altBERLIN—T&T’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Jehue Gordon both won their events at the ISTAF Athletics Meeting in Berlin, yesterday while Richard Thompson was third in the men’s 100 metres. Baptiste followed up her bronze medal success at the recent World games in Daegu, South Korea, with a fine run which saw her clocking  11.15, to finish ahead of Jamaicans Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart. Gordon ran a season-best 48.68 seconds to win the 400 metres hurdle with South Africa’s Cornel Fredericks second in 49.18, and German Georg Fleischhauer third in 49.19.  Thompson had to settle for third as World champion Yohan Blake equalled his personal best of 9.82 seconds to set a new 100-metre meet record.

The 21-year-old Jamaican, who clocked the same time at the Weltklasse in Zurich on Thursday, comfortably beat Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis, who finished in 10.01 at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, and Thompson (10.08). “That’s why they call me the beast,” Blake said. “There were some very good guys in this field so it wasn’t easy to win. I pushed myself to run faster. It’s a wonderful feeling to win here. ...Life changed a bit after the world championship.” Michael Frater—who like Blake helped Jamaica set a world-record in the 4x100-metre relay in Daegu, finished fourth. The previous meet record was 9.86 held by Maurice Greene and Asafa Powell. In the women’s 100 metre hurdles, Dawn Harper led an American 1-2-3 when she won in 12.68 seconds, ahead of Kellie Wells and Yvette Lewis. Canada’s Phylicia George finished fourth, ahead of another American, Ginnie Crawford.

Kirani James of Grenada followed up his win in Zurich to win the men’s 400 metres in 45.33 seconds, followed by Nery Brenes of Costa Rica and compatriot Rondell Bartholomew. James said he was tired after competing at Daegu and Zurich in such a short time. “I’m done for this season, I have to go back to school,” the 19-year-old said. Russia’s Anastasiya Kapachinskaya won a slow women’s 400 metres in 50.75 seconds, ahead of Francena McCorory of the US in 50.91 and compatriot Antonina Krivoshapka in 51.27. Kenya’s Augustine Kiprono Choge ran his season’s best to win the men’s 1500 metres in 3 minutes 31.14, ahead of Morocco’s Abdalaati and Iguider and Nixon Kiplimo Chepseba of Kenya. In the women’s 800, Kenya’s Janeth Jepkosgei Busieni finished strongly to win in 1 minute, 58.26 seconds, just ahead of South Africa’s Caster Semenya who finished in 1:58.74. Maggie Vessey of the US was third in 1:59.33.

American Ryan Whiting set a meet record of 21.61 metres to win the men’s shot put, with teammate Reese Hoffa second with 21.47. Poland’s Tomasz Majewski was third with a throw of 21.33. Jesse Williams of the US won the high jump by clearing 2.33 metres. Trevor Barry of the Bahamas was second and Raul Spank of Germany third. Alexandr Menkov of Russia won the long jump with 8.15 meters, ahead of Dwight Phillips of the US who settled for 8.05. Cuba's Wilfredo Martinez was third with 7.82.


National Association of Athletics Administration (NAAA) president Ephraim Serrette does not think Trinidad and Tobago performed poorly at the recent World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

The T&T team returned home earlier this week with a solitary bronze medal, having made finals in just four events. And the sprint men, who are usually the top Trinidad and Tobago performers at the Championships, reached only the 4x100-metre relay final, where they failed to earn a medal.

The lone medal came from Kelly-Ann Baptiste in the women's 100-metre final, a first for T&T's sprint women.

But Serrette called a media conference  yesterday at NAAA headquarters at Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva to deal with the issue, after the NAAA had been "on the receiving end of a number of adverse comments and criticisms from various factions".

"Admittedly, the team that competed at the recently-concluded championships was not as successful as we would have liked," Serrette said.

But the former T&T sprinter saw a number of positives coming from the national squad. He cited Baptiste's first medal in international women's sprints and commended Baptiste for the performance, as well as her "leadership role in the women's 4x100m relay team that only just missed out on bronze".

He pointed to an overall improvement in women's sprints, with Michelle-Lee Ahye and Kai Selvon achieving personal bests in the women's 100m and 200m events.

But just as Minister of Sport Anil Roberts—who was "deeply disappointed" at T&T's Daegu showing—saw a silver lining in the team's results, so does Serrette believe it provides the athletes a chance for introspection.

"In general, the athletes who did not perform as well as we and they themselves would have expected now have a chance to review their training programmes and/or their coaches to make those pertinent adjustments that may be necessary for overall improved performances," he said.

According to Serrette, factors such as the delayed staging of the National Open Championships two weeks before "Worlds" and athlete exemptions will always be blamed for T&T's 2011 performances. But there are other considerations, he reasoned.

Those considerations include the fact that, in 2007, Marc Burns was the only T&T World Championships finalist and that this year's Championships were held on a mountainside venue.

Jamaica and the US also underperformed to their own standards, while Canada, who have more resources than T&T, went without a medal. There was only one Championship record at the meet, Serrette also stated.

Still, the NAAA boss urged athletes to look back at their performances and training programmes and see where they can improve in their preparations for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

"I don't consider it a poor performance. I think the team performed credibly. We now have to go back to the drawing board and as I mentioned, we don't have control over athletes. It's an opportunity for the athletes to look at their programmes and the coaching camp or whatever base they are (at) to make decisions."

The NAAA head also took time to deal with a number of other issues that might have affected the T&T team in South Korea, including Jehue Gordon's registration mix-up and the National  Championships.

Although NAAA secretary Allan Baboolal previously assumed responsibility for the matter, Serrette clarified the nature of the mix-up.

"Jehue's entry was (input) into the system, but he was not showing up as having been entered, or registered," Serrette explained. "When the team arrived in Daegu and this was discovered, efforts were made to rectify the situation as quickly as possible."

He also defended the timing of the National Championships and the rejection of exemption requests from Richard Thompson and other premier athletes, calling that decision "absolutely necessary".

"It allowed us to fulfil our obligations to our various stakeholders, provided a measure of the readiness of the athletes, it facilitated proper team selection and it gave Trinidad and Tobago an opportunity to see its elite athletes compete on home soil."

Serrette pointed to the selection of T&T officials as a further "source of contention", but assured that officials are selected early to ensure "necessary preparations can be made" for travelling T&T teams.

When asked for updates for long-jumper Rhonda Watkins and 400m hurdler Josanne Lucas—a bronze medallist two years ago at "Worlds" in Berlin—Serrette said Lucas is still recovering from injury, but the NAAA have "no information" on Watkins despite reaching out to the athlete.


