By: David Gold

August 8 - Oscar Pistorius will become the first amputee athlete to compete at the able-bodied World Championships, taking place in Daegu, after being chosen by South Africa as their only 400 metres runner.

The multiple Paralympic Games gold medallist will also compete in the 4x400m relay, and will join 25 other athletes selected by South Africa.

Pistorius said: "I am thrilled to have been announced on the South African team today to compete at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu in the 400m and 4x400m relay.

"I have dreamt for such a long time of competing in a major Championships and this is a very proud moment in my life.

"It is an honour to be representing my country at such a prestigious event and I hope to do my best at the competition for South Africa. I am training hard in preparation for the event and I am looking forward to the Championships immensely.

"This will be the highest-profile and most prestigious able-bodied event which I have ever competed in and I will face the highest-calibre of athletes from across the planet.

"If I manage to make it through the heats, I would be thrilled, a good performance for me would be to be consistent through the heats.

"If I ran anywhere close to my PB, I would be delighted."

Pistorius set a personal best time last month at a meet in northern Italy, which ensured he met the qualifying time for both the World Championships and the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Other athletes making their way to Daegu will include women's 800m world champion Caster Semenya, who will hope to defend her crown with less controversy than that which met her after she claimed the 2009 title.

Men's 800m world champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and 400m hurdler LJ van Zyl will also be competing in South Korea.

Pistorius is only able to compete in the Worlds because of a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) appeal against the IAAF ruling that he was ineligible to compete in able-bodied competition because his carbon fibre blades gave him an unfair advantage.

CAS cleared him to compete in 2008, though he failed to qualify for either the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 or the 2009 World Championships.

Pistorius' 45.07sec run last month in Lignano meant that he was just inside the time required to qualify for the championships, which take place from August 27 to September 4.

ASA President James Evans said: "With 11 athletes competing for the first time at this level we are very clearly looking to 2012 and beyond.

"We selected all those athletes who fulfilled the qualification criteria."


By: Walter Alibey

TRINIDAD and Tobago Football Federation is planning to go it alone, with regards to funding for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.

A high ranking federation official who wished to remain anonymous, made this disclosure yesterday, in the midst of the ongoing rift between the TTFF and government regarding funds for World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

Newsday was reliably informed that all documents requested by Sports Minister Anil Roberts were duly submitted.

“We have given all that they asked us for and we just do not have anything else for them,” the official claimed.

Contacted yesterday, deputy Permanent Secretary Ashwin Creed could not confirm whether documents from TTFF concerning the World Cup were received, and instead referred the matter to Minister Roberts. In a public statement recently, Minister Roberts made it clear that government was not prepared to put monies into the coffers of the beleaguered TTFF.

The outspoken minister said that government will hold firm to its agreement to help the TT football team qualify for the World Cup.

He said monies owed to National coach, German Otto Pfister as well as agreed amounts for players will be presented when the TTFF provides documentation.

The documents for the above two comprise the contract signed between coach Pfister and the TTFF and another which indicates the amount each player will receive as fees throughout the qualifying campaign.

The anonymous TTFF executive claimed all these documentation were already sent to the ministry.

But Newsday were told a policy decision was taken at the TTFF to make the body self sufficient in the coming months. The official said, “We will just have to hold a series of fund-raising events to cover our costs. We have agreed to go back to corporate TT for their help.”

This position by the TTFF is expected to be high on the agenda when the they hold an executive meeting next week.

He said the ministry of sports had become a bother by constantly asking for documents that were already submitted to them.

“We have already decided that we will have to fund ourselves if government funding is not forthcoming,” said the official.

The position of the TTFF now means that millions of dollars will have to be raised monthly to offset the cost of salaries, rent, travel and payments of football officials. A report said the TTFF currently owes Pfister in excess of $300,000 and ex-national coach Russell Latapy is also owed money.


Point Guard Melissa Guerero saved her best performance for last as she scored an outstanding 33 points helping T&T to secure the silver medals after defeating the Dominican Republic 82-76 in the final match of the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championship on Sunday. Another guard Jowan Ortega netted 17 points while forward Chenel Harris netted 13 in T&T’s highest points total of the tournament which was staged at the Sir Kendall Isaacs Gymnasium in Nassau, Bahamas. Following T&Ts opening loss, to the eventual gold medal winners Cuba, results began to improve with victories coming in the final four straight matches in which the point totals steadily inclined. On Wednesday, the opening day of the championship, T&T failed to challenge Cuba and were easily beaten 80-32.

On day two, T&T were faced against the hosts, the Bahamas and displayed a more credible performance taking a 49-45 win. Subsequent respectable wins against St Vincent (73-59), and the Virgin Islands (76-68) on Friday and Saturday saw T&T soar into second place, a position they would maintain into the final day of competition. T&T then sealed their second place finish in the competition with a surprise win over the Dominican Republic, which may have been regarded as favourites to the neutral going into the match. Cuba, the outright favourites, won all of their matches without scoring less than 80 points in either of the five. The Virgin Islands finished third winning three and losing two of their matches. Dominican Republic placed fourth with two wins and a draw. Bahamas were fifth with one win and four losses while St Vincent finished last place without a win.


By: Brian Lewis

National Sport Organisations (NSOs) are deeply unsettled about the present and concerned about the future many of them are uncertain about Government’s policy about sport. There are renewed calls for the government to make crystal clear what is its sport policy for the next five years. There are some who don’t want to acknowledge the real reasons for the perceived funding crisis in local sport because that will make them responsible for solutions so the cause of it all is bad policy emanating from Abercromby Street. It is always someone else’s fault, and government makes an easy target. That’s nonsense. The seeds of the debacle took a long time to flower. It certainly did not occur in the last 18 months. Admittedly in some instances, it is a case of a good concept badly executed. Last week’s column made the point that funding is not a God given right—not unexpectedly some took umbrage to the position that access to and allocation of funding is not an entitlement. As long as we continue to pretend and evade honest evaluation nothing will change. There is no point pretending there are no questions for the Ministry of Sport, the Sport Company and the TTOC to answer, but there is no need to panic and despair.

