Captain of T&T’s under-18 rugby squad, Shaquille Cummings, will lead a 12-member team into the Fourth Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) as the ruggermen compete in the Rugby 7s competition on the Isle of Man from September 10-11. T&T has been placed in Pool B of the event. Also contesting in Pool B are South Africa, England and Sri Lanka. Australia, Canada and Youth Games hosts Isle of Man will battle for medal places in Pool A. Speaking about T&T’s placement, team manager Rudolph Jack said: “In an eight team draw at this level there will be no place to hide. To play South Africa and England, two of the biggest names in world rugby will be quite an experience for my players. Sri Lanka, from what I have read cannot be taken lightly. I’m confident in the squad of players going to Isle of Man, and I know we’ll give a good account of ourselves during the competition. The main thing for me is that the boys enjoy and learn something from the competition which will serve them well in the future.” Events will take place at the National Sports Centre on Douglas Promenade. The CYG is for young athletes between 16 and 18 years.
T&T CYG U-18 Contingent
Caribs- Akash Bejai, Andel Francis, Shaquille Tull
Harvard- Tariq Cheekes (Vice Captain) Rainbow- Dario De La Rosa, Themba Jack, Dekeel Julien, Jamaal Stewart
Royalians- Shaquille Cummings (Captain), Argus Des Vignes, Jamaal Seechan
YTC-Olton Charles
Team Management:
Manager- Rudolph Jack
Coaches- Willet Wayne Pantor, Carlton Felix
Massage therapist- Derek Ashby Williams.


The 22 athletes representing T&T in rugby, swimming, athletics and badminton were officially sent-off for the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games, which will take place in the Isle of Man from next Wednesday to the following Tuesday. The sending-off ceremony was held at the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) Headquarters, Abercromby Street, Port of Spain, yesterday. The contingent comprises 22 athletes, five coaches, a manager, two massage therapists and a team doctor along with Treasurer of the TTOC- Jacqueline Pantin- Romany, who will act as Chef-De-Mission. In attendance at the function were Secretary General of the TTOC- Brian Lewis along with feature speaker President of the TTOC Larry Romany and guest attendee Leslie Figaro,president of the T&T rugby football union.
Lewis used the opportunity to offer words of encouragement, while urging the athletes to build upon the experience. “You are being given an opportunity to represent yourself, your family, your community. Treat it as a privilege and an honor and not a right and an entitlement. View today as a starting point for how you dress, being punctual, how you conduct yourselves. You are now and will be from this moment on, Ambassadors of Trinidad and Tobago,” Lewis said. “It is very easy in these times to drop your personal standard. I urge you not to do that,” he continued, speaking to the contingent of rugby players and swimmers in attendance.
Rugby Team: Andel Francis, Olton Charles, Shaquille Cummings, Shaquille Tull, Tariq Cheekes, Themba Jack, Dario De La Rosa, Jamaal Stewart, Jamaal Seechan, Akash Benjai, Argus Des Vignes and Patrick Dekeel Julien. Rudolph Jack will manage the team while Wayne Pantor and Carlton Felix are the coaches.
Badminton Team: Matthaus Wilford, Jason Ramjass, Kristi Reno-Singh, Reba Fleary. Anil Seepaul is the team coach.
Swimming Team: Kristin Julien, Dylan Carter and Joshua Romany. Franz Huggins will coach the team.

Athletics: Onika Murray, Machel Cedenio and Hezekiel Romeo. Ian Carter is the Athletics coach.
Dr Zynul Khan is the team doctor. June Durham and Derek Ashby-Williams are the team massage therapists.
T&T’s participated in the Commonwealth Youth Games for the first and only time in 2008 when it was held in Pune, India.


-Andrew Gioannetti

Bolt made amends for his 100m false start with a blistering win in the 200m
Usain Bolt stormed to World 200m gold in the third fastest time of his life to put the nightmare of his 100m disqualification behind him.
Bolt exploded from the blocks six days after producing that famous false start before stretching away down the home straight to win in 19.40 seconds.
USA's Walter Dix took silver in 19.70 secs with France's Christophe Lemaitre destroying his personal best to take bronze in 19.80 secs.
"I made a mistake but I came back to show the world that I'm still the best," said a beaming Bolt.
"I'm not a legend yet. I'm on my way, but I've got to go to London and blow people's minds, to go to the Olympics and do something extraordinary."
Lemaitre's time equalled the fastest ever for third in a World final, but he was barely within shouting distance of the reigning champion.
After the shambles of the 100m final some had speculated that the charismatic Bolt might tone down his antics before the gun.
There were the same cartoonish charades as the athletes were called to their blocks, although the Jamaican's reaction time of 0.193 secs - the slowest in the field - indicates that he was taking no chances of a red-card repeat.
Going hard from lane three, Bolt was on the shoulder of Dix in lane four before the bend had fully unwound and, grimacing with effort, pulled away as Lemaitre came past Jaysuma Saidy Ndure with a late surge of his own.
Bolt becomes the first man since Calvin Smith in 1987 to retain a 200m World title.
"It's wonderful (to retain it)," said the Olympic champion and world record holder. "I've always wanted to do it.
"It wasn't bad, but it was fun. If I was in great shape I could have run a world record.
"People worried about whether I'd false start, but I've proved to the world what I can do. I missed out a little bit with the 100m but I got the 200m. I'm still on my way."
Dix, who was 0.30 seconds adrift in a season's best, remained bullish despite the margin of his defeat.
The American told BBC 5 live: "I thought I got real close. I thought the stagger really helped him, but hopefully I'll have him next year - I'm going to go away and make sure I have all the weapons I need.
"I'm closing in. This time it was only three-tenths of a second."
Bolt's display delighted the Daegu crowd, with thousands of fans staying behind well after the night's entertainment had finished to scream and wave at the Jamaican as he went through an endless series of television interviews by the finish line.
He has the chance to add another gold in Sunday evening's 4x100m relay, and will go to next summer's Olympics as red-hot favourite to retain the title he won in record-breaking fashion in Beijing.