By: Kern De Freitas

President of the National Association of Athletics Administration of T&T (NAAA) Ephraim Serrette praised those athletes that attained personal best performances, but admitted that the T&T overall team performance was disappointing, in the just concluded World Track and Field championships which took place in Daegu, South Korea. Addressing the media during a press conference hosted by the NAAA at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, Serrette revealed that the T&T team performance was not as successful as one would have liked, but some positive individual performances were noted and may work as a platform for an improved showing at next year’s Olympic Games in London. Serrette praised Kelly Ann Baptiste’s bronze medal in the 100-metre final. It was the first sprints medal for a woman at that level.

He outlined other commendable performances by the two youngest members of the team in Michelle-Lee Ahye who ran a personal best of 11.20 seconds in the 100m and Kai Selvon who also ran a personal best of 22.89 in the 200m. Both were semifinalists in their respective events. Serrette went on to say that, “When we look at the ages of these athletes along with Kelly Ann at 25 and Semoy (Hackett) at 22, we are not just looking at 2012 Olympics, but years beyond.” Asked to comment of the adverse statements regarding the team’s poor showing at the Games Serrette said: “While we believe that as an association we are open to public scrutiny and criticism, we only ask that these comments be fair and constructive.” Serrette went on to say that much has been said about the staging of the National Championships and that it is not necessary to rehash it all.

He, however, outlined the positives from the hosting of the National Championships saying, “We firmly maintain that the holding of the National Championships was absolutely necessary. It allowed us to fulfill our obligations to our various stakeholders, provided a measure of the readiness of the athletes. it facilitated proper team selection, and it gave T&T an opportunity to see its elite athletes compete on home soil.”  Yet, Richard’s (Thompson) performance continues to be the subject of much discussion.
Serrette concluded by saying that: “As our athletes go back to their respective training camps to start preparation for London 2012, the NAAA is looking forward to working closely with the Ministry of Sport and the Sport Company to implement our 2011/2012 operational and development plans. There is a need to create a more rigorous system for our elite athletes’ programme where accountability and reporting is concerned and we shall be discussing these issues with all stakeholders involved.” The NAAA president then thanked the Ministry of Sport and the Sport Company for their work in regard to the installing of a new track at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and the financial support both provided.


altThe sports industry is a very vast and very exciting one. One might never think so if they based it on the way things are done in T&T. However, do not be swayed, for the level of professionalism and infrastructure that exists within the sports industry, if it is done right, is as sound and as established as any other industry. The only significant difference being that it is a relatively young industry. In a nutshell and very simply put, you can take any career or qualification in the “ordinary” or wider world and then add the word “sports” in front of it and find that there is role for it in the sports industry.

For instance: • Sports medicine—Probably the most commonly known area. It includes professions such as rehabilitation and orthopaedics, athletic training, sports psychology and sports nutrition. • Sports business/administration—  Careers in this stem from coaching and refereeing, to positions of athletic director which oversee entire athletic programmes for Universities or high schools. • Sports engineering —It involves the application of technology, scientific principles of physics, math and such to come up with unique designs of sporting goods and equipment, even the electronic games and computerised training devices such as motion analysis. • Sports media—Extends to area of reporting, broadcasting, writing, editing, marketing and public relations.

Other specialty areas will include sports management and finance, sports law, sports statistics, and such.
Each specialty area has its own professional organisation under which that particular industry’s standards adhere to. When deciding on an institute to pursue your studies, it is very important to note whether the institute is accredited by the governing body in the field of choice. Failing that, the degree will carry very limited credibility and/or the individual will be made to take some additional courses recognised by the sanctioning body, prior to being able to sit any exam that will embrace them on a national level. My bachelors is in athletic training but my masters degree is in sports and fitness management with a concentration in athletic administration. People have asked, “What can a person do with a masters degree such as that?”

Admittedly, the answer to that question is relative to the location, environment and cultural setting within which it is asked. In Trinidad, and even worse in Tobago, the opportunities are few and the financial reward is generally mediocre at best. However, in first-world countries, specialists in the field of sports and physical activity have a place. Earnings can range vastly but at least there is structure and something to aim for, whether you are a curator, equipment manager, sports reporter, strength trainer, or an agent. Not to provide false hopes to any readers, should you or your child choose to study something like sports management, particularly at the bachelor’s level in the USA, the chance of acquiring a work permit beyond the one-year optional practical training (OPT) is typically likely to be slim to none.

The safest bet is to either: (1) Get into one of the more scientific fields of sports medicine and/or sports engineering if there are intentions to remain in a first-world country or; (2) Commit to a double major or some other major with a sport specific concentration, such programmes do exist. This will keep your skills more versatile and make you more marketable after studying. The reason for this is that foreign candidates compete with candidates from within the local brain pool, who will always be the first preference and understandably so. Our system here at home is structured the same way. One individual I know, a passionate and extremely talented football player, but whose parents pushed him more in the direction of academia than athletics while growing up, shared a passion in media which was what he decidedly pursued at tertiary level.

Of Ghanaian descent but living in England, he scourged a path that allowed him to make full-circle and come back to his first love, football, creating (but not limited to) commercials that target and appeal heavily to the football market. A true entrepreneur, he has found ways to propel himself in his marketing industry but stay close to sport, fitness and football. Be inspired by such possibilities and realise that as Trinbagonians there is a huge need to build out our sports industry so that that we can begin to truly harvest the natural talent we produce here. There are a few people returning home with the relevant qualifications but there is room for many more. The environment in the local sports industry is not yet where it needs to be and it shows in our performances at competition.


By Asha De Freitas-Moseley

altPermanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs Ashwin Creed has described the failures of Richard Thompson (100m), Renny Quow (400m) and Jehue Gordon (400m Hurdles) at the recent World Track and Field Championships as a cause for concern. However, he added there was enough time for them to rebound ahead of the London Olympics in 2012. “Most of the men’s performances were disappointing but I think it’s a good thing that it happened now, so that there is time for introspection, reflection and reevaluation... Not only for the athletes, but the NAAA as well.” Creed, a former national middle distance runner and coach, asserted that Thompson, who set a national record of 9.85 at the National Championships two weeks ahead of competing in Daegu, had been blighted by the timing of the local event.

“I was very concerned when I saw the first round of the 100m. The athletes came in in the second round and they were all lethargic. What was the reason for that? Was it that the most of them peaked within two weeks of the games? Is it that they left here late and should have been in Daegu with a longer time to adjust to the jet lag? They need to analyse this. It is the responsibility of the NAAA to set their dates to compliment the athletes. Most of the athletes at this level train by what you call microcycles, which on the average last three weeks. Everything is charted on a graph towards peaking at the right time so if you break into that then you break into the cycle.” He also felt that Gordon, who placed fourth at the World Championships as a 17-year-old in 2009, was yet to live up to his early promise.