In fact the entire debate swirling around the funding of sport is necessary, even though many have serious doubts, T&T sport is heading in the right direction, stumbling along as it may seem to be. A little equilibrium from stakeholders and soul searching is needed as too much of what is happening relies on individual brilliance and not collective excellence. Sport leaders must work together to develop consensus if we are to galvanise the nation’s sport potential. Things aren’t quite as desperate as many would think. That having been said, the faster NSOs figure out that to achieve sustained excellence and competitiveness they have to construct the infrastructure the better things will be. Debatable as that thought is, before heaping scorn its worth remembering funding wise where local sport a decade and a half ago. Some have short memories, or the benefit of history and experience. What is needed is a collective will to put aside all the emotional aspects and pressure and concentrate on the task at hand. It is a bitter pill to swallow but it doesn’t serve a purpose turning on each other. Put aside the personal attacks and incendiary comments. There is an alarming amount of doom and gloom and long faces as all the progress made is forgotten.

Clearly we have a long way to go but it’s time to grow up and get in the right frame of mind. Let’s not forget sport is generally a voluntary activity - that is individuals freely choose to participate or not. Volunteers by definition do not seek economic benefits through their membership in an organisation. A volunteer might join an organisation for several reasons. These may include learning and growing, helping others, using present skills and learning new skills, gaining work experience, repaying debt to society, contributing either money, skill, knowledge or experience. Considering the volunteer orientation of the majority of local sports effectiveness and efficiency in the use of limited resources is in sharp focus. One of many definitions of management is that management is concerned with cordination of limited human and material resources. Since managing limited resources is a core function of sport management one wonders what all the fuss is about. The bottom line is sport administrators were elected to achieve objectives and goals with limited resources. We have a golden opportunity to really come to grips with the root causes but by focusing on the blame game we are missing the boat and not for the first time.


Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials face lifetime bans as FIFA gets ready to start corruption proceedings against more than ten of its officials following a probe into allegations that they took money from a candidate in the world football body’s presidential election race. Fifa’s Zurich-based ethics committee will meet today to decide on who will appear before its panel to give details of the May 9 and 10 meeting held at the Hyatt Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port- of-Spain. In a release yesterday, Fifa said it could not speculate on what will happen. On July 26, the CFU officials were given 48 hours to provide information about the meeting in which it is alledged they accepted US$40,000 bribes from Qatar’s Mohamed Bin Hammam, to vote for him in the  race for FIFA presidency. Bin Hammam, ex-head of Asian soccer, was subsequently banned for life for his role in the meeting. Several of the CFU bodies did not comply with the request.

T&TFF president Oliver Camps said yesterday his Federation gave an account of its involvement at the initial investigations so it was not necessary to comply with the July 26 request. FIFA told the CFU officials they would face less punishment should they provide information on the meeting.  “Truthful and complete reporting will be considered in mitigation by the ethics committee when deciding on potential sanctions,” FIFA said last month. “Any person who has relevant information but does not come forward during this 48-hour period will be subject to the full range of sanctions.” Cuba was the only member of the 25-strong CFU which did not send a delegate to the meeting in T&T where Bin Hammam pitched for votes. Officials from nine countries told investigators they had accepted or were offered envelopes full of cash. The remaining 15 denied knowledge or refused to take part in the probe. The ethics committee will also hear a case against Barbados official Lisle Austin, who briefly replaced Warner as head of Concacaf. He is alleged to have broken Fifa statutes concerning taking legal action in civil courts.


By: Nigel Simon

T&T doubled its gold medal tally at the Third World Junior Table-Tennis Circuit Tournament in Guatemala City, Guatemala to four with victories in both the Cadet boys’ and girls’ mixed doubles finals yesterday. In the Cadet boys’ doubles, the gold medal team pair of Arun Roopnarine and Aaron Wilson defeated Brazilian duo Isaac Zauli and Gabriel Pereira 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-6 for their second gold medal. This after the local duo advanced from their semifinal with an 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 demolition of  Guatemalans, Josue Soto and Guerry Sagastume. Likewise, the mixed doubles Cadet pair of T&T/Uruguay, Brittany Joseph and Maria Lorenzotti also won a second gold medal with after beating Guatemalans, Caterine Agustin and Mechael 11-8, 11-9, 4-11, 11-3 in their decider.

Earlier on, Joseph and Lorenzotti defeated another Guatemalan pair,  Dulce Rivera and Marilena Belteton 12-10, 11-8, 5-11, 11-4. The T&T junior girls’ duo of Catherine Spicer and Renuka Sitram had to settle for bronze after going down to Mexico’s Monica Serrano and Barbara Siller 13-11, 6-11, 6-11, 8-11 in their semifinal. On Friday, Spicer and Sitram also got bronze  in the girl’s junior team event, thanks to a 3-1 triumph over El Salvador while the T&T/Ecuador junior boys team’s pair of Andreus Pantin-Abraham and Tapia Rodrigo went under to Mexico, 2-3 in their semifinal for bronze. Yesterday when the singles competition served off with mixed results for the local players. Roopnarine, competing in group nine of the Cadets category crushed Julio Quezada of Guatemala 11-4, 11-5, 11-2 but lost to Garza 7-11, 12-14, 8-11, 7-11 in the juniors.