By Tom Fordyce

In the year 2000 the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) took on the added responsibility of the Commonwealth Youth Games, open to athletes 18 years of age and under, the Youth Games provide an excellent opportunity for aspiring young athletes from the Commonwealth with a taste of what the Commonwealth Games has in store for them in the future.

The inaugural Commonwealth Youth Games was held in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2000, these were followed by the second set of games in Victoria, Australia in 2004 and the third in Pune, India in 2008.

In such a short space of time the Youth Games has grown in stature and this is evidenced by award of the 2011, fourth edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games to the Isle of Man.

These Youth Games are set to take place in the city of Douglas and Castleton in Isle of Man. At the end of the 2011 edition onwards, the Games will revert to a quadrennial cycle.

We can also look forward to the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games which has been awarded to Apia, Samoa.

The IV Commonwealth Youth Games is scheduled to take place from the 7th - 13th September 2011 in Isle of Man, with most of the sporting action expected to take place in the capital of Douglas. The Organising Committee has now finalised the sports programme of events to be held over the 3 day period of 9th, 10th and 11th September 2011 where over 1,300 athletes and 350 officials from 71 countries are expected to attend and participate in three days of non-stop competition.

Isle of Man, otherwise known simply as Mann, is a self-governing British Crown Dependency located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles.  The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. It is home to a population of over 80,000 people, with more than 26,000 of the overall population residing in the island’s capital of Douglas.

The Isle of Man has a temperate climate with cool summers and mild winters, and a rich cultural influence that goes as far back as the Iron Age. The official language of the Isle of Man is English. Manx Gaelic has traditionally been spoken but is now considered "critically endangered".

Although the Isle of Man is not a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, by virtue of its relationship with the United Kingdom, it is entitled to participate in several Commonwealth institutions, including the Commonwealth Games and thus was awarded the opportunity to host the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games.

Mr. Geoff Karran, Chairman of the CYG Organising Committee, said, “With less than 300 days until the opening ceremony, plans are now in full swing to deliver a Games that the Island can be proud of. This is the most important multi sporting event that the Island has ever hosted and it is essential that it begins in spectacular fashion. With that in mind, I am delighted to officially launch plans for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games.”

The Opening Ceremony of the Games will be held on Thursday 8th September 2011 at the newly refurbished Douglas Bowl and the Closing Ceremony will take place at the Villa Marina on Monday 12th September 2011.

All 71 nations of the Commonwealth will be represented at the most prestigious sporting event the Isle of Man has ever hosted. Athletes will compete in seven sports on the programme for the 2011 CYG. The featured sports are: Athletics, Rugby, Swimming, Badminton, Gymnastics, Cycling and Boxing.

The signature mark of the CYG is its mascot. The mascot is a Manx cat called "Tosha" which was designed by Douglas man Andrew Martin and named by competition winner Vicki Skellorn of Ramsey, Isle of Man. The name "Tosha" is Manx Gaelic and means "to be first" or "the winner".

National Association of Athletic Administration (NAAA) president Ephraime Serrette was on hand to witness Kelly-Ann Baptiste race to bronze in the Women’s 100 metres finals on Monday. Serrette, along with 1976 Olympic champion Hasely Crawford, travelled to Daegu as part of the T&T delegation. He was indeed proud of Baptiste’s achievement, saying, “I thought it was a very good performance. I thought she was second. I did not see the Jamaican (Veronica Campbell-Brown) out in lane eight. She was running well all season. It showed that she was ready to compete with the best in the world. We are all now looking forward to the Olympics in 2012.”

The NAAA boss added that the 24-year-old’s success will inspire the female athletes in T&T to excel.
“In the last World Championships we had all three of our female sprinters advance to the semifinal round. This year we had three again with Semoy (Hackett) just missing out of a final spot.” He added that he had anticipated more medals from the team by now. “By now we were hoping to have our second medal. We now look forward to the women’s and men’s 4x100 and the men’s 4x400 relay.” Yesterday, T&T athletes got a day off from competition. Today, though, T&T quartermiler Renny Quow will lead T&T Men’s 4x400m relay team into action. The quartet is set to run in the first of two heats which will see defending champion USA and regional powerhouse Jamaica.

He failed to advance out of the semifinal round in the Men’s 400m, finishing fourth in his heat in a time of 45.72. Quow is expected to team up with Zwede Hewitt, Jehue Gordon and Deon Lendore and is aiming for a top three spot to automatically qualify for the final tomorrow. Kai Selvon will be the first back in action when she runs in the heats of the Women’s 200m. Selvon will run out of lane four in heat four. Her competitors include American champion Shalonda Solomon and Bahamas’ Antonique Strachan and Miraya Ryemyen of Ukraine. The top four will advance to the semifinals set for tomorrow. Selvon qualifed for Daegu after clocking a personal best of 22.97 in taking silver at the Pan American Junior Championships in Florida, USA on July 23.

-Clayton Clarke


News of the final humiliation of a project described as scandalous will be celebrated. According to newspaper reports the Tarouba multi-sport facility may be used as a detention centre for persons detained under the 2011 State of Emergency.

Originally intended to be a theatre of sporting dreams Tarouba is now a proposed theatre of broken dreams. The cruel irony will go unnoticed in the parallel reality that is life in T&T, a life where those who live in it never waver in their belief no matter how one may point out the fallacies, weaknesses or contradictions of that reality.

Six years ago off Monos Island, cocaine worth 800 million dollars was seized by the Police, Coast Guard and SAUTT; a figure no small fry from east Port of Spain could afford. Gangs need money to survive, and one area that provides that is drugs. The cruel indifference over the years since the Scott drug report to pursue Messrs.Big portends deeply sinister machinations.

The State of Emergency may well achieve intended objectives. But in the context of deep seated social issues it is a temporary solution. In the face of perceptions of racism and classism, however, all the current State of Emergency may do is delay the release of bottled up anger and resentment within humiliated communities.

In the absence of any moral authority, some use the crisis to pronounce for all to see their hypocrisy, arrogance and intolerance, even though such callous self-interest only serves to embed anger, resentment, resilience and determination.