“He has not been able to replicate the 48.26 he ran in 2009 which means there has been a certain level of regression. He ran 48.92 at the Hampton Games and 48.75 at the National Championships but at the international meets, he is not getting below 49 seconds so something is radically wrong.” Creed added that Cleopatra Borel, who placed 13th in the shot put (17.62m), needed to “revisit of her programme” in order to break the 20m barrier, that 400m semifinalist Quow, a bronze medal winner in 2009, needed to “sit down with his coach and take a look at what is happening” because “you cannot have two bad years in a row” and that 200m finalist Rondell Sorillo should “develop in terms of strength” to compliment his natural ability.
Creed credited sports psychologist Dr Margaret Ottley with helping sprinter Kelly-Ann Baptiste live up to her potential as a world class athlete.

Baptiste was T&T’s only medallist at the Championships, winning a bronze in the Women’s 100m. She began working with Ottley, an associate professor at West Chester University, two years ago after failing to reach the finals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the World Championships in Berlin in 2009. Creed said that the 24-year-old had come into her own under Ottley’s guidance. “Kelly-Ann was an NCAA champion in 2008 and at that time it was expected that she would progress to the higher ranks. After she had challenges with getting to the finals at the major international meets, she went to a new coach and we provided psychological assistance to her through Dr Ottley and a team of sports psychologists because I personally realised that whenever she had to run with the big guns, she always seemed to not perform. I think she’s improved by leaps and bounds and that resulted in her performance at the World Championships.” Creed said he was also impressed with Baptiste as well as women’s 100m semifinalists Semoy Hackett and Michelle Lee Ahye.


By Nicholas Clarke

altDouble Olympic silver medallist Richard Thompson was eighth in the men’s 100m dash at the Weltklasse Diamond League meeting in Zurich yesterday. Thompson clocked a modest 10.23 seconds to finish well behind newly crowned world champion Yohan Blake of Jamaica who roared to personal best of 9.82 seconds. Former world record holder and compatriot Asafa Powell (9.95) was second while Daegu runner up American Walter Dix (10.04) took third. Powell got off to a blistering start and was in front midway into the race but Blake surged past to taking a commanding victory.

Michael Frater of Jamaica (10.06), Daegu bronze medallist Kim Collins of St Kitts/Nevis (10.09), Daegu finalist Jamaican Nesta Carter (10.12) and Norway’s Jaysuma Saidy Ndure (10.20) all got to the line ahead of Thompson. American Trell Kimmons was ninth (10.33). Grenada’s  400m world champion Kirani James notched his third win in row taking the men’s one lap in a new Grenadian record of 44.36 seconds. The 19-year-old whipped Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt of the USA as he did in Daegu. Merritt had to settle for second in 44.67 with Jamaican Jermaine Gonzales in third (45.39). James’ compatriot Rondel Bartholomew was fourth (45.43).

Dayron Robles rebounded from his disqualification in Daegu to take the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.01 seconds. The Olympic champion and world record holder finished ahead of the world champion Jason Richardson of the USA (13.10) with another American David Oliver in third (13.26). Robles crossed the line first at the World Championships was disqualified for impeding his rival Xiang Lui of China.


Men’s 100m
1    Yohan Blake    Jamaica    9.82 (personal best)
2    Asafa Powell    Jamaica    9.95
3    Walter Dix    USA    10.04
4    Michael Frater    Jamaica    10.06
5    Kim Collins    St. Kitts/Nevis    10.09
6    Nesta Carter    Jamaica    10.12
7    Jaysuma Saidy Ndure    Norway    10.20
8    Richard Thompson    T&T    10.23
9    Trell Kimmons    USA    10.33


altT&T’s archery team is now ranked 45th in the world after a brilliant performance in the Copa Costa Rica World Ranking Tournament held in San Jose, Costa Rica, from August 12 to 18. The national team climbed up in ranks after some of the country’s top archers improved their world rankings bringing home ten medals (five gold, three silver, two bronze).According to USA Archery,  “T&T made the strongest showing in the male compound category” at the world ranking event and emerged victorious in the team round, bringing home the gold medal with a 222-208 win over host Costa Rica.

Based on World Archery rankings released on August 31, T&T’s George Vire is now at 78 and fellow teammates Rakesh Sookoo and Hasmath Ali are at 112 and 153, respectively. Junior archer Nikhil Kanhai, who set new national records at the 50m and 30m distances at the tournament, now holds the 129th spot in the men’s recurve division. Women’s recurve archer Nazimine Roopnarine also shot her way up a tremendous 138 places from a position of 427 to 289.


altToday the International Inspiration Young Leaders are marking International Paralympics Day and raising awareness of disability issues in schools across the country, with a demonstration of paralympics sport through blind football and seated volleyball matches at St Joseph’s Secondary from 12 pm. Today also marks the second anniversary of the T&T Paralympics Committee (TTPC) receiving its formal status and international recognition. Hundreds of Young Leaders in schools, including East Mucurapo Secondary and St Joseph’s Secondary, will help to educate youths about paralympics sport and its inspirational power and to raise awareness and understanding in schools and communities about people with disabilities and individual differences.

The London 2012’s vision to change the lives of 20 million children around the globe through the inspirational power of sport are already having a major impact on young people in T&T through International Inspiration. International Inspiration has inspired dozens of local Young Leaders to make a difference in their schools and communities, from taking on the challenge of raising funds for refurbishing derelict basketball and netball courts, to advocating for the right of every child, regardless of physical ability, to have access to PE and sport. Derrick Phillip, Principal of East Mucurapo Secondary School, said: “This programme lets them (disabled people) know they’re good enough. It tells them that regardless of their physical ability, background, income, lifestyle or parental situation, they are capable of greatness.”


T&T field athlete Cleopatra Borel placed fifth in the Women’s Shot Put in her first post-World Championships meet at the Diamong League meet in Weltklasse, Zurich yesterday. Her best throw of 18.92 metres came in the fourth round. Winning was three-time world champion Valarie Adams of New Zealand (20.51), second was Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus with a throw of 20.48 and American Jillian Camarena-Williams (19.64) was third. The trio were the top finishers at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Adams followed by Camarena-Williams and Ostapchuk, respectively.