Zauli and Guatemala’s Ottoniel Veliz defeated  Wilson 7-11, 12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9 and 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10 in the Cadets and juniors competition respectively. Among the juniors’ Carlos Umanzor (El Salvador) downed T&T’s Pantin-Abraham  11-6, 11-7, 12-10 who rebounded with an 11-2, 11-9, 11-6 triumph over Guatemala’s Diego Castellqanos. Sitram went under in her first match to Margarita Ortiz (El Salvador)  5-11, 5-11, 6-11 but stopped Nancy Hernandez (Guatemala), 10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7. Seller outclassed Joseph 11-6, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, who also rebounded to beat Angie Alarcon of Guatemala 11-7, 11-6, 12-14, 8-11, 12-10 while Spicer crushed Lucia Cordero also of Guatemala, 11-3, 11-3, 11-9. This after losing her opener, to Serrano came from behind to beat Spicer 4-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-8.


By: Andrew Gioannetti

Errol Ashby, Chief Executive Officer of the Sport Company of T&T (SporTT) dismissed claims that he advised  the cancelation of the upcoming Amateur Swimming Association of T&T (ASATT) Goodwill Games but insists that the ASATT, through their Public Relations Officer (PRO) Jason Wickham, were given an offer by SporTT to assist in the financing of the competition. He said that it was likely that the offer was never communicated to the concerned parties with the organisation. In a face-to-face interview with the Guardian, Ashby explained that the ASATT had a choice between the continuation of the Goodwill tournament or the recruitment of a new coach for the water polo national team, the latter of which was decided upon by mutual consent. Ashby confirmed that the Ministry of Sport agreed to finance the six months of the recently appointed American water polo coach Adam Foley’s salary package, which amounts to US$7,000 a month. He said that a meeting with ASATT, SporTT and the Ministry of Sport did indeed take place, but contrary to the claims made by ASATT Public Relations Officer, Jason Wickham that “at a meeting of the ASATT Executive, SporTT and Ministry of Sport at the Ministry on July 22, it was suggested that due to current financial constraints of SporTT- the meet had to be cancelled,” it was initially a decision made by both parties.

Ashby revealed to the Guardian following the meeting, he was approached by Wickham and a discussion took place regarding the staging of the Games. He added he put an offer on the table to Wickham regarding the Goodwill Games: “Just as we did in the past, if you can get your suppliers to extend your credit, then in the new fiscal year (in October), we will subtract the Goodwill Games cost from your allocation next year. Since I have made that offer to him (Wickham), he has never gotten back to me.” Ashby concluded on talk of ASATT’s claims by saying, “their priority was paying the water polo coach. The casualty was the Goodwill Games.” ASATT has subsequently released several appeals requesting corporate sponsorship for the tournament which was ultimitely followed by an advisory which stated despite being $105,000 short of the budget, the event which runs from August 12-14 will go on. Ashby said that following the removal of $34 million from the allocation subject to availability of funds for SporTT earlier this year from their original $100 million budget at the beginning of the fiscal year, the cut had trickled down to the NSOs, something he said, he had little control of and was caused ultimately by economic circumstances.

He said that the funds removed were supposed to be replaced by July and August. “We (SporTT) were promised $13 million. We recently got that and we were supposed to get the rest of it before the end of the (fiscal) year.” Ashby used the opportunity to explain that given the formula the budgeting works for with the 14 NSOs, about 60 per cent of spending power is supposed to be used for development, several of which have done little for development. “We look at development as athletes and coaches,” he said.He said a certain NSO went from spending 88 per cent of their allocation towards travel last year to 91 this year. “Where is the development?” he asked. “Development is looking at your needs. What do you need to do to improve or to make sure that you stand a chance in competition? Where is the sense with spending on every other tournament when you place in the position you placed in the last time you competed?” Ashby then stressed that priority of the NSO is the scouting and conditioning of athletes and the modernisation of operations for the advancement of athletes on the scale of the world’s powerhouses. Some of the necessities of proper functioning NSOs which T&T is desperately lacking.


Kelly Ann Baptiste continued her impressive season with a second-place finish in the women’s 100m final at the Samgung Diamond League Aviva Grand Prix in Crystal Palace, London, England, yesterday. Baptiste clocked 10.97 seconds but was beaten to the line by American Carmelita Jeter, who was first in 10.93s. The T&T national 100m and 200m record holder was seeking her second Diamond League triumph after her win in Paris on July 8 but could not stop Jeter, who has the fastest time in the world of 10.70s. However, Baptiste had the satisfaction of getting to the line ahead of the reigning World and Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica), who was third in 11.10s. Jeter took an early lead in the race with Fraser-Pryce just behind but Baptiste finished strongly to take the runner-up spot ahead of the Jamaican with her compatriot Schillonie Calvert (11.23s) in fourth.

African champion Nigerian Blessing Okagbare (11.25s) was fifth with American Alexander Anderson (11.26), Aleen Bailey of Jamaica (11.36s) and Bulgurian Ivet Lalova (11.38s) following behind. Jeter, Baptiste and Fraser-Pryce are expected to clash again at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea from August 27 to September 4. In the preliminaries contested earlier in the day, Baptiste topped heat one in 11.22s ahead of Fraser-Pryce while Jeter took heat two in 11s.  Jehue Gordon registered his first top-three finish on the Diamond League, taking third in the men’s 400m hurdles in 49.47s. The reigning World Junior champion was beaten to the line by Javier Culson of Puerto Rico (48.33s) and American Michael Tinsley (48.90s). Gordon crossed the line in fourth but moved up one spot after two-time Olympic Olympic champion Angelo Taylor (USA) was disqualified after originally finishing in second for a trial leg violation. The 19-year-old finished ahead of Great Britain’s Rhys Williams (49.72s), American Justin Gaymon (50.09s), former World and Olympic champion Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic (50.23s) and Richard Davenport  of Great Britain (50.57s). Gordon set a season best of 48.92s in winning at the Hampton Games on July 24.