Urgent social interventions , not public relations or spin doctoring ,are needed if we are to reap the rewards of the high risk of imposing a State of Emergency.  In the absence of a social environment that will debunk the perception that the small man and people living in the ghettos are being made the scape goats for the untouchables,the curfew may well  be extended for an indefinite period.

Broken bones heal more easily than a spirit that is broken by abusive words or acts. A broken spirit will strike out to prove that it is bigger, better or badder. Abuse can cloud reality, it may be perceived as normal and acceptable if you have grown up with it. No escaping the fact,only a caring individual can help a person who has been beaten down.

Crime ‘hot spots’ mirror a struggle to provide that crushes the spirit and fuels the rage and anger at the world. So, as the "little black boy” current Minister of Culture and Multiculturalism ,Winston Peters passionately and eloquently sang about some years ago, listens to his heart, and follow what it tells him, he lives his truth the way he sees it and feels it, even when it hurts- get rich or die trying.

How do we rejuvenate our hot spot communities and revive the vision and ambition of those young and old who live there?

The society, government and the business community must embrace arts, culture and sport as foundational for life, not just something that enriches and embellishes -an important part of community revitalization and renewal.

Through art, culture and sports children and young people are taught not to so much win but that greatness is measured by the impact you make on other people’s lives. Those life lessons are taught at practice, on the field and during and after games. What do they learn? They learn to deal with angry emotions and to engage the wrongs and broken dreams that lie buried within their hearts.

As a society we must allocate significant resources for arts, culture and sports as a much needed investment in human development.

Dreams aren’t broken overnight and beautiful babies do not come out of their mother’s womb hotspot criminals and gang members.

This country is being held to ransom not by criminals but by its leaders.

-Brian Lewis


The Trinidad and Tobago 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games delegation will depart for the Isle of Man next week Tuesday.
Tomorrow (Friday 2 September) . Chef de Mission , Mrs Jacqueline Pantin-Romany will  host a presentation and briefing session for all members of the travel party at Olympic House ,121 Abercromby Street, Port.of. Spain at 2pm.
The 2011 Commmonwealth Youth Games open ceremony will be held on Thursday 8 September .The games will close on Monday 12th  September.
T&T athletes will participate in Badminton,track and field,rugby sevens and swimming,
The  T&T 2011 CYG team will comprise:
22 Athletes
6 Manager/coaches
Medical Team: Dr. Zainool Khan- Massage therapists- June Durham and Sgt Derek Williams- Ashby
Mrs Jacqueline Pantin Romany- Chef de Mission.

Editor's note:

The Isle of Man is a small Island situated in the Irish Sea. It is a Crown Dependency of the British Islands.
The first Commonwealth Youth Games were held in, Scotland in August 2000 where 733 Athletes from 14 countries competed in 8 sports. The second edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games took place in, Australia in December 2004 and saw over 1000 athletes and officials from 22 countries in a 10 sport programme. The third Youth Games were held in the Indian city of Pune from 12 - 18 October 2008 where 71 nations and territories participated in 9 sports. A decision was taken by the Commonwealth Games Federation at their General Assembly in 2005 to move the Youth Games outside of the Olympic Games year and in doing so awarded the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games to the Isle of Man. A decision was taken at the General Assembly in 2008 to award the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games to Samoa and also to subsequently adjust the quadrennial cycle, so that future events will take place in 2017, 2021 and so on.
All competitors in the Commonwealth Youth Games will be a minimum of 14 and maximum of 18 in the year of competition (i.e, their 18th birthday is during the calendar year in which the Games is held) and a maximum number of 1000 competitors are invited to participate from every Commonwealth Games Association.

DESPITE BEING on the wrong side of 30, Radike Samo has achieved cult status. And the Wallabies No 8 is loving every minute of his new-found fame.
The 35-year-old Cinderella Man of international rugby powered into the hearts of Australia footy fans after he tore the heart out of the All Blacks during last weekend’s Tri Nations decider in Brisbane, when he showed great strength and pace to score a sensational 60m solo try.
Samo, who was starting in his first test in seven years, is enjoying soaking up the limelight at the moment.
“I think it's pretty cool what people think or what people say,” he says. “But for me, I just want to turn up and play rugby.”
The afro-haired Samo is still coming to grips with making the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup squad, after initially struggling to attract any interest from Super Rugby franchises when he returned from a playing stint in Japan.
It was only when Reds coach Ewen McKenzie resurrected his career in 2009 and the Queenslanders made the final this year that he considered himself an RWC contender.
“All I wanted was to come back and have another crack at Super Rugby,” he says
“I can't believe I'm standing here getting ready to go to the World Cup, so it's been an awesome season.”
Samo has re-signed with the Reds for a further two seasons, but isn't putting a time limit on his career.
“We'll have to wait and see. At the moment, the body is good, I'm fit and healthy, so I've just got to keep going till I break down, I guess.”


THE ENGLISH team Old Ampleforth Rugby Club will be touring Trinidad from tomorrow until September 8, on the invitation of top local outfit Stag Trinidad Northern.

The Ampleforth club, who are the top “Old Boys” team in the Surrey League, will be facing Northern on Saturday, from 3 pm, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium’s Training Field in Mucurapo, and a President’s XV at the Queen’s Park Oval on September 6, also starting at 3 pm. Ampleforth College, where the team originates, is one of the top rugby schools in the United Kingdom and ex-England captain Lawrence Delaglio began his career at the institute.

In related news, Paul Slinger, captain of an unbeaten Northern XV in the 1960s will be coming in from Grenada to attend the match, while an invitation has also been issued for members of all rugby clubs to view the two contests.


Richard Thompson ran his race in T&T at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in the National Association of Athletics Administration (NAAA) Championship 100 metres. That is the truth. And while Thompson is too much of a professional to say this and confirm he was not at his best in Daegu, that is the reality. Let us examine what happened. 1) The NAAA was due to hold its  Championships on June 26 and 27 which was perfect for most of the athletes. It did not happen. 2) Government authorities (Ministry of Sports and the Sports Company) announced a week before, that the running track surface at the stadium which was being changed, would not be completed in time. 3) The NAAA then either had to find an alternative venue or change the date. 4) With no other stadium with an adequate surface, the Championship was postponed for August because many of T&T’s leading athletes were already committed to international meetings prior to the World Championships. 5) It was then decided to host the  Championship on August 13 and 14. 6) This annoyed most of the foreign-based athletes and some asked for exemptions, such as Kelly Ann Baptiste, Cleopatra Borel-Brown. These were granted. 7) Others were not so fortunate.  Thompson was one such person who asked for an exemption, but because there were several persons within the qualifying standard competing for three places, his request was denied. 8) Renny Quow’s request was also denied because the times of several of the 400 metres athletes were out of the required qualifying standard.

