FORMER TRINIDAD and Tobago defender Brent Sancho is calling for greater support for the national women’s team, as they prepare for their 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualification CONCACAF-CONMEBOL playoff against Ecuador, on November 8 (in Ecuador) and December 2 (in TT).

The winner of the two-leg playoff will progress to the Women’s World Cup in Canada.

Trinidad and Tobago failed to gain automatic qualification on Sunday, when they fell to a 4-2 defeat, in extra-time, by Mexico in the third-place playoff of the CONCACAF Women’s Championships at the PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, United States.

According to Sancho, in a telephone interview yesterday, “I think, first and foremost, we failed these women, with the preparation that they had, not just the (US) $500 fiasco but even before that. I think we failed them miserably, in terms of making sure that everything was in place for their preparation to be successful.

“I think it’s imperative that we, not just the governing body but also Government and corporate Trinidad and Tobago give priority to these bunch of girls (for them to qualify) to the World Cup by making sure that we give them every single thing needed to assist with their qualification,” he added. “I don’t think we should leave any stone unturned to make sure that we put all that we need to be put in place, and we don’t spare any expense.”

Sancho was a member of the “Soca Warriors” team, under the guidance of Dutch coach Leo Beenhakker, that qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

But the national women squad, dubbed the Soca Princesses, will have to play the first leg of the playoff at altitude in Quito, Ecuador.

Asked about the altitude factor, Sancho replied, “from my experience playing the sport, it’s always a difficult proposition for any team. I’ve seen World Champions and all struggle to play at altitude. Our CONCACAF neighbours Mexico have consistently used it to their advantage.”

He continued, “scientifically, there are procedures that are available to at least give yourself a fighting chance when it comes to altitude. I think that is the realm that we need to go down.”

TT women coach Randy Waldrum was unable to maintain consistency in the starting line-up, as injuries took its toll, with midfielders Tasha St Louis, Karyn Forbes, Ayanna Russell and Janine Francois all spending time on the treatment table.

Sancho, currently the managing director of local club Central FC, noted, “I feel that we can’t leave any stone unturned. I know for a fact there are many players that have Trinidad parentage that play in the US, and here as well. I think we really need to go out there and scratch the surface, and see if we can get players that are of the calibre that could give us that added impetus to push the team forward.”

He added, “when you look at the adversity that this team had throughout the campaign, not just the off-the-field fiasco but the injuries, we need to go out there and probably the players that are within our reach, we need to get them here and make sure they are part of the programme.

“We need to get a pool of players ready, fit and available, to make sure that qualification is our number one goal,” he ended.

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Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis has called for an urgent review of The Ministry of Sport's Elite  Athlete Assistance Programme (EAAP) policy guidelines. Lewis believes if the review isn't conducted Trinidad and Tobago's  Rio 2016 Olympic medal prospects will be compromised.
According to the national Olympic chief the issue of national teams and support for team sport athletes seeking to qualify for Rio 2016 Olympic Games is another area that requires discussion.
Recently the TTOC had seven applications for Elite Athlete Assistance rejected by the Ministry of Sport on the basis that the applications don't meet the EAAP policy guidelines.
Some of the athletes are in the  4 x 100 and 4 x 400 men and women relay pool.
'We can't adopt the attitude that the athlete don't  meet the guidelines and shut the door in our athletes' faces. Athletes who are part of the relay pool and those with the potential to win medals are placed at a disadvantaged. The policy guidelines should be reviewed. " said Lewis.

National judo competitor Christopher George won two senior male titles when Judo T&T (JudoTT) held its annual National Judo Championship at the Chinese Association in St Ann’s, on Saturday.

All the country’s top judokas converged in St Ann’s to compete and test their skills at the country’s most exciting and important event on the local judo circuit.

George, 30, of Queen’s Park Judo Club won the senior male over 90kg category and the open category, steamrolling the opposition. George is set to represent T&T at the Central American and Caribbean Games next month.

Also claiming titles on the day were Kai Sammy, Suraya Ali, Giovanni Lopez, Luke Walker, Gabriella Wood, Adrian Aquan and Jelanie Boyce.

RESULTS

Senior Male Over 90 Kg
1 Christopher George – Queens Park Judo Club
2 Kendell Padarath – Queens Park Judo Club
3 Kerwyn Carrabon – Southern Warrors Mixed Martial Arts

Senior Open Male
1 Christopher George – Queens Park Judo Club
2 Jelanie Boyce – Culb Judo Inc
3 Kendell Padarath – Queen’s Park Judo Club
3 Thomas Teufel – Queen’s Park Judo Club

Infantile 1
1 Kai Sammy – Queen’s Park Judo Club
2 Aidan Greaves – Maria Regina
3 Nicholas Siu Butt – Dunross Prep
4 Nicholas Lai – Maria Regina

Infantile 2
1 Suraya Ali – Queen’s Park Judo Club
2 Jeillon Jackman – Queen’s Park Judo Club

Intermediate 1 Male
1 Giovanni Lopez – Holistic Primary
2 Joshua Ahwai – Queen’s Park Judo Club
3 Adam Siu Butt – Dunross Prep
4 John Nahous – Dunross Prep

Juvenile Male
1 Luke Walker – Queen’s Park Judo Club
2 Brandon Lakhan – Culb Judo Inc
3 Christian Victor – Arima Judo Club
4 Aswad Harvey – Queen’s Royal College

Senior Female Open
1 Gabriella Wood – St Joseph’s Convent
2 Christie Modeste – Queen’s Park Judo Club

Senior Male Up To 73 Kg
1 Adrian Aquan – Queen’s Park Judo Club
2 Jason Sieunarine – Queen’s Park Judo Club
3 Omar Smith – Rough House

Senior Male Up To 90 Kg
1 Jelanie Boyce – Culb Judo Inc
2 Devon Brito – Queen’s Park Judo Club
3 Thomas Teufel – Queen’s Park Judo Club
3 Robert De Gannes – Queen’s Park Judo Club

Judo Spirit Award
Joshua Ahwai
Queen’s Park Judo Club

Ippon Trophy
Luke Walker
Queen’s Park Judo Club

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A TRIO of cyclists - Kwesi Browne, Quincy Alexander and Jude Codrington, will represent Trinidad and Tobago at the first leg of the 2014-2015 UCI (International Cycling Union) World Cup series in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The first leg series will be contested on November 8 and 9.

According to a media release from the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation (TTCF), “this World Cup, which acts as the second of ten Olympic qualification events, will see Trinidad and Tobago represented by a strong three-man team who will participate in the events of Keirin, Sprint and Team Sprint.”

Desmond Dickie will serve as coach of the team, while Joel Browne has been appointed as the manager and Kevin Tinto will be the team’s mechanic.

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The IOC was saddened to hear the news that South African Olympian and  former world 800-metre champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi has died at the age of just 34.

"Our sympathies go to his family and friends, and to the whole sports family of the rainbow nation of South Africa. Mbulaeni Mulaudzi was a true Olympian and a fine athlete. A World Champion, he always showed huge commitment to his craft," said the President of the IOC, Thomas Bach. "He proudly represented his new nation around the world, and at home his successes inspired a new generation of young people to take up sport. He will be missed by the Olympic family."

Mulaudzi, who was killed in a car crash on his way to a Johannesburg athletics meeting, was South Africa's flag bearer at the opening ceremony at the 2004 Athens Olympics, where he won silver.

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