Cleopatra Borel was fifth in the Women’s Shot Put. The two-time Commonwealth medallist had a best of 18.56m, which she achieved in the fifth round. She ended the competition with 18.49m to record two throws over the World Championships qualifying standard of 18.30m. World and Olympic queen Valarie Vili (New Zealand) was again unstoppable, taking the gold with 20.07m with each of her six throws better than silver medallist Nadezhda Ostapchuk of Belarus (19.52). Germans Nadine Kleinert (19.06) and Christina Schwanitz (18.80) also finished ahead of Borel Brown.


By:Nicolas Clarke

T&T claimed the Arthur Zaide (Overall) Trophy for the second time in the 55-year history of the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships when they edged Puerto Rico by four points on the tournament’s fourth and final day at the Millennium Lakes Golf Club in Trincity yesterday. T&T finished on 151 points, with Puerto Rico (147), Turks & Caicos (138), Dominican Republic (102) and Jamaica (100) rounding out the top five. They last won the title in 2006 in Jamaica. The home team also won the George Teale Memorial Trophy (Ladies’ Open), retained the Francis & Steele Perkins Cup (Men’s Over 50) and Ramon Baez Trophy (Men’s 35-49), placed second in the Higgs & Higgs Trophy and third in the Hoerman Cup (Men’s Open). After beginning the day three strokes ahead of Puerto Rico in the George Teale Memorial Trophy, Monifa Sealy (73) and Martine De Gannes (75) played consistently to cruise to the title by 15 shots. Their final day score of 148 took them to an overall tally of 589 (152+147+142+148), which was comfortably better than Puerto Rico (154+143+147+160 = 604), whose Maria Torress (77) and Paola Robles (83) stumbled at the finish. The Cayman Islands held on to third with 636 (167+160+153+156) while Barbados (660) and OECS (661) were fourth and fifth respectively.

Dave Rajkumar and Wayne Baptiste shot a 67 yesterday to move ahead of overnight leaders Juan Campusano and Roberto Ortiz of the Dominican Republic for the Ramon Baez Trophy. The locals, who began yesterday two strokes behind, had a final score of 271 (72+66+66+67), which was just one clear of the runners up (68+66+68+70). Finishing in third were OECS’s Trevor Lane and Raymond Percival on 275 (68+68+70+69), while Puerto Rico and Jamaica tied for fourth on 280 each. Michael Commissiong and Carlos “Sexy” Baynes held on to their overnight lead to bring home the Francis & Steele Perkins Cup. Their 69 yesterday took them to 276 (70+61+76+69), which easily bettered Puerto Rico’s Mario Carbia and Cesar Serrano (76+73+74+70 = 293). Barbados’s Ricardo Skeete and Robert Piggott placed third with 295 (67+75+75+78).

T&T slipped from second to third in the Hoerman Cup as Puerto Rico, who had been tied with the hosts after two days, continued to distance themselves from the rest of the field. Locals Andrei Collins (75), Talin Rajendranath (76), Alderray Downes (77) and Jessel Mohammed (81) combined for 309 yesterday for a four-day score of 1203 (298+288+308+309). They were eclipsed by the Dominican Republic (313+298+295+292 = 1198), who had begun yesterday 12 shots behind the home team. Puerto Rico scored a competitive 289 to finish on 1170 (293+293+295+289). They were again boosted by Erick Morales, who added 69 to his previous scores of 68, 67 and 76. Also contributing were Robert Calvesbert (72), Andrew Baez (74) and Christian Rivera (74). T&T jumped two spots to finish second in the Higgs & Higgs trophy with Barry Ferdinand and Monty Chapman tallying 296 (77+71+78+70), which was seven strokes behind Puerto Rico’s Carlos Matos and Elvin Gonzalez, Sr. (75+72+71+71 = 289). Jamaica’s Dennis Atkinson and Fred Sutherland were third with 297 (77+71+75+74)


PRESIDENT of the Trinidad and Tobago Rugby Football Union (TTRFU) Leslie Figaro said the Toyota Trinidad and Tobago Limited’s sponsorship of the Championship Division is proving to be a huge success.
In a release yesterday Figaro said “The stature and credibility of the competition has certainly been enhanced since Toyota began their sponsorship in 2008. Locally and internationally Toyota’s reputation is that of a premier brand that stands for discipline, excellence, innovation and integrity.”

He added there has also been a renewed interest among the clubs in Trinidad and Tobago.

The ongoing rugby play-offs continue this weekend with exciting match-ups at various grounds at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain and St James.

Among the games today will be; Caribs versus Harvards at Savannah III; Royalians taking on Rainbows at Savannah II and Police coming up against Stag Trinidad Northerns at the St James Police Barracks.

Figaro explained that there have been more incentives for players due to an increase in titles up for grabs.

“The Sir Solomon Hochoy Trophy has been the traditional prize. This season, in addition to the Solomon Hochoy silverware, the winner will also lift the Toyota Cup.”

He assured that the TTRFU will make every effort necessary to ensure that the discipline and standard at the championship are of the highest quality.

“We have mandated all stakeholders, the clubs, players, coaches and referees to pay attention to the laws of the game and particularly the behaviour of players, coaches and supporters. There is work to be done but the TTRFU’s partnership will be the catalyst for change.”

The TTRFU has been on a drive to enhance the development of the game here.