Now those are some of the facts as to what transpired before Daegu. Thompson was forced to compete and ran a national record, a season best and a personal best of 9.85 to win convincingly from Keston Bledman who placed second, with Aaron Armstrong third. While the country applauded and celebrated with Thompson—albeit rightfully so, because it was a marvelous race and augurs well for our standard—we need to put aside the emotions of the Government officials who sought to bask in the glory that this was an outstanding fast track, and it was one of the best in the world, and our athletes would become faster and possibly better because of it. Unfortunately, it is possible that no one sought to educate these persons that like a horse race, where there are different surfaces (sand and grass), there must be some order in athletics, and the track at the World Championships was a Mondo surface—just like the previous one at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. The current surface is not a Mondo surface. Whether anyone will say so or not, it must make a difference. It is like practicing to swim in a 50 metre standard size Olympic swimming pool and practicing to swim in a 25 metres swimming pool.

Thompson’s 9.85 was at the wrong time. In hindsight, he was correct to ask not to participate, because he was one event away from a major time. A number of leading 100 metres runners do their best ever time at Olympics and World Championships and there is no guessing why. It is also, no accident that this occurs because most international coaches ensure that they have their athletes peaking at the right time for these events. Together, we all contrived through our own ineptitude to allow this to happen to both Thompson and Bledman. They should not have been allowed to compete in a tough race a mere two weeks before this championships. Our athletes were the only ones to do this and we paid the price. So when I raised these questions a few days before the team left, my critics condemned me on isports on i95.5fm on Thursdays and Saturdays (6.15pm to 8pm). They disagreed with my theory about the proximity of the two races. It is obvious that yet again, I was correct.

Just for reference, the Jamaican trials were held from June 23 to 26. The US held their trials from June 25 to 28. Our Championships took place on August 13 and 14. The World Championships was from August 27 to September 4. Even a novice would question the logic and timing of our Championships. It is for this reason and this reason alone, that I, firmly lay the blame for T&T’s male athletes running so poorly in the individual 100 metres events at the feet, hands, chest, mouth and maybe even heart of the following: The Ministry of Sports, Sports Company of T&T and the Minister of Sports Anil Roberts. Together they should all accept collective responsibility for the events as described above involving the dates of the NAAA championships being switched. The original dates of June 26 to 27 may have resulted in better performances. Instead of being concerned and patting each other on the back about the supposed speed of the surface after Thompson’s blistering 9.85, all of the governmental authorities should have been monitoring the work and completion process at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, long in advance of the planned June dateline.

If it is that this was not done on a timely basis, then someone needs to be held accountable and severely punished. It is ludicrous that by this delay in completion an entire country has been left to ransom and many young athletes in limbo. We have not been told of any hefty fines or contingency clauses against the contractor. Unless of course, this was not the fault of the contractor, in terms of time given for completion or in terms of the local work that was promised to be completed before the contractor laid down the surface. There is too much at stake for the triumvirate of Sports Ministry, Sports Company and Sports Minister to accept everything too lightly and calm. It can almost look to some, as if persons who should know better intentionally want our athletes to fail. I refuse to accept that sort of conspiracy theory. It is akin to saying that Usain Bolt intentionally false started so his country man and coaching understudy Yohan Blake would win the 100 metres final on Sunday. Without a doubt, it was too much to ask our athletes, particularly when history will show that all the major athletic countries will never attempt something so stupid. The NAAA was placed in a tricky position by the failure of the authorities to have the stadium ready for this well documented and advertised event.

We can always ask why is it that the authorities took so long to realise that the job would not be completed, but to use excuses like unpredictable weather and rain is inappropriate, particularly given that the history of the month of June is rain-infected days. Let us hope that such errors can be eliminated quickly in the future and that those in authorities that profess to have knowledge of sports begin to demonstrate such with much more energy. We have too many persons in authority being sidetracked by trivial and personal matters. Instead of seeking catering jobs, sponsoring arrangements, argumentative discussions, some of those in charge need not to betray our trust, but  need to find a way to cooperate with others and put aside petty jealousy. Sports Minister Anil Roberts needs to ensure this is done at all times, even if it annoys some of those closest to him. Thompson, Bledman and Armstrong did not fail us in South Korea. Instead it was we, the people of T&T who failed them because we accepted substandard explanations and lack of proper alternatives for our athletes. It cannot be coincidence that our only medal has come from Kelly Ann Baptiste, who was allowed to miss the NAAA Championships and was therefore fresher than most of the others. In the final analysis, let me on behalf of the Ministry of Sports, The Sports Company and the Honourable Minister of Sports Anil Roberts say:  Sorry Richard Thompson, Keston Bledman, Aaron Armstrong and all the other local athletes.

-Andre E Baptiste


Jehue Gordon came agonisingly close to booking a spot in the IAAF World Championship men's 400 metres hurdles final, the 19-year-old Trinidad and Tobago athlete missing out by just one-hundredth of a second, here in Daegu, Korea, yesterday.

Gordon clocked 49.08 seconds to finish third in heat two, behind Briton David Greene (48.62) and Dominican Republic's 2004 Olympic champion Felix Sanchez (49.01).

With just the top two in each of the three heats qualifying automatically for the final, Gordon had to wait on the result of heat three to know if he would advance as a "fastest loser". Aleksandr Derevyagin finished third in the final heat, and when "49.07" appeared next to the Russian's name, a dejected Gordon trudged into the belly of the stadium.

"I was really disappointed. I was having a good run up until the eighth hurdle, where I kind of took my mind off the race. That was the mistake that cost me the whole race, and the spot in the final."