Borel, in her first appearance at the World Championships finals, placed 13th with a toss of 17.62m. The national record-holder made it into the final round with a throw of 18.95m. At the last Diamond League meet in Aviva London before heading off to Daegu, Borel was fifth with a distance of 18.56m. At the Paris leg on July 8, the 28-year-old established a new national outdoor mark of 19.42m. Today, Richard Thompson will line up in the men’s 100 metres run. In his race the 26-year-old will face reigning  world champion Yohan Blake (Jamaica) and silver and bronze medalists from Daegu, Walter Dix (USA) and Kim Collins (St. Kitts/Nevis). Also in the field is former world record holder Asafa Powell (Jamaica) who is returning from a groin injury which kept him out of the World Champs.

The Beijing Olympic runner up is looking to rebound from his semifinal exit in the men’s 100m in Daegu and the disappointing sixth place finish in the men’s 4x100m relay finals in Daegu. The three time national champion was third in the second semis in 10.20 and did not advance to the grand final.
In the men’s sprint relay finals, Thompson anchored T&T to sixth after third leg runner Aaron Armstrong was impeded by American Darvis Patton. At the 2009 edition in Berlin, Germany, Thompson was fifth in the men’s 100m finals in 9.93 seconds and anchored the national team to silver in a national record of 37.62 seconds. The 2008 NCAA 60/100 champion for Louisiana State University warmed up for Daegu with a national record run of 9.85 seconds and will be seeking to continue on that form. At the last stop of the Diamond League in Crystal Palace men’s dash finals, Thompson was fifth in 10.15 seconds after he ran 10.09 in the heats.


By Clayton Clarke

There will be no more changes to the start of the Digicel Pro League season. This was announced by CEO of the Pro League Dexter Skeene at the official launch of the 2011/2012 season, which was held at the VIP Lounge of the Hasely Crawford Stadium, yesterday. Skeene, along with chairman of the T&T Pro League Larry Romany, and former T&T nationals Sedley Joseph, Selris Figaro and Reynold Carrington were present at the function. After several delays, Match Day One will finally kick off tomorrow with a “Super Friday” double header at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya, beginning at 5 pm with a matchup between DIRECTV North East Stars and Pro League newcomers T&TEC. The match will be followed by Caledonia AIA matching skills with defending champions Defence Force, starting at 7 pm.

In relation to the ongoing state of emergency, which has of late disrupted the participation of Defence Force and Police teams in their respective sporting disciplines, Skeene made it clear that “as far as the league is concerned, the Defence Force and Police will be playing.” Skeene said, “We are making every effort to ensure that the defending champions of the T&T Pro League who put their lives on the line to protect us, that they are protected as well within the Pro League. So even if, in the worst case scenario, we have to put off all of their games, until after the state of emergency, we as the T&T Pro League will do that.”

Skeene also noted changes to the league are in the making. “The league is constantly looking to improve its performance on the field as well as off the field and our objectives this year is to ensure that we become more effective and efficient in terms of the administration side of it and in terms of the fixtures.” A key component of the T&T Pro League, Skeene said is to improve the quality in the atmosphere of the matches along with the increased attendances. As announced at the Pro League Launch, the “Super Friday”, being continued from last term’s fixtures will be improved with added attractions, such as the introduction of a “cooler lime” style for the evening matches.

“Fiesta Saturdays” were also introduced for Saturday matches where attractions such as face painting and bouncy castles for children, as well as give-aways, will be introduced with the intention of attracting more community support. Match Day One action will continue on newly dubbed “Fiesta Saturday” at the Ato Boldon Stadium with another double header. Police will challenge Adam’s Construction San Juan Jabloteh at 4 pm before W Connection take to the pitch against St Ann’s Rangers at 6 pm.


altT&T’s junior badminton team won nine medals (one gold, two silver and six bronze) at the Caribbean Regional Badminton Confederation (CAREBACO) tournament held at the Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, Barbados on the weekend. The seven-player squad comprised Kiran Seenath, Leon Cassie, Naveeta Marajh, Vikash Marajh, Shanika Ramlochan, Xadelle Mohess, Avidesh Marajh and Leon Cassie. Cassie won all four of his games in the Under-11 age-group with his stiffest competition coming from Deron Hurley of Barbados. The match which went to three sets with Cassie prevailing 21–16, 7–21, 21–19.

Other medals were earned by Mohess (silver and bronze), Vikash Marajh (two bronze) and Ramlochan (bronze). The event was also attended by top competitors from Puerto Rico, Suriname, Jamaica, Barbados, and Guyana. CBAC president, Sabrina Cassie, a former outstanding national player, noted that in addition to the central club’s contribution of six medals to the T&T’s bag, one silver and two bronze medals won by other clubs, brought the country’s tally to one gold, two silver and six bronze medals. Sabrina is hopeful that the excellent results by the junior badminton players will help inspire more children across the country to take up the exciting sport.


altTwenty-year-old Njisane Phillip set a new national record in the Flying 200m for the second time this year when he clocked 10.720 seconds to win the event at the National Cycling Championships at the Arima Velodrome on Sunday. Reaching a speed of 67.16 kilometres an hour, he improved on the 10.780 he had timed during the Easter International Grand Prix at the same venue in April. Phillip created the new record during the qualifying stages of the event and was to meet fellow Beacon cyclist Christopher Sellier in the final, though Sellier had to pull out after falling ill. He will get another chance to shine when the Championships continue on Thursday with the Kilometre and Time Trial at the same venue.


Men’s Flying 200m
1 Njisane Phillip
(Beacon CC) – 10.720
2 Christopher Sellier (Beacon CC) – 11.223
3 Haseem Mc Lean (Southclaine CC) – 11.444
4 Azikiwe Kellar
(Testi Cicli) – 11.566
5 Keron Bramble (Rigtech Sonics CC) – 12.023

Men’s Standing 250m – Team Sprint Trials
1 Christopher Sellier (Beacon CC) – 19.018
2 Haseem Mc Lean (Southclaine CC) – 19.782
3 Azikiwe Kellar
(Testi Cicli) – 19.803
4 Jonathan Harding (Knight Riders CC) – 20.153
5 Keron Bramble (Rigtech Sonics CC) – 20.326


PERMANENT Secretary in the Ministry of Sport, Ashwin Creed believes that more work has to be done if Trinidad and Tobago athletes are to medal at the forthcoming Olympic Games in London next year.

His comments came only a day after Sports Minister, Anil Roberts said the spate of poor performances at the World Track and Field Champion in Daegu, South Korea could be a blessing in disguise.

