Trinidad and Tobago track and field legend Ato Boldon is predicting this country’s track and field team, as of June 2, 2021, will leave the 2020 Tokyo Olympics empty-handed.
Boldon, in an interview with Newsday on Wednesday, said it will be a tough outing for the TT team led by two-time Olympic medallist Keshorn Walcott.
TT’s best Olympic showing came at the 2012 London Games. TT copped one gold, one silver and two bronze medals.
Four years later in Rio, Walcott’s bronze in the men’s javelin was TT’s only medal.
“I’ve said it before and I will say it again it is going to be a rough Olympics for us,” Boldon said.
Boldon said if TT athletes find their best form they may be in contention.
“In the last Olympics we got our only medal on the very last day with Keshorn. The javelin (event for us) has gotten better so obviously we have a chance for anybody to step up on the day, but my job is to prognosticate. When I look at my home team, so to speak, it is not a rosy outlook so I am not going to (paint) any other picture other than to say it is going to be a rough Olympics for Team TTO.”
Explaining why he said it will be a challenging Olympics, Boldon said, “We don’t have anybody right now that is a medal contender…that could change like I said, but right now on June 2, 2021 we do not have anybody in any event or a relay that is a medal contender.”
Walcott, who won gold at the 2012 London Games, is ranked 12th in men’s javelin for 2021 with a throw of 82.75 metres.
Men’s 200m runner Jereem Richards is a contender to make a final. Richards, the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, has been competitive of late on the American track and field circuit.
Richards is ranked 15th in the 2021 rankings in the men’s 200m event with a time of 20.20 seconds.
The men’s 4x400m team has had some strong showings of late including a gold medal run at the 2019 World Relays. Richards, Machel Cedenio, Deon Lendore and Asa Guevara are among TT’s leading 400m runners.
Boldon will commentate at his fourth Summer Olympics when the postponed Tokyo Games are held from July 23-August 8. The Olympics were pushed back by one year because of the covid19 pandemic. Last week, Boldon was announced as part of NBC’s commentary team for the Tokyo Games.
A statement by NBC said, “Ato Boldon is NBC Sports Group’s lead track and field analyst, and returns for his sixth NBC Olympics assignment.”
Boldon was part of the NBC broadcast team for the 2008 Beijing Games, 2012 London Games and the 2016 Rio Games. He was also a correspondent for two Winter Olympics.
Boldon earned four medals for TT at the Olympics including two bronze medals in the 100-metre and 200m events at the 1996 Atlanta Games. At the 2000 Sydney Games, Boldon snatched a silver medal in the 100m and a bronze in the 200m.
Despite having three Summer Olympic Games under his belt as a commentator, Boldon said it is always a learning process for him. Boldon told Newsday, “I challenge myself to never get complacent, never rest on my laurels (and) to also make sure I am mentoring people behind me. I have mentored (Olympic medallist) Sanya Richards-Ross who is now in the booth with me and I have mentored other people who have gone on to do broadcasting.”