October 15 - Brazil are fielding one of their strongest contingencies ever for the Pan American Games, which opened here last night, as a direct reflection of the country's Ministry of Sports development plan to turn them into a leading sporting power by the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

A total of 522 Brazilian athletes are participating in the Pan American Games this month which is more than any other country, including the United States.

Of those athletes, 38 per cent have at some point received financial support from the Ministry of Sports Athlete Scholarship programme meaning that the Brazilian Government has invested over $4 million (£2.3 million/€2.8 million) into the athletes participating here.

Brazil will be looking to better their third place finish at the last Pan American Games in Rio in 2007 with Minister of Sports Orlando Silva saying that the country not only wants to become a major sporting power by the 2016 Olympics but remain one after the Games.

"Although the work we're doing to improve our athletic programme will come to fruition and be seen around the world at the 2016 Games, our plan will have an impact far beyond 2016," said Silva.

"By putting in these initiatives and working on improving our programme like we never have before, we see Brazil developing into one of the world's premier sports programs for the long term."

A key part of the plan is the Athlete Scholarship programme which was set up in 2005 and is now the largest financial support programme for individual sports in the world.

In total, the programme has seen the Federal Government assist nearly 14,000 Brazilian sportsmen and women by directly investing $224 million (£142 million/€161 million) into the project.

Key examples of the success of the programme have seen Athlete Scholarship recipient Fabiana Beltrame (pictured), the rower who will compete in the Pan American Games, take gold for Brazil in September at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled in Slovenia in the single scull event.

In June of this year, Beltrame also won a stage of the rowing World Cup to become the first Brazilian athlete in history to do so.

Further success from the rowing star and her compatriots here would see Brazil achieve an important part of their long-term goal in the build-up to 2016.

"This is not a Government plan, but rather a state policy, along the lines of those built in the areas of health and education, which were formulated after taking into consideration the demands of the society and soliciting the direct input of the involved parties," added Silva.

-Tom degun

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

altThe President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge arrived last night to Guadalajara, and this morning, he visited the facilities of the International Broadcast Center (IBC) as well as the Main Press Center (MPC) located at the Expo Guadalajara.
Jacques Rogge, who since 2001 is the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), arrived to the capital of Jalisco to attend tonight's opening ceremony of the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara 2011 at the Omnilife Stadium.
During his visit to the facilities where the main operations center of the journalists who cover the Pan American Games is located, the President of the IOC was accompanied by Don Mario Vazquez Raña, President of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO), as well as Carlos Andrade Garin, director of the Pan American Games Guadalajara 2011 Organizing Committee.
In a press conference, Jacques Rogge mentioned that so far he hasn't had the chance to visit other venues of the Pan American Games but he expressed his trust in the organization.
When speaking of the host city's designation of the Olympic Games in 2020 he declared "I don't like to talk about candidate cities before receiving the information. Those nominations come with experience in world sports but I have to wait on technical information to give an opinion. We are happy with every candidacy, they are fine," expressed Jacques Rogge.
When speaking about his stay in Mexico, he mentioned "Mexico has been a friend country that has always supported every Olympic movement. I always have good memories of Mexico because I competed in the 1968 Olympic Games," declared the Director from Belgium who also competed as an olympic athlete, in Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976 in Sailing.

Source: www.witensports.com

altOctober 13 - Guadalajara have declared that they are still ready to host the 2011 Pan American Games on schedule despite the tail end of Hurricane Jova battering Mexico's Pacific Coast and producing heavy rain around some of the key sporting venues that will be used for the competition.

The 2011 Pan American Games are due to begin tomorrow with over 6,000 athletes from 41 nations set to compete across 36 sports but the vicious storm - which has already killed four people - means that portions of the Opening Ceremony at the 50,000 capacity Omnilife Stadium may have to be shortened.

The heavy rain on Mexico's West Coast has caused flooding in some parts and might also delay training sessions for triathlon, sailing and beach volleyball, all three of which will be held in the beach resort of Puerto Vallarta.

It is a problem that organisers certainly didn't need after their race against time to get all the venues complete for what is the second biggest multisport event on the planet behind the Olympics.

altSuch were the delays in constructions to the venues that the Telmex Athletics Stadium (pictured), which will host the track and field competitions, was only completed at the beginning of this week.

And further fears have emerged for athletes competing at the event with the news that the illegal steroid clenbuterol could be found in Mexico's meat supply.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has issued a statement advising athletes travelling to Mexico to "exercise extreme caution with regards to what they eat and where they eat".

The advice came in the same statement in which WADA announced it had withdrawn its appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) regarding a decision not to sanction five Mexican footballers who tested positive for clenbuterol earlier this year.

Mexican football authorities said they believed the players ate meat contaminated with the banned drug, and WADA has now accepted that research "indicates a serious health problem in Mexico with regards to meat contaminated with clenbuterol".