According to Roberts the poor performance will show athletes the areas they need to improve ahead of the Olympic Games. He called on athletes Renny Quow, Jehue Gordon and Richard Thompson to revisit their coaching programmes if they are to improve for the Olympic Games.

“In the World Championships in 2009, Gordon produced a sub 49 second performance and when we were expecting him to better that performance he ran even slower. He needs to sit and evaluate where he is going wrong,” said Creed.

He added, “Same thing could be said about Renny Quow. He is not improving as he should be. This means that there is a problem that he needs to sit with his coach and work out soon.”

The sports administrator also expressed concern about shot-putter Cleopatra Borel-Brown who has been unable to raise her performances at World Championships and Olympic Games.

“Cleopatra has performed well as the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) and the Pan American Games but has found problems making the transition to the big meets.

“Therefore she will have to go back to her programme and see exactly where she has been going wrong,” Creed said.

He commended Rondel Sorillo on qualifying for the final of the 200m where he eventually finish seventh.

“Sorillo did well to make it to the final but he must now sit down and figure out where his mistakes are,” said Creed.

Sprinter Kelly Ann Baptiste who claimed the bronze medal in the women’s 100m was praised by Creed and he felt that she could lead the relay team to a medal at the Olympic Games.


By: Walter Alibey

T&T swimmer still recovering from accident injuries

George Bovell III will not represent Trinidad and Tobago at the 2011Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico next month.

Minister of Sport Anil Roberts, who is also Bovell's coach, said that after discussing the matter with the ace swimmer, he decided to withdraw Bovell from the Games due to his ongoing recovery from head injuries sustained in a car crash last month.

Bovell was heading to Mayaro to go spear-fishing following a training session on August 19 when he lost control of his car. The BMW collided with an oncoming truck, but evasive action saved Bovell from severe injury, although he sustained a concussion and a wound to his forehead.

The 2004 Olympics 200-metre individual medley (IM) bronze medallist has resumed light training, but is still suffering some lingering effects of the accident.

Roberts said his recovery was "a little bit slower than anticipated".

Bovell's stitches have been removed but, according to the Minister, the swimmer's short-term memory and cognitive ability are still slightly affected.

"Seeing that we've already reached September 5," Roberts told the Express yesterday, "we don't have enough time to prepare and go to Pan Am Games and perform credibly, which means to win gold.

"We could go there and make the final and so on. But George is a perfectionist, we discussed it with him, so he will miss the Pan American Games and begin training for (2012) London Olympics one time."

The Pan Am Games have been a happy hunting ground for the six-foot five-inch athlete. In 2003 he returned home from Dominican Republic with four medals--gold in the 200m freestyle and 200m IM, and silver in the 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke events.

Four years later, in Brazil, Bovell bagged "50 free" bronze.

Bovell will re-start serious racing in November and is targeting a number of World Cup and Grand Prix events to kick off his Olympic preparations.

For Roberts, that approach is better than trying to risk an athlete who is "not 100 per cent".

"Some people have seen the car (from the accident) parked up at Sangre Grande Police Station and can't believe that he's alive. We thank God for that; he's healthy, so even though he had to miss this one, that's alright."

Roberts said the swimmer is not happy with having to sit out the Games. He is confident, though, that Bovell will bounce back.

"He is disappointed, because he was looking forward to it. Even on the hospital bed the day of the accident he was telling me he's ready to win gold. He was a little bit upset, but the way George is, he always just shifts the goalposts and sets his goals, so London 2012, here we come."


There was an expectation that our track and field team would return from the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea with at least four medals. In the end, there was only Kelly-Ann Baptiste’s bronze to celebrate. Many were disappointed. It was Rudyard Kipling who said: “The game is more than the player; the ship is more than the crew.” Winning medals is not a given. There is no iron clad guarantee. Ask Usain Bolt. Much must go right for success to be attained. Our athletes did their best but for some arm chair critics that simply was not good enough. Comparisons with Jamaica are fanciful. Jamaica has a century head start on track and field excellence. In many aspects we are not even in the starting blocks when placed next to the reggae boys and girls. In Jamaica, track and field begins in primary schools. Jamaica’s deserved reputation as a sprinting powerhouse is well earned. Physical education is a big thing in their school system with track and field a priority.

Are we serious about sport? Do we deserve the sporting success that we crave? Or is it that we live in misdirected hope? The announcement of this year’s national awards listed deserving accolades for individuals who have worked tirelessly for the nation. But no person involved in sport merited an award of any ilk. There are persons who dedicate their time and energy to sport and by extension the nation every single day of the week for decades. While it may be difficult for some to believe, it is a reflection of sport’s lowly status and hand to mouth existence. What then is the objective basis for the perpetual optimism and high expectations? What are the factors that influence the numbers in respect of medals won or lost? A defined sport pathway begins with our communities and schools having access to sport through to talent identification and providing our high performance athletes with the best possible support. Underpinned and guided by principles of selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability and openness. Each stage requires specific skill sets, focus, objectives and resources. Separate yet interdependent.

With London 2012 less than a year away and 2016 five years away, the need to open up the lines of communication and put aside vested interests and turf wars is urgent. The priority must be to make sure that the chance of success for those most likely to win medals is maximized not compromised. Shouldn’t we look beyond the numbers so that we can address the issues? A lot of assumptions are made about the need to account for public funding of local sport and the perceived failure to perform. But those who make those calls are either blissfully unaware or strangers to the truth. A good beginning would be identifying the basic difference between spending money on sport and investing money.

A critical awareness of the factors and practices which currently shape elite and high performance sports, and an appreciation of the central issues are crucial and indispensable. When things go awry there is always more to the story than meets the eye. There is plenty to ponder as the yellow lights blink. This column has made the point regularly that sport leaders and decision makers must pull in the same direction as anything less will bring great disappointment. There has to be a common aim—consensus not divergence. While sport is in essence playing games, the running of sport is no game. The challenge to all involved is to get their house in order. Think what you will but the podium awaits our elite sportsmen and women, and national teams.


