed work. Being Saturday morning with a week of good hard work behind me it takes me a bit longer to get going, eventually just at the end of the warm up I am through the soreness and feel capable of what lies ahead. I slide and glide down the pool with a perfectly balanced rhythm, visualising in my mind the few technical errors that I intend to correct.

Without hesitation we divide up into heats and match up for races. With coaches eyes and video cameras on us we aggressively dive into it; 65m at 100m race pace (100m in swimming is comparable to 400m in track), feeling big, light loose, connected and fast I accelerate into the tun and blast out of it, pulling up at at 65m. 23.9 for that 50 I am told, solid but I can be faster.

I cruise down the rest of the lap gasping for air and listening to my heart pound  like a bass drum in my ears. I reach the wall just in time to make the interval before blasting off again for a 50m at the my pace for the 2nd 50 of the 100m. After the initial few adrenalin fuelled strokes I settle into a rhythm, one that if I can keep, will keep me.

Half way down the lap, at 25m my lungs are now burning, my legs are becoming exponentially heavy, my mind screams “air” and I yell back “faster” pushing that urge down and pulling to the surface of my mind the technical aspects that I must juggle; my rotation, my left arms tendency to enter slightly inwards, I lift my kick, and correct my head position.

At 35m, with 15m to go I consciously make an effort to keep my eyes open and stay in the moment, one stroke at a time in this desperate rush. Glancing over I can see that I am ahead, “a little further, all the way”. At this point my arms are becoming weak and a wobble presents itself, old desperate tendencies begin to show.

It is only my awareness of them now that allows me to consciously seek to counteract them and hold my form. Head down into the finish. 25.4 I am told, unable to speak I just nod, and push off in a rush to get to the 25m mark for one final 25m into the wall.

Fighting to take control of my breath I force a deep inhale, and a hold, resisting the urge to breathe out immediately, thus allowing the oxygen time to diffuse into my blood. In doing so I take control of my frantic heart and steel myself for one more surge. I arrive at the 25m mark on the 56 seconds to a cacophony of cheering coaches and teammates and blast out of there like a bat out of hell as the clock strikes 60 seconds. From the get go my mind is overwhelmed by desperation.

This is the where the familiar physiological battle to retain composure truly takes place. Ignoring the rival in the lane next to me, my failing muscles, fatigue, burning lungs and stomach I go through a mental technique checklist as my subconscious begins to take over. Faster and faster I somehow manage to literally will myself into the wall and almost have no recollection of the last 10m except for short term fleeting memories of terrible pain.

Its over, I gasp and choke in relief on the wall as I struggle to keep my head above water. Its a few more seconds before I recognise where I am again and the terrible urge to vomit welling up from inside of me.  Three more rounds, “#gobigorstayhome” I tell myself as I begin to warm down in preparation.


Caribbean champs off to flying start in ‘Worlds’ qualifier

TRINIDAD and Tobago recovered from a sluggish start to trounce Haiti in Cuba yesterday in the opening Group Q match in the third round of NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) qualifying for the Women’s World Volleyball Championships.

After losing the first set 25-17, the five-time Caribbean champions roared back to prevail 25-3, 25-9, 25-12. Led for the first time in a few years by Kelly Billingy, a fixture on the national team for over a decade, the T&T girls will oppose Curacao at 3 p.m. today and conclude the round-robin phase of the competition against hosts and favourite Cuba at 5 p.m. tomorrow.

The top two teams will clash the following day for a place in the World Championships in Italy in September and the Cubans and T&T, winners of the last four editions of the Caribbean Championships, are expected to be in this showdown.

However the runner-up as well as as the second-placed teams in the other four groups in the third round of NORCECA qualifying will square off for another place from June 2-9 in Trinidad. This country’s men have also reached the third round of qualifying and will be competing against Costa Rica, Panama and hosts Canada from tomorrow for a place in the World Championships in Poland from the end of August.

The second-placed team from this and the other three groups will also get another opportunity to advance as they are scheduled to do battle in either Mexico or Puerto Rico for the final NORCECA spot. No team from the English-speaking Caribbean has ever qualified for the World Championships.