By: Andrew Gioannetti

Both Abdeel Giles and Jason Clark recorded two tries each in Caribs’ 37-0 crushing victory away to Rainbow in the Toyota championship division in Marabella on Saturday. The two national players were among other try scorers, Kurt Quashie and Samuel Roberts who kept Caribs perfect through the second match of the season. Stag Trinidad Northern were also winners as they kept Royalians at bay 31-8 when they took to the Queens Park Savannah. Cubison Thorne scored a couple for Northern along with single efforts from Adam Fredericks, Dwight Pollonais and Michael Augustus. In the other match  Police were on the receiving end of a humiliating 78-0 defeat at the hands of unbeaten Harvard.  Claudius Butts was the star of the show scoring four tries with Wayne Kelly helping out with three of his own. Aasan Lewis, Tariq Cheeks and Ryan Hinckson also found their names on the try scorers list. The match had an even worse turn for Police as Damien Richards went down in the first half with what officials described as a dislocated ankle. Richards was down on the pitch for almost 30 minutes before the emergency services arrived. He underwent surgery yesterday.

This Saturday  Caribs rugby football club and the Harvard Club rugby section will square off  in a Toyota championship division match day three fixture.Last weekend  Caribs rugby football club, the defending champions,defeated Rainbow Sports and Cultural Club 37- 0 at the Marabella Recreational Grounds  to remain unbeaten  after two rounds of action in the Trinidad and Tobago Rugby Football Union(TTRFU) Toyota sponsored championship division league competition.
Harvard are also unbeaten following wins against Rainbow-65-17, and Police-80-0.
The Caribs and  Harvard Club  match will be played  at the Harvards pitch -Queens Park Savannah 3-.
Local rugby heavyweight Caribs will head into Saturday's game confident that they will assert their authority with a win over the Tragarette Road based Harvard Club rugby section.
Meanwhile,in other Toyota championship division action last Saturday Stag Trinidad Northern rebounded from their first week 19-7 defeat at the hands of rivals Caribs to register a 31-8 win over newly promoted Royalians.


TOBAGO-BORN Emile Abraham, now United States-based, easily pedalled to his 10th National Road Race Championship.

The veteran rider completed the 105 - mile grind in three hours 13 minutes on Monday.

His nearest challengers were runner-up Gevan Samuel with Gavyn Nero in third and Stephen Mungroo fourth, all of Team Trek.

Abraham described his victory on Monday as “good as a lot of guys came out to ride.”

He said he was a bit concerned about jet-lag arriving here only on Sunday, but his legs held up well and he was happy to get the victory.

Next up for the veteran road warrior is the Pan Am Games in Guadalajara.

Abraham who got the silver medal in the road race at the Pan Am Games in Brazil in 2007 said, “I am in good spirits and form and my long term goal is to qualify for the Olympics.”

He said he has never been to an Olympic Games and, “whether I medal or not I would like to make it to the Olympics before I retire.”

Monday’s race took riders from Valencia south-east along the Eastern Main Road to Sangre Grande, then on to the Toco Road and back to Valencia.


Aleesha Barber copped third place in the women’s 100 metres hurdles at the Folksam Grand Prix in Karlstad, Sweden yesterday. The national record holder crossed the line in 13.46 seconds behind American Nichole Denby (13.17) and  Isabelle Pederson of Norway (13.35). Barber then teamed up with American Denby, Tori Polk Brianna Glen to finished second in the women’s 4x100 in 45.33 behind Sweden (45.12). On Sunday, the 2010 CAC Games champion, was second in Sundsvall in 13.29 behind US’s Queen Harrison (12.93).


By: Clayton Clarke

Elton Walcott and Michelle Lee Ahye are this country’s highest ranked athletes in the latest International Association of Athletic Federation (IAAF) World Junior (Under 20) Rankings. Walcott is at fourth in the men’s triple jump standing after his 16.43 metres leap in the finals at the Pan American Junior Championships in Florida, USA on July 23. He went on to take the gold in a wind assisted distance of 16.51m (+2.3). The Toco’s athlete’s 16.43 mark is a new national record bettering the previous best of 16.28 he set at the Tobago Falcons Games on April 16. The Four time Carifta champion is behind the world leader Ernesto Reve of Cuba (17.40), Indian Arpinder Singh (16.62) and Bahamas’ Latario Collie-Minns (16.55).

Lee-Ahye is at number sixth in the junior women’s 100m dash after she clocked 11.22 at the NAAA Twilight meet on July 10 at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. The Concorde sprinter sped to victory at the Pan Am Junior event in 11.25 seconds. Lee-Ahye’s time bettered the World Championships qualifying standard of 11.29. Kai Selvon in the number seven spot in the women’s 200m following her second place finish at the Pan Am Junior in 22.97 seconds. The 19-year-old Auburn University second year student also qualified for the World championships (standard-23.00).