By Brian Lewis

For the last couple of years, the man in charge of the 2011 Rugby World Cup has been preparing the host nation for defeat. "I have been keeping a public debate bubbling along, along the lines of: 'What's more important to us – the All Blacks winning the trophy, or us successfully hosting the tournament?'" says Martin Snedden, a former New Zealand cricketer. "The All Blacks, yes, haven't won it in 24 years, but if we don't win it this time, we'll get another chance in 2015 and 2019 and so on. We'll never get another chance to host the thing."
Fine words. But chances are most New Zealanders stopped listening after "24 years". Not since the last time the Webb Ellis Cup was contested in New Zealand, in the first tournament back in 1987, have the All Blacks triumphed.
And with every World Cup that goes by, 1987 becomes to New Zealand rugby what 1966 is to English football – if anything with more anguish, given the smaller pool of nations at the top level and the inescapable difference that New Zealand typically enters the tournament as one of the most fancied sides, if not the most.
In 2011, with home advantage again, the All Blacks are favourites again, despite losses in the final two games of the Tri-Nations. The first of those defeats, with a weakened side away to South Africa, was tolerated. The second, a 25-20 defeat in Brisbane that handed the trophy to Australia, burned. Yes, the All Blacks came close to pegging back the Wallabies early onslaught, outscoring them by 12 points in the second half. But it was, all the same, a "wake-up call" or a "reality check", in the rasps of the country's lumpen media.
Paradoxically, the national angst might have been greater had the All Blacks won those last two games. Since the Tri-Nations began, in 1996, New Zealand have won the title in every World Cup year. At the very least, as the All Blacks head coach, Graham Henry, was quick to point out, any fears of complacency have been extinguished.
Since 1991, World Cup postmortems have proffered plenty of explanations: disharmony, bad refereeing, too much rotation, too much fancy stuff, more bad refereeing. Many New Zealanders still curse "Suzie", an almost certainly apocryphal South African waitress, for poisoning the team before the 1995 final. But New Zealanders have also wondered, increasingly, whether there is some endemic tendency to choke.
Each exit has also entailed an almighty dirge, a great national sulk – the public "bloodletting" that Snedden hopes to forestall. Could it happen again? In fairness, recriminations were more tempered than many expected after the 2007 defeat, to the extent that Henry could be (bravely) reappointed, but fears for 2011 are such that a national broadsheet newspaper recently saw fit to seek a psychologist's advice on coping mechanisms, and the website captures something of the mood in its sardonic forecast of "a tailspin of depression" at New Zealand's inevitable capitulation. Its way of coping? "Amplify the woe. Fixate on and obsess about our World Cup frailties."
If the World Cup were awarded for volume of coverage, New Zealand would have it sewn up. The tournament will be broadcast on four terrestrial channels as well as satellite TV; the final seven games will air simultaneously on at least five channels. Rugby stories have trespassed into the front parts of newspapers to the extent that news and sports sections are almost indistinguishable. Libya? Forget it, mate, there's a World Cup around the corner.
The lead-up has witnessed a host of rugby-focused exhibitions, a series of lectures on "New Zealand's Rugby World" at the University of Auckland, even a "rugby comedy festival". The TV soap opera, Shortland Street, is planning to record extra scenes to slot into nightly episodes, reflecting the latest results.
The depth of feeling for rugby union in New Zealand is such that a (female) television newsreader can say of the country's relationship with the national sport, and without a hint of irony, "rugby's what we are". As Snedden puts it: "Rugby is part of our DNA." Were it not, he says, such a tiny and distant country would not have a hope of hosting a competition of this scale.
"We do sort of put all our eggs in one basket when it comes to national morale," says Lloyd Jones, author of the rugby novel The Book of Fame and the Booker-shortlisted Mister Pip. "It has a big influence, like the weather, on how we feel about everything."
Why? "I think it's one of the few areas of local expertise that has a legacy. We're bloody good at farming, but there are no Olympics for farming. It's not on any visible stage out there in the world, but rugby is. We're good at it, for various reasons, and the rest of the world has said 'Yes, you're very good at it', and it's kind of confirmed in our minds something that we're not usually that confident about: our ability at something."
In international rugby union, the young colony of New Zealand found a stage to display its increasingly independent sense of itself. The team that travelled to the British Isles in 1905 – the "Originals", the first side to be called the All Blacks – forged a new national identity. They almost went unbeaten: the only loss in a long tour was a controversial one to Wales which amounted, as one historian has put it, to a "major episode in the mythology of New Zealandism", not least because the referee was deemed to have awarded an unjust try.
The two sides of rugby's bind to New Zealand culture and politics are most vividly expressed in its relationship with race, in its inclusion of Polynesian players and embrace of Maori tradition. At its worst, the sport has been a compliant friend of apartheid.
For decades, New Zealand complied with South African demands that no Maori players be included in All Blacks touring parties. The divisions around the tour of 1981 "really tore New Zealand to bits", says Anton Oliver, a former All Black captain. His memory is as sharp as anyone's: his father, Frank, played for the All Blacks in the controversial series.
In 2011, the Maori and Polynesian traditions are as inherent to the All Blacks as the silver fern. Mealamu, Nonu, Weepu – Polynesian names are as commonplace on the All Blacks team sheet as they are on an Auckland school roll. But nothing encapsulates the attitude change quite like the haka. Only a few decades ago the pre-kick-off All Black haka was an awkward, tokenist flap: like a crowd of drunks swatting at flies. The ritual has transmogrified into a visceral, totemic articulation of national pride.
Oliver, who retired from internationals after the 2007 World Cup, and now works in the renewable-energy industry in London, found himself exploring the cultural import of the All Blacks when he was part of a group of players who crafted a new haka, Kapo-o-Pango, in 2005 (yes, the one that ends, or did in its first form, with that throat-slitting gesture).
"What had become the All Black haka didn't really represent us any more; it didn't represent what the All Blacks were about in the new millennium," he says. "So we started to unpick that and think, 'How do we want to express who we are?' We're sort of trapped by the past – in some ways it fortified us, and in some ways it hindered us … We had to re-interrogate the question of legacy and make it work for us, so we weren't weighed down with the burden of all those that had gone before us.
"So when we were asking ourselves about New Zealand now, it was clear: well, it's far browner, it has far more of a Pasifika feel; it's less truly agrarian – it's more urbanised. The All Blacks of the 50s and 60s were basically all white farmers. If you look at the team today, apart from Asians, most New Zealanders are represented in the All Blacks."