This includes raising the awareness of the sport, assisting clubs improve their knowledge of the laws of the game as well as knowledge of the International Rugby Board charter and code of conduct principles and world anti-doping rules.

He made it clear the local rugby union has absolutely no intentions of leaving anyone out of their development drive.

Figaro called on all clubs to give a helping hand in correcting the behaviour and conduct that are not in line with the established and expected standards of Toyota, the IRB and the TTRFU.

In addition Figaro said the TTRFU is also committed to ensuring that these standards are enforced at domestic competition.

“My vision is for the Toyota championship to be the flagship club competition in the Caribbean. A destination for the best players, coaches and rugby clubs,” said Figaro.

So powerful is their dominance of local rugby  that since 1985 the Zoo Road,Port.of.Spain based Caribs rugby football club  have lifted  the Trinidad and Tobago Rugby Football Union(TTRFU) championship division league title an eye watering twenty one times. Their arch rivals Stag Trinidad Northern are the only team to break the Beer Boys stranglehold winning the accolade the other four times.
In 2008, Toyota began sponsoring the championship division and  Caribs have won the Toyota title every year since.
It is a record of consistence and excellence that remains a testament to the history , tradition and mental fortitude of the founders,pioneers and membership of one of local sports enduring  insitutions.
Established in 1930 Caribs originally know as Caribbean rugby football club have jealously guarded and defended their reputation and status as local rugby's flagship club.
Only Stag Trinidad Northern founded in 1923 and the Imperial College of Agriculture started in 1926 and now known as University of the West Indies(UWI) rugby club have survived the passage of father time.
With Trinidad and Tobago rugby their domain and their history replete with achievements forged from an indomitable will and resolute  passion for the sport of rugby union.No player pulling the fabled jersey over their head carries lightly the burden of Caribs rugby tradition.
Outside of Trinidad Northern the only other team to have handed the defending Toyota champions a 15 -a-side championship division loss in the last twenty five editions is Rainbow Sports and Cultural club in an upset 52-12 win in  November 2010.
After two rounds of fixtures Caribs(9points) are currently in second place on the Toyota championship league standings bettered by a margin of one bonus point by Harvard Club.
Also unbeaten to date the youthful Harvard Club team  are in confident mood but  Caribs will not lose any sleep ahead of  Saturday's encounter  and  a predictable third win  and  Harvard's first loss will place the local rugby powerhouse  emphatically at the top of the table.


By: Nigel Simon

Arun Roopnarine won both his matches as T&T stunned Brazil 3-1 to begin play at the Third World Junior Table-Tennis Circuit Tournament in Guatemala City, Guatemala, yesterday. Roopnarine, who captured three titles at the recently concluded Solo National Junior Table-Tennis competition and is ranked 426 in the Cadet category defeated Gabriel Pereria 11-6, 11-9, 11-4 to put T&T ahead in the best-of-five series.

However, fellow national treble winner Aaron Wilson (421)lost to Isaac Zauli 11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 3-11 as the South Americans evened the match. The local pair of Roopnarine and Wilson then paired to beat Pereria and Zauli in the doubles 11-8, 11-4, 11-9 before Roopnarine shrugged off the challenge of Zauli in the reverse singles, 12-10, 11-8, 12-10 to seal a 3-1 triumph ahead of their afternoon match with Guatemala ‘B’.

T&T was also involved in another shock result as it combined with Uruguay to edge top seeded El Salvador 3-2 in girls’ encounter thanks to a decisive win by local girl Brittany Joseph. First on the scoreboard though was El Salvador after Margarita Ortiz scolded T&T’s national junior triple crown winner Joseph 11-4, 11-8, 11-9.

El Salvador went 2-0 ahead after Yancy Urias battled past Maria Lorenzotti 1-11, 5-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-7 to put her team within a win of clinching the tie. However, Ortiz and Urias were upended by Joseph and Lorenzotti in the doubles, 11-7, 11-13, 15-13, 5-11, 7-11 while Ortiz lost to Lorenzotti 2-11, 9-11, 7-11 to send the match into a fifth and deciding match where Joseph showed grit enroute to an 11-9, 11-4, 15-13 victory over Urias.

Joseph and Lorenzotti, seeded fourth were scheduled to face second ranked Guatemala yesterday afternoon The local duo of Catherine Spicer and Renuka Sitram, ranked fifth was blanked by number two seed, Guatemala 3-0 while they came up against fourth rated El Salvador also yesterday.


By: Nicolas Clarke

Stellar performances from Alderray Downes (71) and Talin Rajendranath (71) helped T&T draw level with first day leaders Puerto Rico in the Hoerman Cup on the second day of the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships at the Millennium Lakes Golf Club in Trincity yesterday.

Combined with solid contributions from Andrei Collins (73) and Shane Costelloe (73), the hosts improved 10 strokes on their first day tally of 298 to leave them tied on 586 going into the third day.

Lead by Erick Morales (67), Puerto Rico matched their day one score of 293 with Robert Calvesbert (74), Christian Rivera (74) and Alfred Colon (78) also chipping in. Barbados trail in third with 603, followed by Dominican Republic (611) and Jamaica (615) respectively.

Meanwhile in the race for the George Teale Memorial Trophy, T&T’s ladies conceded their first day advantage to Puerto Rico, whose Maria Torres (70) and Paola Robles (73) were in top form. With 143 yesterday and 154 on Wednesday, the Puerto Ricans are currently two shots ahead on 297. Locals Monifa Sealy (73) and Tracy Clarke (74) combined to shoot 147 yesterday, which added with T&T’s first-day 152, left them on 299. The Cayman Islands are third on 327 while Barbados (338) and OECS (339) round out the top five.