Elton’s younger brother Keshorn is at 19th in the javelin with his 72.50 metres national record achieved at the Carifta Games in April where he won this third gold in the event. The tall Toco Secondary sixth former has further two throws:72.52 on June 12 and 72.89 on June 26 achieved at the warm up track at the Hasely Crawford Stadium but the performances have not been ratified because the area not an IAAF certified facility. Moriba Morain is at 14th in the 200m with 20.85 and 19th in the 100m (10.36) with Jamol James in 20th in the 100m (10.38).


T&T’s IAAF World

Junior (Under 20) rankings:

100m: 19th Moriba Morain-10.36; 20th Jamol James-10.38

200m: 14th Moriba Morain- 20.85

Triple Jump: 4th Elton Walcott-16.43

Javelin: 19th Keshorn Walcott- 72.50

4x100m: 7th Trinidad and Tobago- 39.91

4x400m: 8th Trinidad and Tobago-3:08:96


100m: 6th Michelle Lee –Ahye-11.22

200m: 7th Kai Selvon-22.97


By: Tom Degun

August 2 - Sir Craig Reedie, Britain's International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board member, has claimed that Sebastian Coe would be a welcome addition to the organisation following his exceptional work as London 2012 chairman.

With less than a year to go until London 2012, the capital is at a more advanced stage in their preparations to host the Olympics and Paralympics than any host city has been in the past.

Sir Craig claimed that this is something that the IOC are very pleased about and that it has reflected very well on Coe himself.

"Seb is a remarkable combination of many different skills," Sir Craig told insidethegames.

"He has two Olympic gold medals in his collection, he has been in the world of politics, he has been in the world of business, he is wonderfully effective with the media and he is extremely well known.

"It is difficult to think of better leadership qualities than that and he is very highly regarded by the IOC for the work he has done in London.

"I'm sure the IOC would be very comfortable to have Seb as a member and he would be most welcome."

Britain has four IOC members, including Sir Craig.

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven, IOC Athletes' Commission member Adam Pengilly and the Princess Royal all current serving as members.

The large British IOC contingent means that Coe's most likely route into the organisation is to be elected President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) - a role that brings with it automatic IOC membership.

Current IAAF President Lamine Diack is set to stand for his last four-year term next month with Coe, along with Ukraine's 1988 Olympic pole vault champion Sergey Bubka, tipped as the two most likely candidates to replace the Senegalese when he steps down.

Both are currently vice presidents at the IAAF.

Sir Craig's comments are supported by another IOC Executive Board member Denis Oswald (pictured second right with Coe and London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton and IOC Olympic Director Gilbert Felli) who said he would love to see Coe become a member of the organisation.

"Certainly I would like to see Seb in the IOC," Oswald told insidethegames.

"He is somebody who has contributed a lot to the Olympic Movement, he has great experience in sport and I would be very happy if he could join us soon."

Oswald, who is chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for London 2012, added that Coe has particularly impressed the organisation by delivering venues on time and on budget.

"We are very pleased because with a year to go most of the venues are finished with only a few minor details needed and we have not been in such a comfortable position at previous Games.

"At previous Games, there are been situations where we have been fighting to have things done, like in Athens where I was also chair IOC Coordination Commission, and things were only done in the last minute.

"But this is not the case in London because Seb and the Organising Committee have done such a fantastic job."


By: Kern De Freitas

Tough times mean tough measures and the Ministry of Sport is advising national sporting organisations (NSOs) to get self-sufficient.

Many local sporting bodies are feeling the pinch of cutbacks trickling down from the massive budget cuts at the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT).

The Amateur Swimming Association of T&T (ASATT) may have to cancel its upcoming Goodwill Meet, while some NSOs have had problems raising funding to send national teams abroad to compete.

Even football's T&T Pro League and other sporting bodies have fallen on hard times.

Acting Permanent Secretary for the Sport Ministry Ashwin Creed yesterday acknowledged that funding has been a problem for sport this year, but said NSOs need to take some responsibility for their own fund-raising.

Creed is not shutting the door on financial support for sport organisations, but says the Ministry's policy of self-reliance will continue into the next fiscal year. "(NSOs) have no other choice," Creed told the Express yesterday. "Our approach in the new financial year is that. (Before we assist them) we want to know what is your revenue, we want to know how much you plan to raise, what the income is like. The days for just giving, giving, giving is over. That is not business."

Creed explained that the practice of the Ministry funding national teams in full started in 2004, but said times have changed and that neither the Ministry—nor its implementation arm, SPORTT—could afford to continue that practice.