Recent decades have seen another dramatic change in New Zealand rugby, and the global game: professionalism. The hastily arranged 1987 tournament was contested between 16 amateur sides. "I think there was still quite a lot of doubt, or conjecture, about how significant the World Cup was," says Richard Boock, a leading New Zealand sports columnist. "There had been quite a lot of opposition to its introduction. A lot of people thought we were wasting out time. Now, it's unanimously accepted as the pinnacle of rugby – bigger than any series."
Chris Laidlaw, an All Blacks scrum-half in the 1960s turned diplomat turned broadcaster, is among the most vocal critics of the professional tide. The cover of his 2010 book Somebody Stole My Game shows a battered leather rugby ball, lying deflated on a bed of banknotes. The "essential spirit" of the game, he wrote, will not survive if "we continue relentlessly down the path to total, soulless professionalism, with the amateur dimension quietly dying in an impoverished ditch".
In an August 2011 lecture, Laidlaw warned the World Cup could exacerbate the divisive trend. "As the high-flying corporate visitors flood into the stadium lounges, boxes and best seats, another nail is driven into the coffin of rugby's, and perhaps this country's, traditional egalitarianism," he said.
That threat is not lost on supporters. Along with the many rugby-related trivialities that have been promoted to the front pages in recent months has been one story that amplified a growing disquiet among New Zealanders. The news that the Adidas official All Blacks shirt was available abroad for half the NZ$220 (£115) price tag at home became a lightning rod for a debate about the commercialisation of New Zealand's national passion.
"The jersey thing was a catalyst," says Boock. "It's brought into sharp relief the fact that the fans are now part of the brand. And it's sort of been a takeover by stealth."
The players, too, have been alert to the risk of professionalism eating the old values, says Oliver. "I think there was a real danger with the onset of professionalism that the fundamentals of playing for the All Blacks would be lost, especially when all of the experienced players who had played in the amateur era had retired and a new type of player, commencing an All Black career entirely within the professional age, took over."
Again, he points to the process of making a new haka. "That self-appraisal and self-examination ... has been crucial in educating that generation about what the black jersey stands for, the legacy that they now belong to, and the expectations that the jersey demands of them. It's been instrumental in the All Blacks' incredible win-loss record over the last eight years under Graham Henry, [and the assistant coaches] Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith. It pushed money and contracts to the background and brought a sense of culture, belonging and ownership of an identity to the foreground."
Still, 24 years: 1987 and all that. In a cruel reverse-alchemy, every time another nation's name is etched into the Webb Ellis Cup, expectation turns into anxiety. And it is a malady opponents are alert to. Alastair Campbell, whose distaste for New Zealand rugby stems from his experience as press chief for the whitewashed 2005 British & Irish Lions, delighted in telling readers of the Sunday Times after the All Blacks' unexpected quarter-final defeat by France in 2007 of a text he had received from an old Lions colleague. "They do the chokey-chokey and it's ooh-la-la, that's what they're all about." Even then, Campbell, when he had finished "rolling around the carpet giggling" was eagerly forecasting "the humiliation of all humiliations, a choke on home territory".
More troubling than the sight of a former spin doctor's schadenfreude, however, is a sense among supporters that their fretfulness is shared by – or radiating to – the players. Against France in 2007, and against Australia in 2003, the All Blacks resorted to "trench warfare", says Boock. "You could actually see them getting anxious and wondering where the next point was going to come from."
But Oliver is bemused at the suggestion that supporters' angst might affect the players. "Well, I didn't feel nervous, so there you go," he says of the 2007 defeat. "We lost for all sorts of reasons that I don't think were to do with nerves. I think that is a projection of mass anxiety that possibly doesn't exist when it comes to the players. All I can say, for myself, is that I didn't feel that. As a player you prepare well, you've done all the training, physically and mentally. You get to the game and you just go on autopilot and you perform. You can unpick the reasons why we didn't win on that day, and I don't think it was because we hadn't won a World Cup. I just don't think we were battle-hardened."
The second World Cup to be played in New Zealand arrives after a remarkable and exhausting year. In November 2010, 29 men were killed in an explosion at the Pike River mine on the South Island's west coast. Three months later, the most severe of a series of earthquakes struck Christchurch, on the opposite coast, killing 181. "The country has taken a hell of a hiding in the last 12 months," says Jones. "We need some good news."
Among its many more severe hardships, Christchurch lost the seven games it had been scheduled to host. The Canterbury region's refurbished stadium, like so much of the city, had been cracked and contorted. "By far the saddest thing thing has happened to us," says Snedden. "We could tell fairly early on that it was massive; instinctively we knew that there wasn't a hope in hell of the Rugby World Cup staying there. The Christchurch preparations had been fantastic ... For those people it was enormously gut-wrenching to lose that."
Twelve of the 30 players in the All Blacks squad come from the Canterbury-based Crusaders, who played this year's Super-15, reaching the final, without a home ground, hosting matches as far afield as Twickenham. The All Blacks captain, Richie McCaw, and vice-captain, Dan Carter – a forward and fly-half every bit as important to New Zealand in 2011 as Martin Johnson and Jonny Wilkinson were to England in 2003 – are based in Christchurch.
There is bound to be an impact on Crusaders players, says Oliver. "Look at what they've gone through this year, what they are still going through – you have to remember some of their homes don't exist any more, or if they do exist then their families, their mums, dads, friends – their houses are stuffed, their kids can't go to school, they're still queuing up for food. All those things, they weigh heavily. They affect your condition."
And what of the All Blacks' home advantage? If New Zealand's World Cup record is a parade of disappointment, it is equally true to say that New Zealand are unbeaten in World Cup games at home. "It could be either a positive or a negative," says Oliver. And he, too, hopes the country can hold its nerve.
"I'd just like to think that New Zealand supporters and the media are all going to be inside the tent pissing out, rather than on the outside pissing in," he says. "When things get difficult, that's when your true colours get shown. Are you actually in this together, are you supporting, or are you just going to jump ship and say: 'I told you so'? I think that's where human character gets revealed."