On the home straight, Gordon was locked in a three-way battle for second with Sanchez and Jamaica's Isa Phillips. Sanchez was strongest in the dying stages of the race, the veteran hurdler securing second spot, in 49.01 seconds, and a lane in tomorrow's final. Phillips clocked 49.16 to finish fourth.

Two years ago, Gordon emerged as one of the stars of the World Championships, in Berlin, Germany. Just 17 at the time, he finished fourth in the one-lap hurdles final.

"I'm just glad," Gordon told the Express, yesterday, "that I came out here and got the experience again. It's a learning experience for me."

Also on show in the second semi-final heat was two-time defending champion Kerron Clement. The T&T-born American surrendered his crown, finishing eighth and last in the race in 52.11 seconds.

"For the past couple of months," Clement told the Express, "I've been battling a groin injury. Of course no one knows about that, because I haven't been talking about it. I don't like to make excuses. I'm a strong person, and I thought I could come out here and fight through the pain. I did that in the first round and made it to the semis, but when I tried to go faster in the semis I felt it pull by the third hurdle."

Clement, the 2008 Olympic silver medallist, said he's now even more motivated to grab gold at the 2012 Games. He acknowledged that Gordon will be among his chief rivals in London.

"Jehue is a great athlete. I commend him. He's young, he's fast. I wish him all the best."

Another talented Caribbean teen, Kirani James, created history at the Daegu Stadium, yesterday.

The 18-year-old became Grenada's first-ever World Championship medallist, and he did it in style, running from behind to win the men's 400m title in a personal best 44.60 seconds.

American LaShawn Merritt, the defending champion, earned silver in 44.63, while bronze went to Belgium's Kevin Borlee (44.90).

"It's a great feeling," James said, after the race. "Just being here and making everyone proud to be a Grenadian."

James is the youngest-ever 400m world champion.

Nineteen-year-old T&T sprinter Kai Selvon will be in action tonight (T&T time), competing in the opening round of the women's 200m. And T&T's men's 4x400m team will bid for a berth in Friday's final.

-Kwame Laurence in Daegu


Kelly-Ann Baptiste is chasing Olympic glory.

The Trinidad and Tobago track star told the Express she is determined to turn Monday's IAAF World Championship women's 100 metres bronze into gold at next year's London Olympics.

"The race was really close, so it could have been anybody's race."

American Carmelita Jeter grabbed the gold in 10.90 seconds, finishing ahead of Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown, the silver medallist in 10.97, and Baptiste, who got to the line in 10.98.

Baptiste said her start is the key to Olympic gold.

"That's my strong point. Once I could perfect it and be consistent at that, I'll definitely (turn bronze into gold)."

The Florida-based sprinter's coach, American Lance Brauman, is also focused on London gold.

"That's what the goal is. If you don't think you're going to be a gold medallist, why do the sport? Kelly-Ann's making good progress, and she's going to continue to get better. It's another year of development."

The 10.98 run produced by Baptiste, here in Daegu, Korea, was actually a lot better than the time suggests. The sprinters in Monday's final had to contend with a 1.4 metres per second headwind. Had it been a 1.4 following wind, Baptiste would probably have improved on her 10.84 seconds national record.

"If you turn that one around," Brauman told the Express, "I'd guess that was somewhere in the 10.7s for sure. Her goal is to run in the 10.6s, and I'm good with that, so we're going to continue to work towards it and move forward."

Brauman coached Campbell-Brown to Olympic 200m titles in 2004 and 2008, before the Jamaican sprinter moved to another camp in 2009.

The coach said Baptiste was boosted by victories in Europe this season over Campbell-Brown and her compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

"She needed to know that she was on the same page with those girls. She did a good job of stepping up at those meets and taking them on and beating them. It showed here. She wasn't nervous."

Brauman also coaches American sprint star Tyson Gay. Baptiste said she has benefitted from being in the same camp as the 2007 World Championship double sprint gold medallist.

"The people who know Tyson know that he likes to help others. He's a great person. Being in the group, and knowing what he has achieved and what he's about to achieve, has motivated me. He has helped me a lot mentally, and even things he thinks he can help me with technically. He has been a great help to me," Baptiste ended, "and all the other athletes in the group."

–Kwame Laurence


Teenager Kirani James exploded on to the world stage with a thrilling victory in the 400 metres final to give the tiny Caribbean nation of Grenada its first World Championships medal yesterday.

Just two days short of his 19th birthday, James nervelessly chased down defending champion LaShawn Merritt on the home straight and surged past the American just before the line to claim the gold medal in a personal best time of 44.60.

"It's a great feeling, but it's a great just being here representing my country," James said. "I was just trying to relax and finish strong."

Olympic champion Merritt came round the final bend with what looked like a comfortable lead before being beaten by James's finish, grabbing the teenager around the waist when they had crossed the line in a belated attempt to slow him down.

Merritt, who returned from a 21-month ban for doping in July and set the best time of the year in the first round in Daegu, took his second World Championship silver medal in 44.63.

"He's a great athlete, I just didn't have a great day," said the 25-year-old. "44.60, I'll take it. I'm back."

Belgium's Kevin Borlee, whose twin brother Jonathan finished fifth in the final, claimed bronze in 44.90.

James, the third youngest men's champion at a World Championships, only made his debut as a professional athlete at the Diamond League meeting in London this month after racking up a string of junior titles and records.

Two years ago he broke Usain Bolt's six-year old CARIFA Games 400m record and he was named his country's sportsman of the year at the age of 17 after winning the 2010 world junior title.

"He's not one of those who's cocky, he would love the attention to be taken away from him, but inside is a drive," his coach Harvey Glance told Reuters.

"He's a freak of nature. At 18 he's the first to make a final and then he goes out and wins the 400 metres. He's destined for greatness."

With Merritt still unsure whether he will be able to defend his Olympic title in London and his injured compatriot Jeremy Wariner a fading force, James will be a welcome addition to the 400m.

James's time was the slowest winning mark in the last four World Championships and what fans of the one-lap race really want is a runner who can challenge Michael Johnson's 12-year-old record of 43.18.

The cool Grenadian said he hoped he would be able to better the mark, but coach Glance was more convinced.