"Before, when a national team was going away, the Olympic Committee said 'okay, we can (contribute) this (sum)', and they used to write the NSO and tell them they have to put so much."

SPORTT has been hampered by a 40 per cent budget cut earlier this year and, as a result, many projects have suffered, including their planned summer youth camps, funding to NSOs, and some planned facility construction and repair projects.
Elite athletes are also yet to receive funding, while various local leagues have also been affected.

Creed also called on the T&T Pro League to do some "introspection" as far as funding is concerned.

The practice of government funding sporting leagues does not happen in other countries, Creed reasoned, and said they should try and look at ways to support the sport on their own.

"I think its time that the Pro League itself starts taking a look at itself," he said. "If you have a (professional) league you're really supposed to be making your own money. We have been carrying the League for the last few years." Overall, Creed expects the tough times to continue.

"Before 2004, the NSOs used to have to get at least 50 per cent of the funding… If we continue to get budget cuts it means they will start looking for funding."


By: Tom Degun

August 1 - The International Boxing Association's (AIBA) President C K Wu made a historic announcement today in which he revealed that the governing body for amateur boxing will make a major move into professional boxing.

A new programme, entitled AIBA Professional Boxing (APB), is to be launched in early 2013 and will feature both individual and national team bouts at national, continental and world levels, Wu announced in the Kazakhstan capital, Astana.

It follows the AIBA run World Series of Boxing (WSB) competition, which was inaugurated last year and sees boxers compete without head guards, while being scored by three judges.

Like the WSB, the new APB will allow competitors to retain their Olympic eligibility despite boxing professionally.

"Today, the AIBA Executive Committee has unanimously approved the creation of another revolutionary programme which is the AIBA Professional Boxing programme called APB," said Wu, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

"The main reasons to develop AIBA's own professional boxing programme are as follows.

"First of all, I would like to change AIBA as the ultimate responsible body for the boxer's entire boxing career including amateur and professional and would like to give more opportunities to all our boxers to compete and live in a better boxing world with a stable financial status and as respected role models for young generations.

"I would like to make of AIBA the true governing body to support all National Federations and grassroots including clubs by generating more revenues from the APB programme.

"I am also deeply determined to change the image and reputation of our sport with transparency, popularity and social contribution by taking the responsibility of managing the destinies of the sport of boxing in all forms.

"I am determined to launch professional boxing under the umbrella of AIBA so that we will be the true and respected leader of our sport, and not any other organisation."

Wu is hoping to roll back decades of tradition where boxers turn professional after competing successfully at the Olympics.

Among those who have become professionals after winning Olympic gold medals is the most famous boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali - who won the light heavyweight gold medal at Rome in 1960 under the name of Cassius Clay (pictured).

Other notable names include George Foreman, who won the heavyweight gold medal at Mexico City in 1968, and Sugar Ray Leonard, winner of the light welterweight title at Montreal in 1976.

Lennox Lewis, fighting for Canada, won the super heavyweight gold medal at Seoul in 1988 before switching allegiance to Britain and becoming the country's greatest ever heavyweight.

The professional style competition means that there will be no use of head guards in all elite men competitions in AIBA Amateur, WSB and AIBA Professional Boxing programmes, while the current WSB scoring system with three judges is set to be used for all AIBA Amateur and Professional Boxing competitions.

However, head guards will be maintained for women, youth and junior categories.

Another key feature of the competition is that the AIBA President revealed that current professional boxers could have their Olympic eligibility restored if they compete in the first season of the APB and therefore be able to compete at the Rio 2016 Games.

"We will invite the current AIBA (AOB) registered boxers who wish to turn to professional boxing to APB with an age limit from 19-years-old until 40-years-old," Wu said.

"In addition, in order to truly develop the APB ranking competitions with the best boxers around the world, for the first season only, APB will accept current professional boxers to join APB with limited terms and conditions.

"Most importantly, we will allow these APB boxers to compete in the Olympic Games with limited terms and conditions and we plan to make this dream come true from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

"All boxers in AIBA programmes, AOB, WSB and APB, will only be selected through the full cooperation with our National Member Federations.

"This means that the boxers will remain as registered boxers of National Federations, although they turned to AIBA Professional Boxing.

"It is planned to identify and select the best AOB boxers for APB within a one year time period until the Olympic Games."

Wu added that the will also be a change in the AIBA marketing strategy as a result of the organisations move into professional boxing.

"As we are launching a massive programme in our organisation, our financial conditions must be stabilised in order to operate all necessary means for the success of these three core programmes," he said.

"Therefore, we will establish AIBA's own marketing arm called the Boxing Marketing Arm (BMA).

"BMA will be the main promoter for boxers and will organise all future APB competitions.