Michael Commissiong and Carlos “Sexy” Baynes climbed one place to first in the Francis & Steele-Perkins Cup (Men Over 50), finishing on 61 yesterday for a tally of 131. They eclipsed the Barbados pair of Ricardo Skeete and Robert Piggott (67+75).

Dave Rajkumar and Wayne Baptiste jumped from an overnight seventh to third in the Ramon Baez Figueroa Trophy (Men 35-49), shooting 66 for a total of 138. They trail the Dominican Republic (134) and OECS (137).

Barry Ferdinand and Monty Chapman maintained T&T’s third place tie with Jamaica in the Higgs and Higgs trophy when they shot 71. Their total of 148 is just one stroke shy of Puerto Rico (147) and the Bahamas (147), who share the top spot.


The two unbeaten teams in the T&T Rugby Football Union (TTRFU) Toyota Championship division, Harvard and Caribs will be in action tomorrow in a highly anticipated and potentially steamy encounter.  The match will take place on Harvard pitch at the Queen’s Park Savannah (QPS), Port-of-Spain, from 4.30 pm.

Both Harvard and Caribs are high off convincing victories in last weekend’s matches. Claudius Butts starred with four tries in Harvard 78-0 crushing of Police while defending champions Caribs cruised past Rainbow 37-0. Rainbow will be in action against Royalians at Royalians Ground, QPS at 4.30 pm while Police take on Stag Trinidad Northern at the inner grounds of the St James Barracks.

In the women’s division, Royalians will host Caribs at 3 pm at Royalians pitch before the men’s fixture. At the same time, Aranguez Romans will challenge Police at Harvard Pitch. Northern’s second team will take on UWI in the Second Division League (SDL) at the St Ann’s Ground, St Ann’s from 2.15 pm.

SDL action will continue on Sunday at 4.30 pm.  Tobago will challenge Rainbow’s second team in Tobago while Caribs’ second team battles Defence Force at Caribs’, QPS.


By: Clayton Clarke

The men’s 100m will again hold the spotlight at the rescheduled Sagicor Open Track and Field Championships at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo next weekend. Chairman of the NAAA Game Committee Alan Baboolal said the current form of this country’s top sprinters will be fierce:

“Because of the recent performances of our 100m athletes (Keston Bledman, Richard Thompson, Aaron Armstrong, Emmanuel Callender and Darryl Brown), it is very difficult to determine who are the top three to represent T&T at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea from August 27 and September 4. They will also be competing to make up the six for the relay team. Therefore, we are asking all the athletes to participate.”

The men’s 100m finals are set for Saturday at 7.25 pm with the women’s finals ten minutes earlier. Baboolal said there was added interest by foreign athletes to participate as the meet is the last opportunity for those seeking to attain the qualifying standards for the World Championships. “There seems to be a rush for athletes looking for the last window of opportunity.” 

Baboolal confirmed that eight countries have submitted entries. “We have a request from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St Kitts/Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Zimbabwe, USA, Cayman Islands and Jamaica.”

The NAAA secretary added that he is hoping the foreign competitors would draw spectators to the Hasely Crawford Stadium. The Championships were originally carded for June 24 to 26 but were pushed back following delays in the laying of the new track at the Stadium.  

Baboolal explained that NAAA is looking to select a team of about 25 athletes and the selection committee will meet on the night immediately following the end of the championships to pick the team ahead of the August 15 deadline issued by the International Association of Athletic Federation (IAAF).

“It is going to be a long evening because we have to send in our entries the next morning as Monaco is six hours ahead of T&T. We have up to about 6 pm to do so (12 midnight in Monaco),” said Baboolal.

He also indicated that with the National Championships coming less than two weeks before the World Championships, the NAAA will be hard pressed to get bookings to South Korea.

“We would have to be scrambling for (airline) tickets following the selection of the team as the contingent is expected to fly out to Daegu between August 16 and 18.”


TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO sprinters Keston Bledman and Richard Thompson will be in action today in the London stop of the exciting Samsung Diamond League.

Bledman and Thompson will be competing in the Men’s 100m final alongside the likes of former world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica. The field also includes Antiguan Daniel Bailey (9.97 SB), Jamaican Yohan Blake (9.95 SB), Nesta Carter (9.90 SB) and Kim Collins (10.05) of St Kitts.

Bledman has been the more in-form sprinter for TT with an impressive season best time of 9.93 and a gold medal performance at the CAC Games in Puerto Rico last month.

Thompson has not dipped below ten seconds for the season so far, with his fastest time being 10.01.

The favourite will be Powell of course, clocking a blistering 9.86 in Hungary on Saturday to sound a warning to all his rivals that he will be his best in London.

Meanwhile, national sprint queen Kelly-Ann Baptiste is scheduled to compete in the Women’s 100m event. Baptiste has been in good form this year, registering a fast 10.91at the Paris stop of the Diamond League.

Baptiste was expected to take part in the previous Diamond League in Sweden but pulled out. She will again come up against American sensation Carmelita Jeter who has run 10.70 this season.

Also in the field are Olympic relay gold medallist Bahamian Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie (11.09 SB).

World junior champion Jehue Gordon, fresh from his 48.92 golden performance at the Hampton Games, will run in the Men’s 400m hurdles final. Gordon will come up against former Olympic gold medal winner Felix Sanchez of Dominican Republic. Sanchez was beaten by Gordon at the Hampton Games.

2011 CAC winner Cleopatra Borel-Brown will be throwing for a medal in the Women’s Shot Putt final. Borel-Brown placed fourth at the previous Diamond League meet and will be hoping to crack the top three and mount the rostrum.


July 27 - Trinidad & Tobago have dropped plans to bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games after they were forced to cancel the Caribbean Games because of the swine flu crisis, they announced today.