"Very much so, he's just 18 years old," he said. "When Michael broke his record he must have been 26-27 years old. He's only going to get faster and stronger.

"He really wants to put his country on the map.

"We want to rewrite history, in his own way, not in the way of Michael Johnson or Butch Reynolds, he just wants to be Kirani James."


Selvon exits in semis

Kai Selvon bowed out in the semi-final round of the women’s 200 metres. The Auburn University student finished fourth in heat three in 23.11 seconds. The clocking was not fast enough to earn her a “fastest loser” berth in the final.


Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown topped the heat in 22.53 seconds, while second spot and the other automatic qualifying berth on offer went to three-time defending champion Allyson Felix of the United States. Felix clocked 22.67, while third-placed Ivet Lalova of Bulgaria got to the line in 23.03.


Selvon takes on Campbell-Brown, Felix


Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Kai Selvon will do battle with two-time Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica and the three-time defending world champion, American Allyson Felix in the third and final women’s 200 metres semi-final heat, at 6.41 this morning (T&T time). Bulgaria’s Ivet Lalova has also been drawn in the third heat.


Selvon will run in lane seven, while Campbell-Brown, Lalova and Felix will run in lanes four, five and six, respectively.


4x4 men sixth in qualifying heat


Trinidad and Tobago bowed out of the men’s 4x400 metres relay. Zwede Hewitt, Jarrin Solomon, Deon Lendore and Renny Quow combined for a three minutes, 02.47 seconds clocking to finish sixth in the first qualifying heat.


United States finished first in 2:58.82, ahead of Jamaica (2:59.13) and South Africa. Double amputee Oscar Pistorius ran the leadoff leg for the South Africans, who clocked a national record time of 2:59.21. Belgium won heat two in 3:00.71.


Record-breaking Selvon in semis


Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Kai Selvon was impressive on her World Championship debut, finishing third in heat four in the opening round of the women’s 200 metres event in 22.89 seconds – a new national junior record. Selvon, 19, qualified automatically for the semi-final round. American Shalonda Solomon won the race in 22.69, while second spot was copped by Ukraine’s Mariya Ryemyen (22.77).


Two-time Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown won heat five in 22.46 seconds to lead all qualifiers into the semis. The first of three semi-final heats is scheduled for 6.25 tomorrow (Thursday) morning, T&T time.


Selvon makes World Championship debut


Wednesday was something of a rest day at the IAAF World Championships. There was no action here at the Daegu Stadium. The only event contested took place in downtown Daegu. Gold went to Russia, Olga Kaniskina winning the women’s 20-kilometre race walk to complete a hat-trick of World Championship triumphs.


It’s Thursday morning in Daegu, and Trinidad and Tobago’s Kai Selvon will make her World Championship debut when she faces the starter in the fourth of five heats in the women’s 200 metres event. Nineteen-year-old Selvon will be on show at 10.14 tonight, T&T time.


And at 11.30, T&T’s men’s 4x400 metres team – Zwede Hewitt, Jarrin Solomon, Deon Lendore and Renny Quow - will run in the qualifying round.

-Kwame Laurence


Jehue Gordon booked his spot in the men’s 400m hurdles semifinals with a runner-up in the his heat on third morning of action at the 13th IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea, yesterday. The 2010 World Junior champion was second in heat four of the preliminaries in 49.90 seconds behind the 2005 gold medallist American Bershawn Jackson (49.82). Gordon said he was happy to be in the semis as he felt some tightness in his race. The 19-year-old will run in the second of three semifinals, out of  lane three, at 5.30 am (TT time)/6.30 pm (Daegu time). Gordon will face defending champion Kerron Clement (USA) and former two-time winner Felix Sanchez (Dominican Republic).

A top two place guarantees him his second straight World Championships finals on Thursday. The former Belmont Boys/QRC student athlete was fourth in finals in 48.26 seconds as a 17-year old. Shot putter Cleopatra Borel finished down the field in the women’s shot put finals. The two-time Commonwealth medallist was 13th and last with a throw of 17.62 metres. Borel achieved the mark in the second round after she opened with a foul throw. She did not improve in the third round throwing 17.53 and finished outside of the top eight, thereby missing a chance for three more throws. Borel described her performance as the worst for the year and said she did not know what went wrong. She  failed to sparkle after throwing 18.95m in Sunday’s qualification round. The former NCAA indoor champion set a national outdoor record of 19.42 in July and has three other throws in the 19 metres range in 2011. Renny Quow missed out the finals of the men’s 400m event.

The 2009 bronze medallist was fourth in heat one in 45.72 seconds, well off his first round clocking of 44.84 seconds. Defending champion LaShawn Merritt of USA (44.76), Belgium Kevin Borlee (45.02) and Rabah Yousif of Sudan (45.43)all got to the line ahead of Quow. His time was the 13th quickest overall as only the fastest eight advanced to the finals set for later today. The former world junior champion is next expected to compete as part of T&T men’s 4x400m relay team. The relay heats are set for Thursday with the finals on Friday. After three days of competition T&T lies joint 16th (along with St Kitts/Nevis and Slovenia) on the medal table with one bronze medal. USA is ahead with eight medals (4 gold, 3 silver and one bronze) with Kenya 6 (2, 2, 2) and Russia 4 (1, 2, 1). At the 2009 World Championships T&T won three medals (one silver -men’s 4x100, two bronze - Josanne Lucas, Renny Quow).


By Clayton Clarke

Kelly-Ann Baptiste bolted into the history books, here in Daegu, Korea, yesterday.

The 24-year-old track star became the first female Trinidad and Tobago sprinter to earn precious metal at a major senior global meet when she struck bronze in the IAAF World Championship women's 100 metres final.

"I knew I always had it in me," an exultant Baptiste told the Express, following her third-place finish. "It was just a matter of delivering the goods. It's a great feeling. I cannot explain it."

Running into a 1.4 metres per second headwind, American Carmelita Jeter pulled away from defending champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce late in the race to earn gold in 10.90 seconds. Fraser-Pryce's Jamaica teammate Veronica Campbell-Brown finished strong to snap up silver in 10.97, edging Baptiste into third spot, the T&T sprinter stopping the clock at 10.98 seconds.