"In addition, BMA will be the ultimate marketing tool to generate all necessary revenues for AOB, WSB and APB by controlling all commercial rights of these three organisations.

"In this regard, we have already secured enough seed fund to begin our operation for APB and BMA.

"We will start AIBA Professional Boxing with a programme with National Member Federations having strong wills and a determination to change our sport to a better commanding position in the international sports community and Olympic Movement.

"Therefore, we will grow step-by-step by satisfying continuous and stable achievements in each year without hasting to achieve our goals within a short period of time.

"This year, with the AIBA Executive Committee's approval, we will complete both business plans for APB and BMA and start to organise the APB structure in AIBA.

"Then, in 2012, we will register both APB and BMA to sign top boxers from both AOM and current professional boxing programme.

"Finally, at the beginning of 2013, the AIBA Professional Boxing competitions will start."


By: Brian Lewis

Money worries! No Money! These days the Ministry of Sport and the Sport Company (SportTT) are coming in for adverse comment and criticism either openly or by innuendo. Sports administrators are publicly pointing to the Ministry and or SportTT. The blame for every disappointment is dumped squarely in the lap of the honchos at Abercromby Street and Henry Street. This column, on the other hand, has a different perspective and that is fingers should be pointed at local sports administrators for missing the strategic boat. The narrative surrounding sport is focused on the negative because of sports administrators and other interested individuals for whom the only priority is obtaining money. With labour unions having to accept five percent, how could National Sport Organisations (NSOs) and their stakeholders not suffer funding cuts? NSOs should have been alive to the developments taking place, money worries should not have come like the proverbial thief in the night.

A few years ago as money flowed like water the T&TOC leadership on many occasions cautioned NSOs that they should be prudent and act with fiscal discipline, common sense and responsibility. Words of reason were dismissed and scoffed at. During the heady times of plenty the emphasis shifted from volunteerism. No longer was it about sport at the service of the larger and greater good. Strategic and national sport policy coherence became a casualty as social and recreational sports suddenly became elite and amateur sport administrators changed overnight into high value professionals. An overreliance on government funding fosters dependency. NSOs are the ones to make the hard decisions not government. It is unrealistic and a dereliction of duty and leadership to demand and even expect that government and by extension the taxpayer to fund the complete wish list of any NSO. Not, at any rate, in times when babies are crying from hunger or drowning in cesspits.

Government funding is not an absolute or God given right; there are some government hand out obsessed NSOs who believe that they should receive all the funding that they require from the public purse. Their love and devotion to their sport is without question. However, NSOs cannot afford to be naïve or for that matter compliant and allow unrepresentative views and actions to be taken for  the majority view. Small but vocal minorities can do untold damage when the majority display indifference. There is not enough money to go around and NSOs are entirely reliant on government funding. A recipe for disaster, if ever there was one. Solving it requires fresh ideas and thought leadership. Sport is vulnerable to the external problems in the political, social and socio-economic environment. Institutional and systemic barriers to sports development are substantial and participation in sport is not taken seriously. There are serious issues to be addressed.

Maybe if NSOs change their poor me narrative to one that is more edifying and constructive, then sport will be taken seriously  and strategically promoted as a significant contributor to  social development, economic growth and diversification. The general public and corporate T&T are sick and tired of the posturing, brinksmanship, bacchanal and confusion. Instead of running around shouting the sky is falling start talking about an integrated strategy to create a sporting culture that will grow and create a sustainable sport ecosystem and infrastructure that will see more Trinbagonians playing, enjoying and excelling in sports. Before going cap in hand begging and demanding more money provide information  on participation levels; ideas and plans on how to make sports more accessible for the average Trinbagonian; suggestions on how to facilitate increased participation among all citizens in recreational and competitive sports and how to coordinate programmes that support athlete development and progress to high performance. Establish the local sport brand as trustworthy and credible, excellence driven and innovative. Dysfunctional, inept and incompetent is not a brand anyone would want to align with,sponsor, fund or invest in.


By: Clayton Clarke

Darryl Brown signalled his readiness for the National Senior Championships with an impressive 10.04 clocking to take the 100 metres at the Morvant Jets/Mustangs Games which ended at the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday. The world junior record holder floated down the newly relaid track ahead of Jamaicans Omar Douglas (10.14) and Jermaine Brown (10.30). The times were however, pushed by 2.9 wind and will be considered illegal. Brown advanced to finals after topping his heat in the morning.
Speaking after his triumph, an elated Rebirth runner thanked the fans for their support. “Thanks for the continued support through my struggles in the past years. The run was better than last week (at the Hampton Games).”