The Games, scheduled for 12-19 July, was suppose to be a "litmus'" test as to the readiness of the Trinidad & Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) to lodge an official Commonwealth bid to follow Glasgow 2014.

But the cancellation of the event - which the TTOC supported - on the advice of the country's Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation has thrown their plans into confusion.

Larry Romany, the President of the TTOC, said: "As valid and legitimate as the reason for withdrawing may have been.

"The international and regional fall out from T&T's failure to deliver the Games is negative.

"There is no credibly way we could have progressed a bid.

"It simply would not get the required local, Caribbean and International support.

"It would have been an exercise in futility,ego and irresponsibility."

Romany admitted that important lessons were learned from the Caribbean Games failure.

He said: "There were a number of issues that came to the surface.

"Unless and until these are honestly and transparently addressed.

"Progressing a Commonwealth bid would be foolhardy and ill advised.

"The TTOC is preparing a comprehensive ,transparent and accountable report on the Caribbean Games.

"I remain confident that the TTOC can withstand objective scrutiny of its conduct, processes and policies as it relates to all aspects of the ill fated Caribbean Games."

Romany pointed out that the TTOC will have to ensure that it can provide answers when asked to do so at upcoming Olympic and Commonwealth Movement meetings .

He said: "There is a view within the regional and international Olympic movement that T&T over reached ,and overestimated its commitment,capacity, infrastructure, resources and capability to deliver a small multi-sport event.

"That is not the image or conclusion that T&T should accept."

Trinidad's withdrawal leaves the list of prospective bidders as Abuja in Nigeria, Auckland in New Zealand, Australia’s Gold Coast and Nairobi in Kenya.


Sepp Blatter always complains that he is a leader who is not as powerful as his title of FIFA President may suggest. For a start, he is in the odd position that he cannot choose his own cabinet, something that Barack Obama or David Cameron would find intolerable.

So Blatter's cabinet, the FIFA Executive Committee, are elected by the Confederations and foisted on him. There is nothing Blatter can do about that. He has to live with their choices.

To change the rules of FIFA so that members of the Executive are directly elected by the FIFA Congress, as Blatter himself is, would be a major remaking of world football. That is beyond Blatter. For a start, it would be opposed by the four British Home Nations who elect their own FIFA vice-president. The Swiss, being the shrewd politician he is, will not go down that road.

But the corruption crisis has provided Blatter with a historic opportunity; it has changed FIFA's world. Until now, changes to FIFA's executive were as a result of confederation elections. The crisis has seen four FIFA Executive members, including three Confederation Presidents - Jack Warner, Mohammed Bin Hammam and Reynald Temarii - forced out.

Blatter must now tame the Confederations and make sure that they have the same ethical rules as FIFA itself. If Blatter is serious about making FIFA fit for purpose, he has also to do the same with the Confederations. FIFA cannot be moral if the Confederations are not. There are signs that Blatter intends to rise to the challenge. FIFA's intention to probe members of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) involved in the Mohammed Bin Hammam vote-buying exercise clearly signifies that.

There are, of course, problems. For a start, not all members of the CFU are members of FIFA. So FIFA's powers to sanction those CFU members, many of them with French connections, are non-existent. That explains why FIFA's letter asking for explanations has not gone to all members of the CFU. But, even with this important qualification, there is a lot Blatter can do if he has the will. However, he will first have to decouple himself from the legacy of his mentor Joao Havelange (pictured with Blatter).

altHavelange, who with the help of Horst Dassler shaped modern FIFA, used the confederations as vote banks. As long as they voted for the Brazilian, they could do much as they pleased in their own backyard. Havelange owed his election victory over Sir Stanley Rous in 1974 to the shrewd way he mobilised the African vote. He knew the Africans were concerned about South Africa and its apartheid policies and promised to make sure that white South Africa would be kept out of FIFA. Rous, the paternalist English gentleman, who liked taking cold baths in the morning and quite liked old white South Africa as many Englishmen of his era did, would not make such pledges. The result was that he could only wonder why his African FIFA children, as he saw many of them, deserted him.

Blatter learnt at the feet of Havelange how to use confederations for securing elections and has been masterful in this. In 1998 Lennart Johansson, then President of UEFA, thought victory was certain, given that he had the support of his own European and the African confederations. You did not even need to have Maths A level to work out that such a combination is unbeatable. But Blatter detached enough votes from Africa - and some from Europe including England - to turn the tables on the Swede.

Blatter's first term as President was made difficult by the opposition he faced from Johansson and his UEFA colleagues on the FIFA executive. His answer was to go to the 2002 UEFA Congress and secure the election to FIFA of many of his men, including Michel Platini. I can still recall the joy of Blatter's men as the election results emerged and Johansson's closest allies were defeated. And this was a Congress held in Johansson's Swedish backyard and where Johansson was himself re-elected unanimously with acclamation.

altThat year, even more dramatically, Blatter defeated Issa Hayatou, the President of the African Confederation, securing more votes from Africa than the African.

In a way, Bin Hammam, who had worked so hard for Blatter in 1998 and 2002, was trying to employ the Blatter technique. Indeed, he says so himself in his letter to the Asian Football Federation where he protests his innocence and vows to fight the life ban. But, even if we accept that Bin Hammam did not try to bribe the Caribbean Union members, he was definitely attempting to raid Blatter's vote bank. Just as Blatter had done to Johansson and Hayatou, Bin Hammam tried to do the same to Blatter.