Baptiste knew she was in a fierce tussle, but kept her cool to the very end, overhauling Fraser-Pryce on the line, the Jamaican finishing fourth in 10.99.

After the race, Baptiste sat on the track and looked up at the giant screen, waiting for confirmation that she did in fact secure a medal. When her name finally appeared as the bronze medallist, the celebrations began.

"Besides Jeter, it was really close. I felt like maybe I got second or third, I wasn't sure, or maybe fourth. I really didn't know. To see my name finally appear on the board was a sense of relief."

A beaming Baptiste proudly displayed the T&T flag as she continued to celebrate her global achievement. The bronze is T&T's tenth World Championship medal, and the second earned by a female athlete. In 2009, Josanne Lucas bagged bronze in the women's 400m hurdles.

A World Youth (Under-18) Championship 100m bronze medallist back in 2003, Baptiste is undoubtedly T&T's best-ever female sprinter. Yesterday's third-place finish at the Daegu Stadium was simply confirmation of her "Sprint Queen" status.

The bronze medal, Baptiste explained, has special significance.

"The US or Jamaica always had athletes others could look up to. I always wanted to try to do it not just for me but for the younger athletes. I'm hoping that my performance would inspire the others coming up to know that anything is possible if you just work hard and believe in yourself."

Baptiste is based in Florida, where she trains under the watchful eyes of Lance Brauman. After yesterday's final, the American coach commended his charge.

"It's a great performance for her to get a medal in her first final. I'm ecstatic for Kelly-Ann, very pleased with the way she handled the pressure. She got in there, competed well, and held form all the way through the line. It was a great run."

In the semi-final round, Baptiste clocked 11.05 seconds, into a 1.5 metres per second headwind, to finish second in heat three, behind Jeter (11.02).

The other T&T sprinters, Semoy Hackett and 19-year-old Michelle-Lee Ahye exited in the semis.

Hackett finished fourth in heat two in 11.35 seconds. She was ninth overall.

Ahye, meanwhile, was fifth in heat one in 11.48, the 13th fastest time in the semi-final round.

Ahye, who had clocked a personal best 11.20 seconds in round one, told the Express she is very satisfied with her World Championship debut.

"It has gone beyond my expectations…I made it to the semis."

Now that "big sister" Kelly-Ann has raised the bar, Ahye will surely be chasing bigger goals at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia.


By Kwame Laurence

Hazel Taylor, mother of Trinidad and Tobago's World Championship bronze medallist Kelly-Ann Baptiste, was elated over her daughter's success in the women's 100 metres yesterday in Korea.

Taylor looked at the race in the company of her co-workers at the Magdalena Gran Beach Resort Tobago, the new name for what was previously the Vanguard Hotel at Lowlands.

"I was really, really afraid. I had nerves because I really wanted Kelly-Ann to win a medal. I actually prayed to God. I said dear Father, please help us to do this, at this time of her life and I was very very happy," Taylor said.

The proud mother said her daughter trains really hard and she knows her hard work has paid off.

"Actually I had a pain in my neck, I started jumping up and down when she ran to bronze. I said thank you God, thank you Jesus, you did it for her. I was in the staff cafeteria at work when we all watched her place. We all were very happy," Taylor added.

She said aspiring athletes need to train hard and work at it.

"While there are some good facilities in Tobago, other sporting facilities need to be upgraded in Tobago, to further push Tobago's upcoming stars forward."

Taylor said she wants to thank all the people of Trinidad and Tobago who supported Kelly-Ann, God, her friends and family.

And newly-appointed Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Assistant Secretary for Youth Affairs and Sports, Huey Cadette, said it was a proud moment for Tobago and all other athletes representing the country.

"On behalf of the Division, we want to extend our sincere and heart-felt congratulations to Kelly Ann. And to athletes such as Renny Quow, Semoy Hackett and Josanne Lucas, we continue to wish them all the best," said Cadette.


By Elizabeth Williams Tobago Bureau

Daegu, Korea - Moments after crossing the finish line Carmelita Jeter stared at the Daegu Stadium scoreboard screen in disbelief. Having previously finished third in two consecutive World Championship 100m finals she had finally achieved the ultimate prize and as the news sunk in she was overwhelmed.

The 31 year old from Gardena, California, kneeled on the track and cried tears of joy. The obligatory victory lap - complete with an American flag draped across her shoulders - followed while the crowd voiced their approval.

In her wake she had left the pair of Jamaican sprinters Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce who led from the start and very nearly stole the race, and the hard charging veteran Veronica Campbell-Brown beaten. Fraser-Pryce would be edged out of the medals by Kelly-Anne Baptiste of Trinidad & Tobago. Indeed it was one of the more exciting dashes in some time.

“I didn’t know I had it until the camera was on me because it was so close,” Jeter said “Then, when they put it on me, I said  ‘oh, my gosh, I did it. I have been dreaming of this since 2009 when I got the bronze in Berlin.”

After parading through an endless line of television interviews she made her way into the media mixed zone where she caught sight of her agent, Chris Layne, and the man whom she credits most with her success, coach John Smith. As she hugged and cried with Smith in plain view of a crush of reporters, Jason Richardson the hurdles gold medalist wrapped his arms around the pair. There were more tears.

“You know I can’t even celebrate now because I have the 200m still,” she finally said. “That was my celebration just now when my coach and I were hugging and crying. John Smith is a great coach.

“I am very proud of my training partner (Richardson). He came to practice with me every day.  We would have these sessions where we would say 'What is John Smith doing? What are we doing?  We don’t need to be doing this.’ Then we would come back again the next day. We both had our battles so I am so proud of him. Our chemistry and hard work paid off.”

Jeter has a reputation for being extremely disciplined allowing nothing to detract from her athletic pursuits.

“She goes to bed at 8 o’clock and gets up at 6 am.,” says Layne. “Put it this way, she doesn’t goof off during the season like so many others do. She eats, sleeps, breathes this job. She looks at this as her job.”