The 2003 World Championships silver medallist has been struggling with injuries in recent years and is looking forward to the National Championships in two weeks. He is expected to be in the T&T team for his fifth World Championships team. “I want to finish in the top four and hopefully make the team to Daegu.” Reyare Thomas (Neon Trackers) prevented a Rebirth sweep of the sprints as she took the women’s dash in 11.53 ahead of Brown’s clubmate Sasha Springer (11.85) with World Youth semifinalist Chelsea Charles (12.19). Jamaicans swept the top four places in the men’s Invitational  400m. Oral Thompson led the way with a personal best of 45.42 ahead of Peter Matthews (45.74), Omar Johnson (46.70) and 800m champion Ricardo Cunningham (46.82).  Thompson was seeking to make the World Championships A qualifier of 45.25 to make the Jamaican team but bettered the B  marker of 45.70 and improved his previous best of 45.50. World Junior champion Jehue Gordon was beaten into fifth (47.12) with early race leader sprinter Emmanuel Callender in sixth (48.24). Thompson’s compatriot O’Dayne Richards was outstanding in the field taking the men’s shot put with a mammoth throw of 19.54m. Richards was denied a double as he was beaten into second (49.12) in the men’s discus behind T&T’s national record holder Quincy Wilson (52.52). Edson Moses captured the men’s high jump. The 14-year-old Tobago Falcons athlete leapt to a personal best of 1.78m.


By: Nicholas Clarke

With the world outdoor track and field championships in Daegu, South Korea less than one month away, 12 local athletes have attained the qualifying standards. Sprinters to lead the way with Keston Bledman (9.93), Richard Thompson (10.10), Aaron Armstrong (10.13) and Rondel Sorillo (10.18) all making the required mark of 10.18. Emmanuel Callender (10.19) and Darryl Brown (10.22) are just off. All six are expected to clash at the National Championships in two weeks time to determine the trio that will represent T&T at the world meeting. They are also likely to line up the 4x100m which has surpassed the standard of 39.20 with a 38.89 clocking in taking silver at the Central American and Caribbean Track and Field Championships in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, on July 16.

Sorillo is the lone A qualifier in the 200m with 20.46 (standard-20.60). Among the ladies Kelly-Ann Baptiste (10.91), Hackett (11.17) and teenager Michelle Lee Ahye (11.22) have dipped under the 11.29 barrier. Baptiste is in form of her life with her 10.91 clocking in winning at the Diamond League meet in Paris, France where she defeated the 2007 World Champion and three-time Olympic gold medallist Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica. Since lowering her national record to 10.84 in 2010, Baptiste has surpassed the standards several times so far and is currently fifth on the world ranking. Hackett set a new pb of 11.17 in May while Ahye most recently clocked 11.25 in taking the Pan American Junior title last weekend.  Hackett also made the cut in the 200m (23.00) with 22.87 along with 19 year old Kai Selvon (22.97). The quartet is expected to feature in the 4x100m relay that has clocked 43.40 and 43.47 to qualify for Daegu (44.00).

Cleopatra Borel Brown and Jehue Gordon have bettered the requirement on numerous occasions. In the women’s shot put Borel set a new national outdoor mark of 19.42m to go well over the 18.30m mark and has hit 19 metres figure at two other outings. Borel lies seventh on the world rankings. Gordon bettered the 49.40 required with 48.92 last week at the Hampton Games. The 2010 World Junior champion also clocked 49.09 and 49.21 this season. Quartermiler Renny Quow and triple jumper Ayanna Alexander are in line for selection following their wins at the CAC Championships in Puerto Rico on July 15 to 17.

Quow took the men’s 400m title and will seeking to match his bronze medal performance in Berlin, Germany in 2009 while Alexander topped the field in the women’s triple jump. The duo along with Bledman, Hackett and Borel have meet another criteria following their CAC triumphs as area champions will be considered as A qualifiers in according to the International Association of Athletic Federations qualifying guidelines. Quow is also part of the men’s 4x400m outfit which sped to 3:01:65 in taking silver at the CAC Championships and dip under the 3:04:00 required to compete in Daegu.


By: Clayton Clarke

Michelle Lee-Ahye and Elton Walcott struck gold for Trinidad and Tobago at last weekend’s Pan American Junior Track and Field Championships in Miramar, Florida, USA. Lee-Ahye raced to gold in the women’s 100m to secure this country’s first ever women’s track gold (and second overall) at the hemispherical meet. The 19-year-old sprinter clocked a World Championships qualifying time of 11.25 seconds and is expected to join Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Semoy Hackett as this country’s representatives in the women’s 100m a the World Athletic Championships in Daegu, South Korea in August. Walcott leaped to glory in the men’s triple jump with a wind-assisted distance of 16.51 metres. The four-time Carifta champion opening his series with national junior record of 16.43 in the first round to add to the previous mark he set at the Tobago Falcons Games on April 16. Both youngsters have been beset with injuries in their quest for glory. Concorde’s Lee-Ahye came on the local scene in 2006 and went on to capture three Carifta sprint titles. She first took the girls Under-17 100m gold in Turks and Caicos in 2007 and defended her crown one year later in St Kitts/Nevis.