But now that this has exploded in FIFA's face, Blatter has to show how he can reform the organisation. It is not enough for there to be a powerful Ethics Committee at FIFA headquarters. There must be similar ethics committees at all the confederations. In addition, confederation elections must be monitored and shown to be above board. If only a fraction of the stories we hear about how such elections are organised are true, then there is much cleaning up to be done.

altBlatter will not find it easy to carry out such reforms. However, if he wants to leave a legacy of a clean FIFA to his successor (in all probability Michel Platini) then he has to do that. Otherwise, the scandals of the past year will recur. The result will be that FIFA will not have the sort of cathartic cleansing operation that the IOC had after Salt Lake City.

Blatter may argue that Juan Antonio Samaranch did not have to worry about confederations. But then Blatter has always seen himself as the supreme sports politician. Now is his great opportunity to show that he can do more than just win elections: that he can clean up FIFA and the confederations.

Mihir Bose is one of the world's most astute observers on politics in sport and, particularly, football. He formerly wrote for The Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph and was formerly the BBC's head sports editor. Follow Mihir on twitter.


Clayton Clarke

Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Cleopatra Borel and Keston Bledman are this country’s highest ranked athletes on the latest International Association of Athletic Federation (IAAF) performance listing updated on August 2. Baptiste is ranked number five in the women’s 100 metes runners following her 10.91 clocking in sprinting to gold in the women’s dash at the July 8 Diamond League meet in Paris, France.

The national record holder’s (10.84) triumph was significant as she whipped the 2007 World champion and three time Olympic gold medallist Veronica Campbell-Brown. Baptiste’s performance comes as she prepares for the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea from August 27 to September 4. The 24-year-old is aiming to medal after reaching the semifinals in 2009 World Champs in Berlin, Germany. Borel is at seventh in the women’s shot put after she established a national outdoor record of 19.42m in Paris on July 08. The two time Commonwealth medallist is also rounding into form for the World Championships with three other throws over the 19 metres mark.

Bledman is ranked number 10 on the men’s 100 metres list. The 2005 World Youth silver medallist clocked 9.93 seconds in winning in Clearmont, Florida, USA, on June 6. Baptiste heads the women’s 4x100m team which is at eighth with 43.40 after winning at the Bahamas Championships in Nassau, Bahamas, on June 25. The other runners on the team were Semoy Hackett, Kai Selvon and Aleesha Barber. The men’s 4x400m squad is also eighth after Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Deon Lendore and Renny Quow clocked 3:01:65 to take silver at the Central American and Caribbean Championships in Puerto Rico Champs on July 17.

The rankings were released ahead of the National Open Championships on August 13 and 14 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, where this country’s top athletes will vie for spots on national team for the World Championships.



Event Ranking Name Time Date

100m 5 Kelly-Ann Baptiste 10.91 July 8

100m 30 Semoy Hackett 11.17 May 15

100m 53 Michelle Lee-Ahye 11.22 July10

Shot put 7 Cleopatra Borel 19.42 July 8

4x100m 8 T&T 43.40 June 25

400m Hurdles 30 Janiel Bellille 55.80 April 2


100m 10 Keston Bledman 9.93 June 4

100m 21 Richard Thompson 10.01 June 4

100m 37 Aaron Armstrong 10.13 July 23

100m 55 Rondel Sorillo 10.18 May 14

100m 64 Emmanuel Callender 10.19 July 23

400m Hurdles 13 Jehue Gordon 48.92 July 24

4x100 11 T&T 38.89 July 16

4x400 8 T&T 3:01:65 July 17


By David Gold

Sport is one of the most successful ways of preventing crime, claim RFU The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has backed a new report that emphasises the link between sports development and a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour at a time when the Government loses £4 billion ($6.5 billion/€4.6 billion) each year to youth crime, and with one in five youngsters being involved in such activities.

Talking at the EU Experts Conference in Wroclaw, Poland, Sally Pettipher, campaign director of the Rugby Football Foundation (RFF), referred to the Teenage Kicks report, which was commissioned by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, and claimed that using sport to help youngsters gives compelling returns.

"We all know that using sport is one of the most successful and innovative ways to prevent crime and aid rehabilitation of offenders," said Pettipher.

"There are plenty of stories of sport keeping young people off the streets and out of prison, engaging them in education, and instilling respect and discipline.

"However, hard evidence is lacking, making it difficult - particularly for non-sports policy areas - to make a convincing case for investment.

"There are evidenced examples from a recent study by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

"For every pound invested this is the return on investment in savings to society through measures such as the cost of criminal damage and the cost of detaining people in the criminal justice system.

"Recently the RFF and the RFU investigated the impact of rugby in schools - and the findings indicated a correlation between playing rugby and improved exam results and reduced exclusions."

Laureus promote sport as an opportunity for youngsters to engage in teamwork, respect, self-discipline and sportsmanship, with these values also being transferable away from the playing field.

Laureus head of programmes Tom Pitchon added: "Laureus is working to deepen the evidence base for the use of sport as a tool to tackle key social issues worldwide.

"We are delighted to see that the Teenage Kicks report is being used to showcase the impact that sport can have on crime ridden communities not only in the UK, but also internationally."

The Teenage Kicks report was launched earlier this year by Baroness Tanni-Grey Thompson and measured the results of three sports-based projects - the Boxing Academy, Kickz and 2nd chance – with all three being found to be cost effective and successful in reducing crime.

"Cuts to sport and youth projects are a false economy," says report author, Camilla Nevill.

"Sport combined with targeted support has huge potential to engage hard to reach young people, change lives and communities, and provide value for money.

"For example, we found that one Kickz project creates £7 (£11/€8) value for every £1 (£1.60/€1.20) invested, by reducing costs to victims, police, prisons and courts."

The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation now want the government to incorporate sport-based projects into its policy on tackling such criminal activity among youngsters.