Carlos Andrade Garin, director of Guadalajara 2011, offered assurances that the food available in the athletes at Games venues would be free of the steroid.

"It is meat that is 100 per cent reliable," he said.

"We know where it has come from and we have no doubts.

"The meat has been analysed and is being watched by police to avoid any chance of contamination."

In addition, Guadalajara city officials have offered assurances regarding the city's restaurants.

The Organising Committee have also promised that security is a top priority for the competition.

altThey are pumping $10 million (£6.35 million/€7.3 million) into a plan that calls for 10,000 municipal state and federal police, as well as elements from the Mexican army and navy, to patrol Guadalajara's streets 24 hours per day during the Games.

The Games are expected to provide relief from the daily reports of mass killings and kidnappings in Mexico, a country savaged by drug-related violence that has killed more than 35,000 people since late 2006.

The competition could generate a windfall of $2.7 billion (£1.72 billion/€1.97 billion) and attract over one million visitors but much depends on guaranteeing security for Mexico's biggest international event since the 1986 World Cup.

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

By Tom Degun

altSoca Warriors senior team midfielder Kevin Molino is one of five players with senior team experience named in an 18-man Olympic (Under-23) squad by coach Angus Eve which will leave on Saturday to participate in the 16th Pan American Games. The two-week event takes place in Guadalajara, Mexico, from October 14 to 30. T&T received an invitation from the organisers as a replacement for Guatemala which was withdrawn by the country’s Olympic committee for non-compliance with protocol.

Panama and Honduras, which finished behind Guatemala and ahead of T&T in the final rankings of the Concacaf Under-20 Championship in April, declined invitations to fill the vacancy in the eight-team competition, set for October 19-28. T&T is in Group A along with Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay and will face Uruguay in their opening game on October 19 at the Estadio Omnilife.

In addition to the USA-based Molino,  W Connection duo Joevin Jones and Shahdon Winchester as well as Caledonia AIA striker Jamal Gay have all represented the senior national team. The Pan Am Games is expected to serve as ideal preparations for the Caribbean Football Union 2012 Olympic qualifying final round in St Kitts/Nevis involving Cuba and Suriname from November 24 to 28. Eve will be assisted by former national defender Derek King while  Norris Ferguson is the team manager.

T&T squad

Andre Marchan, Zane Coker, Sheldon Bateau, Mekeil Williams, Joevin Jones, Shahdon Winchester, Trevin Caesar, Aquil Selby, Leslie Joel Russell, Jamal Gay, Jayson Joseph, Marcus Joseph, Kevin Molino, Jeromie Williams, Kareem Moses, Kaydion Gabriel, Micah Lewis, Cameron Roget.

Source: www.guardian.co.tt

altT&T senior women’s football team will come up against FIFA World Cup participants Colombia on the  opening day of the soccer competition at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, on October 11.

The match will be played on the artificial surface at the two-year-old, 50,000 capacity Omnilife Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico, home to top Mexican club, Chivas de Guadalajara. Defending women’s champion Brazil, a World Cup semifinalist, opens against Argentina, while Canada will play Costa Rica and Mexico faces Chile.

T&T will also face Mexico and Chile in Group A while Group B consists of Argentina, Brazil, Canada and Costa Rica. The top two teams in each of the four-team groups will advance to the semifinals, on October 25 with the finals (championship and bronze-medal match) two days later. Currently, the T&T squad under coach Richard Hood is in training at both the University of the West Indies Ground, St Augustine (Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays); and Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on Wednesdays from 4 pm.


T&T women’s team in training: Maylee Attin-Johnson, Tiana Bateau, Danielle Blaire, Kennya Cordner, Candace Edwards, Karyn Forbes, Kimika Forbes, Janine Francois, Nadia James, Anastasia Prescott, Tasha St Louis, Arin King, Victoria Swift, Khadidra Debesette, Tamar Watson, Shalette Alexander, Lauryn Hutchinson, Keri Meyers, Dernelle Mascall

Ahkeela Mollon, Rhea Belgrave.

Technical staff: Richard Hood (coach), Vernetta Flanders (manager), Chris Bailey (assistant coach), Glennon Foncette (goalkeeper coach), Claire George (equipment manager), Nicole Kistow (physiotherapist).


Group A: Chile, Colombia, Mexico and T&T

Group B: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica


October 18:

Canada vs Costa Rica, 11 am

Colombia vs T&T, 2 pm

Argentina vs Brazil, 5 pm

Mexico vs Chile, 9 pm

October 20:

Canada vs Argentina, 10 am

Chile vs Colombia, 1 pm

Brazil vs Costa Rica, 5 pm

Mexico vs T&T, 8 pm

October 21:

Brazil vs Canada, 8 pm

October 22:

T&T vs Chile, 10 am

Costa Rica vs Argentina, 1 pm

Mexico vs Colombia, 5 pm

October 25: Semifinals

October 27: Finals and third place playoffs.

Source: www.guardian.co.tt