Her injury problem then started when she was unable to competed in the 200 finals at both meets after impressing in the heats.  At the 2009 Carifta Championships in St Lucia injury prevented the former Tranquility Secondary student from making it to the start line. However, she recovered to take the girls Under-20 gold in Cayman Islands the following year. The speedster was denied a chance to represent the Red, White and Black at the World Junior Championships in 2008 and 2010 again due to injury.
In 2011 she was going for a fourth gold but lost out to Antonique Strachan of the Bahamas in Montego Bay Jamaica but the Ken Barton/Clayton Walkes coached athlete finally came through to capture T&T first female Pan Am Junior sprint title and exact revenge on the Bahamian. Lee-Ahye told T&T Guardian on the team’s return that she went into the race confident and positive. She said she was exhausted after her effort because it was hot and dry in Miramar. The shy lass advanced to the finals with a wind-assisted time of 11.15 which left her shocked. As she approached the line for the gold medal race Lee-Ahye said she tried to remain positive.

After she crossed the line in 11.25 seconds, the 2011 CAC Championships relay gold medallist added she felt great and all her teammates were happy for her. Walcott said the win topped off a good season for him. “It was an excellent outing for me. I am pleased that I could end my season on a high.” The Toco jumper also said his triumph came despite having missed crucial training earlier in the season because of injuries. “I think it is a season any athlete would have. There are the ups and downs and you have to try your best and overcome the obstacles one by one as they come along.” The 2009 World Youth Championships fourth-place finisher explained that he sustained an injury again in his Pan Am win. “My mindset is focus on recovery as I sustained an injury during the competition. “So I am just looking to get over that and resume training in a couple of months. Moving on to the seniors is another challenge but I am looking forward to it.”


By: Nigel Simon

T&T’s George Bovell III missed out on a medal at the 14th FINA World Long Course Championships when finished seventh in the  men’s 50m freestyle final at the Indoor Stadium, Oriental Sports Centre, Shanghai, China, yesterday. The 27-year-old Bovell III, swimming out of lane one was slow to react to the starter and was seventh off the blocks, a positition he maintained until the end of the race in 22.04 seconds, ahead of South Africa’s Gideon Louw (22.11). The winner was Brazilian, Cesar Filho Cielo, the world and Olympic champion who retained his title with a 21.52 clocking while Italy’s Luca Dotto got silver in 21.90, and Frenchman, Alain Bernard, bronze in 21.92. The other finishers in the final were American champion, Nathan Adrian (21.93), Brazil’s Bruna Fratus (21.96) and Hungarian, Krisztian Takacs (21.99).

Two years ago in Rome, Italy, Bovell III broke the 50m freestyle world record of 21.69 with a sizzling 21.64 clocking in the heats which was then bettered by Cielo in the final with a 21.08 clocking, but he failed to reproduce that form this time around. In Friday’s semifinal, Bovell III who was competing in his seventh World Championship final, was joint fourth in the second semifinal in a season best 22.02 seconds, the same time as Low to qualify for the gold medal splash as the joint sixth fastest swimmer. The time by the 2004 Olympic bronze medal winner Bovell III bettered his previous best for the year of 22.31 set at the Paris Open last month. First home in Bovell III’s semifinal was Fratus (21.76) followed by Cielo (21.79), Takacs (21.97), Low and Bovell III, Russia’s Sergey Fesikov (22.09), Australian Matthew Abood (22.16) and South African, Roland Schoeman (22.42).

In the first semifinal Adrian won in 21.94 followed by Dotto (21.97), Olympic medallist Alain Bernard  (22.07), Australian Matthew Targett (22.09), Italy’s Marco Orsi (22.13), Great Britain’s Adam Brown (22.21), Sweden’s Stefan Nystrand (22.23) and Russian, Andrey Grechin (22.36). Earlier in the morning heats, Bovell III, competing in the 15th of 16 events and from a difficult lane eight, was joint winner in 22.03 seconds with USA’s Adrian, who raced from lane four. Their time was equalled by Cielo, when he won heat 14. Bovell III and Adrian were followed home in their heat by Takacs (22.15), Fesikov (22.16), Bernard (22.19), Dotta (22.25), Targett (22.31) and Canadian champion Brent Hayden, 22.34. Also in action, yesterday was Cherelle Thompson who was fifth in heat eight of the women’s 50m freestyle in 27.21 seconds for 42nd spot overall. The other team member Joshua Mc Leod competed in the 50m and 100m butterfly, and placed 29th and 45th respectively. Bovell and his coach, Minister of Sport Anil Roberts return home at 4:56am on a Continental flight on Wednesday while Thompson, Mc Leod and head coach Joseph Mc Leod arrive on Tuesday. Amateur Swimming Association of T&T president, Lindsay Gillette arrived yesterday.