Layne claims that if she has outside interests he doesn’t know about them claiming she has no time for anything but being a professional athlete. Even so, there were the usual nervous jitters as she warmed up for the final. The fact she is the second fastest woman of all time thanks to a 10.64 personal best recorded in Shanghai two years ago never entered her mind. The task at hand was to tackle the Caribbean force that has dominated major championships the past three years. That’s where John Smith was so influential.

“You know, I have a great coach,” she declares with a broad smile. “He stopped me before I went in the call room and he gave me a speech. And I knew when he gave me that speech I knew I was ready. It was a different night, he basically just said I have been working too hard to throw it away and I am a warrior and have got to go out there and fight for it because nobody is going to give it to me.”

Jeter attended The University at California State Dominguez from 2003 - 2007 before joining up with Smith. Articulate and wise, she is careful about spending the money she earns, according to her agent. She owns her own home in Los Angeles. Though she enjoys the occasional shopping trip she restricts herself to post season excursions. And it is clear when talking with her she is respectful of the support she has received from family, friends and coaches.

“I was running for everybody,” she declares. “I have so many people who have so much support for me, so much love for me. I didn’t want to let them down. So many people who put in the work with me. Coach Karon (Conwright) who is at the gym at 7:30 in the morning with us, John Smith who will change his day if you want to go earlier, or will change anything to make sure you can get those workouts in.

“We have a relationship that just doesn’t stop on the track. When we get off the track it’s birthdays, it’s Christmas, it’s Thanksgiving. We’re a family. That’s what makes it so good. We don't stop talking. I probably talk to that man (Smith) more than anybody. I talk to him on the phone at night, in the morning, it doesn’t matter. We have a great relationship, a great chemistry.”

The victory celebration may be on hold but, if she comes out as focused in the 200m as she was for the short dash, there may well be more for this family to celebrate come the weekend. Jeter can’t wait.


Paul Gains for the IAAF

100 Metres - W   Final
29 August 2011 - 21:45
Wind: -1.4 m/s
Position     Lane     Bib     Athlete     Country     Mark         React
1     4     953     Carmelita Jeter     USA     10.90         0.167
2     8     511     Veronica Campbell-Brown     JAM     10.97         0.234
3     5     847     Kelly-Ann Baptiste     TRI     10.98         0.151
4     3     514     Shelly-Ann Fraser - Pryce     JAM     10.99         0.194
5     2     679     Blessing Okagbare     NGR     11.12         0.147
6     6     526     Kerron Stewart     JAM     11.15         0.212
7     1     189     Ivet Lalova     BUL     11.27         0.156
8     7     965     Marshevet Myers     USA     11.33         0.164

Double Olympic silver medallist Richard Thompson failed to advance to final round of the men’s 100m at the 13th IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea yesterday. Running in the second of three heats Thompson was beaten into third in 10.20 seconds with only the top two assured of a place in the finals. Finishing ahead of Thompson were world record holder Usain Bolt (Jamaica) 10.05 and Christophe Lemaitre (France) 10.11). Thompson was well off his national mark of 9.85. Keston Bledman also bowed out after finishing fifth in the first heat in 10.14. Yohan Blake (Jamaica) was the winner (9.95) ahead of Walter Dix (USA) 10.05, Jimmy Vicaut (France) 10.10 and Daniel Bailey (Antigua and Barbuda) 10.14.

Speaking after the race Thompson said he did not run well enough to make it into the medal round: “We just did not run well because we saw Michelle Lee Ahye ran a personal record in the women’s 100m first round, Semoy Hackett around what she has been running. Renny Quow ran a seasonal best in the 400m heats. I don’t want to make any excuses. It is a real disappointment for me because I know I let down my supporter, Trinidad and Tobago and I let down myself. Hopefully next time at the Olympics I will be able to get it together.”  Thompson said the focus will now be on the men’s 4x100m relay where he anchored the national team to silver in Berlin, Germany in 2009.

“I still we have a good chance of winning. We just have to refocus. Keston and I didn’t have great runs here but I still think we could pull it together as we have some time.” he said. He added that the relay members will practice over the next couple of days ahead of heats and final on Sunday: “Over the next week we are going to do some exchanges and form a better chemistry than we had in the past. Relay is about great exchanges and not just about leg speed.” Blake went on to strike gold in 9.92 seconds following the shocking disqualification of Bolt for a false-start. Dix took home the silver in 10.08 with 2003 champion Kim Collins (St Kitts/Nevis) in third 10.09. Renny Quow will contest the men’s semifinals set for today at 6.00am/7.00pm after placing second in his first round race.

The reigning World bronze medallist was runner-up in heat one clocking a season’s best time of 44.84 to finish behind Rondel Bartholomew of Grenada, who won in 44.82. Quow is in the first semi and runs from lane 5. He will be looking to finish first or second to be assured of a lane in tomorrow’s final carded for 8.45am (TT)/9.45pm  (Daegu). Last night Jehue Gordon was in action in the men’s 400m hurdles which were set to run off from 10.30pm. The 2010 World Junior champion lines up in lane 2 of the fourth heat.  He will be looking to finish in the top four to advance to the semifinal set for tomorrow at 6.30am/7.30pm. CC


Men’s 400m-Round 1
Heat 1
1    Rondel Bartholomew    Grenada    44.82
2    Renny Quow    T&T    44.84

Men’s 100m-Finals (-1.4m/s)
1    Yohan Blake    Jam    9.92
2    Walter Dix    USA    10.08
3    Kim Collins    St Kitts/Nevis    10.09
4    Christophe Lemaitre    France    10.19
5    Daniel Bailey    Antigua & Barbuda    10.26
6    Jimmy Vicaut    France    10.27
7    Nesta Carter    Jamaica    10.95
Usain Bolt    Jamaica    DQ

Heat 1 (-0.4)
1    Blake        9.95
2    Dix        10.05
3    Vicaut        10.10
4    Bailey        10.14
5    Keston Bledman    T&T    10.14

Heat 2 (-1.0)
1    Bolt        10.05
2    Lemaitre        10.11
3    Richard Thompson    T&T    10.20

Heat 3(-0.8)
1    Collins        10.08
2    Carter        10.16


By Clayton Clarke