"If you train as a team and behave as a team you will perform as a team."

That was the advice of Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Michael "Larry" Romany to T&T's Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) squad on Friday at the TTOC's headquarters at upper Abercromby Street, Port of Spain.

In a stern address at the event, Romany reminded the national junior rugby, athletics, swimming and badminton teams and officials about the "zero tolerance" policy that they must keep up the levels of performance and discipline for which traveling T&T teams are known.

Anyone breaking team rules will be put "on the first flight home", Romany warned. The junior Commonwealth contingent leaves Trinidad on Tuesday for the Isle of Man in the UK for the September 8-12 Games and will feature 22 athletes and six officials.

The T&T team kit and warm wear for the chilly UK conditions have been provided by Adidas.

Romany said athletes from last year's Trinidad and Tobago team for the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore had the attitude of going to "pay a token appearance" at the event. But he highlighted national swimmer Christian Homer's 50-metre backstroke gold medal at the Games.

"No one knows what it is to feel true national pride until you see the national flag being raised and the national anthem being played (on the international stage)," he stated. "You will never forget that feeling until you die."

TTOC secretary general Brian Lewis told the athletes that the TTOC had difficulty raising funds to send them to the competition.

"We are investing in you young people," said Lewis, "and one thing I would like to ask you young men and women is to take it seriously…you are being given an opportunity to represent your country, yourself, your family, your community."

He described the Commonwealth Youth Games as a "very important" event for the development of T&T's youth athletes and advised them to make the best of their trip there.

"Treat it as an honour and a privilege, not a right or entitlement. You are now at this moment an ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago," Lewis reminded them.

"It is very easy to drop your personal standards. I urge you not to do that."


September 4 - Bob Hersh of the United States has been nominated today by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council as the Federation's senior vice-president in succession to Sergey Bubka, taking his place as the President Lamine Diack's official deputy.

Hersh finished top of a topsy-turvy process before the World Championships got underway here to establish the four vice-presidents who will be in place for the next four years.

Bubka, the sitting senior vice-president, finished fifth and last in the initial vote for the four places, but a re-vote was called due to reported technical problems with the electronic voting system.

By the time the process had been laboriously completed, Bubka had one of the four spots, albeit with the lowest vote from the 199 countries, and Canada's Abby Hoffman, who had appeared to be the first female IAAF vice-president as one of the top two candidates – polling 175 votes along with Qatar's Dahlan Jumman Al-Hamad - had dropped out in fifth place after her vote fell to 122.

Hersh, who originally polled 171 votes, and the London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe, who received 167, retained their places.

Hersh, 71, a Harvard Law School graduate, has been a member of the IAAF Council since 1999.

An IAAF release explained the process thus: "The Council in accordance with article 6.9 of the Constitution, had to nominate one of the vice-presidents as senior vice-president for the purpose of presiding over the Council in the absence of the President.

"In this respect Robert Hersh (USA), who polled most votes of the four Vice-Presidents who were elected at Congress, gained the support of Council and has been appointed as senior vice-president."

Diack has promised that this current four-year term will be his last and that he will step down at the next IAAF election in Beijing in 2015.

Hersh's elevation will be seen as good news for Coe, the double Olympic 1500 metres gold medallist, who has ambitions to succeed Diack.

The battle is expected to be between him and Bubka, the 1988 Olympic pole vault champion and world record holder, with Hersh, it is believed, not having any great plans to mount a campaign to take over from Diack.

It had been widely assumed that if Bubka had continued in his role as senior vice-president then it would have put him in pole position for when Diack retires.

But, following the events here, it is now seen to be an open race with Coe having a great opportunity to stake his claim by putting on a successful Olympics next year.


By Mike Rowbottom

Daegu, Korea – It took until the final event, it took until Usain Bolt’s final run, but finally a World record was set in the Daegu 2011 World Championships as Jamaica extended its dominance of the men’s 4x100 metres relay.

But the nightmare continues for USA, which ran a world-leading time in the heats but then failed to complete the final as Darvis Patton collided with Britain’s anchor, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, as he came in to make the final change to Walter Dix.

Patton sprawled to the track, tried unavailingly to get up, and watched despairingly as the rest of the field set off on the final leg. Great Britain & Northern Ireland failed to finish the race. Trinidad and Tobago, who beat Jamaica in the heat, was also inconvenienced, finishing sixth.

Ironically, Patton and Dix came into the squad for the final, replacing Maurice Mitchell and Travis Padgett who ran the last two legs in the heat. But the US big two never got to connect.

The result was that the capacity crowd saw Bolt belt down the home straight in splendid isolation, nothing to beat but the World record 37.10 Jamaica had set in winning the 2008 Olympic final. He flashed across the line, the time flashed up – 37.04 World Record. Pandemonium reigned.

Ironically, Bolt got two individual World records in Berlin two years ago but Jamaica missed the World record in the relay. Here, his individual performance was marred by his disqualification in the 100 metres and he won the 200 in a ‘mere’ 19.40, just the fourth-fastest performance ever.

Now, Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake and Bolt had closed the championships in the best possible way – a World record.

Jamaica was never going to lose, as the race was run. The changes were crisp and the first three runners had already built a lead for Bolt – not that he needed any help. The only last-leg heroics required were to break the record – and he delivered.

The misfortune for USA and Great Britain handed the silver medal to France, Teddy Tinmar, Christophe Lemaitre, Yannick Lesourd and Jimmy Vicault getting the baton around in 38.20.

The bronze medal went to St Kitts and Nevis, a finalist for the first time, and including the ageless Kim Collins, the individual 100 metres bronze medallist, in its squad. Jason Rogers, Collins, Antoine Adams and Brijesh Lawrence clocked 38.49, 0.02 slower than the national record in the heats, but who cares when a medal is there at the end of it.

Jamaica has now won the 2008 Olympic and 2009 and 2011 World titles since the USA last came home first in the Osaka 2007 World Championships, and has set the past two World records in doing so. Despite injury putting Asafa Powell out of the championships, the Caribbean powerhouse shows no sign of running out of steam, or sprinters.

The USA, by contrast, has failed to get out of the heats in three out of the past four global championships – the 2005 and 2009 World Championships and the 2008 Olympic Games – and now failed to finish in Daegu.

It is truly a nightmare that shows no sign of ending.


By Len Johnson for IAAF

FORMER TRINIDAD and Tobago cyclist Gene ‘Geronimo’ Samuel was inducted into the Trexlerton (T-Town) Hall of Fame.

He received the news of his induction from ex-World Olympic, Pan American champion Marty Nothstein last week.

Trexlerton is considered the capital for track racing in the United States (US) which is also seen as the baptism ground for any track cyclist.

Samuel’s wife Rhonda said “It is indeed a very unique and prestigious honour for a born and bred Trinbagonian cyclist to receive. Trexlerton is known to have the highest calibre and fastest of track racing in North America and over a period of some eight years, between 1989 and 1997, Gene won many international bunch races and titles there. This includes the “Keirin Cup” title, the “Madison Cup” title and also the ‘Fastest Man On Wheels’ title” Samuel said.

Due to his achievements Samuel became a well-known crowd favourite — known for his flying blonde ponytail, superior tactical riding skills and close finishes.

With the award Samuel (G) became a member of the elite club for the 2011 induction, the others were Nothstein and Brian Drebber.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation (TTCF) extended congratulations to the still-active Samuel on behalf of his federation.

Contacted yesterday Samuel said he was elated with the award and explained that it came as a surprise to him when he got the news.

“It is really nice to be appreciated by people for all the hard work and the dedication that I have put in towards the sport” Samuel said. The outspoken cyclist made the trip to the US last week to accept the award and yesterday he told Newsday, “Being inducted made me feel like it was worth the time that I have put into the sport.”


By Walter Alibey