TWO incidents this week have shown how important it is for a society to act, through its various arms of State, its NGOs and its ordinary citizenry, to try to curb the illicit drug use.
TT, among the other nations, was shocked at the tragic death of soul singer Amy Winehouse after a troubled life of addiction to illicit drugs and alcohol. The world has been deprived of a huge talent whose earthy tones spanned generations and cultures. “They tried to make me go to rehab, But I said no, no no”, were the words of her hit song, “Rehab”, which is now sure to become a tragic anthem of lives lost to drug addiction. Rest in peace, Amy.

The second happening this week, at home, was the stark revelation by Dr Lincoln Douglas, Minister in the Ministry of the People and Social Development, of the extent to which drugs are ruining the lives of men, women and yes, children, in TT. He addressed a recent meeting on the certification of drug counsellors at the Kapok Hotel hosted by the Organisation of American States (OAS).

The figures are shocking.

Some 40 percent of both men and women in jail in TT are there due to some sort of involvement in illegal drugs, whether drug use, drug peddling, or committing other crimes to fund a drug habit, or under the influence of drugs. Of all the women jailed for drug charges, most (two thirds) were involved in the drug trade, said Douglas. His figures were equally shocking for the population of youngsters incarcerated at correctional facilities. Some 74 percent had tried marijuana, while some 57 percent had smoked crack cocaine. Half of these youngsters are still using drugs, said Douglas. He said youngsters from as young as nine-years-old have used drugs.

These figures suggest is a clear link between drug use and criminality.

While popular culture sometimes seeks to glamourise illicit drug use especially marijuana, in songs and in movies, one must remember that drugs have been outlawed for a reason, that is, for their detrimental effect on one’s physical and psychiatric health.

Given the large proportion of inmates jailed on drug offences, and given this country’s prevalence of street-dwellers (many whom exhibit mental problems likely incurred by illicit drug use), there is certainly a need for concerted action against drugs.

So Douglas’ support for rehab centres is certainly welcomed. There is a proliferation of centres offering rehab treatment, and Douglas has vowed a Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Act to set standards.

He also lamented the lack of specific treatment centres for adolescents and women involved in illicit drugs, and of any specific centre in Tobago, apart from the Psychiatric Unit of the Scarborough Hospital.

We welcome the Government’s focus on the ills of drug abuse and the need for rehabilitation.

Minister Douglas did not spell out what shortcomings, if any, he is seeking to rectify in the proposed new Bill. However, we would hope to see a collaborative approach between the State and those NGOs who have laboured long and hard in the vineyard, and who would possess expertise and insights probably not available to official State agencies.

Of course, while we support all efforts in the very difficult task of drug rehabilitation, we would also like to see an end to the machine of misery that is manufacturing drug addicts and street-dwellers — the drug trade.

We await to see how the well-heeled parasites who traffic illicit drugs to prey on this society’s most vulnerable will now be curbed by recent laws such as the Financial Intelligence Unit Act and Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill.

As one speaker at the OAS event said, there are too many Amy Winehouses in this region crying out for help, and we certainly hope it will be forthcoming.


By: Anna-Lisa Paul

Prominent orthopaedic surgeon, Dr David Toby, and his wife, Nicole, remain in critical condition at the St Clair Medical Hospital up until late yesterday following a vehicular accident in the vicinity of the national stadium shortly after 6.40 am.
Reports revealed that the doctor and his wife who live at Phez Park in Glencoe were in a vehicle driven by Toby heading south along the Mucurapo Link Road at about 6.40 am, when the doctor allegedly failed to stop at the intersection and crashed headon into a vehicle driven by Nekeisha Benjamin of Morne Coco Road in Maraval.

Benjamin was treated at hospital and discharged, but the doctor and his wife suffered massive injuries resulting in their hospitalisation.

Officers of the St James Police Station visited the scene of the accident and the two vehicles have since been towed to the station as investigations continue.

In 2009, Toby was one of the surgeons who attended to then Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar after she slipped and fell on a piece of carpet in the Red House.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister told Newsday, “My prayers are with Dr Toby and his wife, and I wish him a full recovery in the shortest possible time.”

Also yesterday, Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh who has been a close friend of Toby for the past 30 years said he was grieved over what had happened to the doctor and his wife.

He added that he too, was praying for the couple’s full recovery, and was monitoring the condition of his long time friend.

Gopeesingh said in 1991, Toby operated on one of his ankles and it healed very quickly after that procedure.

Gopeesingh added that he will continue to monitor his friend’s condition and reiterated that all will be done to assist his friend medically.


Following Caribs FC 19-7 away win at Stag Trinidad Northern in the T&T Rugby Football Union’s (TTRFU) Toyota Championship Division opener and Robert Farfan Memorial Cup last Saturday, the club will be looking for a triumph, today when they travel to hosts Rainbow’s turf in Marabella.
The league fixture, along with two others will begin at 4.30 pm. Rainbow were on the receiving end of a 65-17 thrashing of Harvard in their opener last weekend, despite heavy preparation for the season. Harvard will be in action against Police at home on the Harvard Pitch, Queen’s Park Savannah (QPS). In the other match up, Royalians which defeated Policc 28-7 last weekend will be in action against Northern in a keen match up at Royalians Pitch, QPS.
Several players from Police, Harvard, Rainbow and Defence Force will be in action following their involvement in the Morvant Jets/ Mustangs Games relay race. The two women’s matchs originially scheduled for this afternoon will not be played. The Aranguez Romans women’s rugby team  were carded to challenge Royalians at 3 pm today but Romans have  forfeited tthe match, which has resulted in a 28-0 victory to Royalians. The Caribs versus Police women’s fixture has been postponed to August 20 at 4.30 pm pending approval by the TTRFU Fixtures Committee.
Mens Fixtures
Rainbow v Caribs, Marabella, 4.30 pm
Royalians v Northern, Royalians Pitch QPS, 4.30 pm
Police v Harvard, Harvard Pitch QPS, 4.30 pm


GEORGETOWN, Guyana - A Caribbean Airlines airliner coming from New York crashed with 140 passengers aboard while landing in Guyana early Saturday and broke in two, causing several injuries but no deaths, said President Bharrat Jagdeo.
The Boeing 737-800 apparently overshot the 7,400-foot (2,200-meter) runway at Cheddi Jagan International Airport in rainy weather. It barely missed a 200-foot (60-meter) ravine that could have resulted in dozens of fatalities, he said.
"We are very, very grateful that more people were not injured," he said as authorities closed the airport, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded and delaying dozens of flights.
Authorities struggled at first to remove passengers without adequate field lights and other emergency equipment. The extent of the injuries was not immediately clear.


By: Nicholas Clarke

The British High Commission and the T&T Olympic Committee celebrated the one year mark until the opening of the 2012 London Olympic Games during a ceremony at the House of the British High Commissioner Arthur Snell in Maraval on Wednesday evening. Addressing a gathering of guests including 1976 100m Olympic gold medallist Hasely Crawford, Snell said that the city’s multicultural roots made it an ideal venue for the quadrennial event.

“The reason that London is so honoured to host the Games, is of course that London is an international city. London in everyone’s city. These Games are not Britain’s Games they are everybody’s Games. “In one of the five boroughs that host the Games you will find 110 languages spoken by the residents, which gives you the sense of just how much London is genuinely a global city. So that means that these Games are everyone’s Games from T&T to across the world.”

Snell commended double Olympic gold medallist and head of London’s bid to host the Games, Sebastian Coe, for his noble intentions in wanting to bring the event to England. “He said something, I think quite profound, about what his ambition was for the Games. He said that he hoped that the Olympics would reach young people all around the world and connect them to the inspirational power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport, improving their lives as a result...

“Sport transforms lives because it gives people discipline, helps them understand the value of teamwork, application and continued effort, and that’s something at the heart of the London Games vision.” In his address, President of the T&T Olympic Committee Larry Romany pointed out that much of T&T’s international reputation had been built on the accomplishments of its sporting icons.

“Hasely Crawford, Ato Boldon and Brian Lara, all of these heroes of sport really represent T&T as the masters and ambassadors, and in our travels across the globe, what we have found is that everybody who knows T&T knows us through either sport or culture.”

He added that it was important to ensure that the right infrastructure was put in place to nurture the talents of  next generation of the country’s athletes. “When we look at the Olympic Games and we see the athletes from T&T marching into the stadium, it’s easy to think that this is the be all and end all for these athletes, but what we must understand is that it takes many years of preparation.

“In most countries it takes 15 years to make an Olympic athlete and we need to come to that realisation and understand what it means to ensure that we have a good physical education programme in schools and have good sporting bodies operating in T&T that provide athletes with a pathway to success.”


By: Carla Rauseo

I had an athlete come in to me this week, complaining about his shoulder. Upon investigation, I learned that this young athlete of 17 years of age, was training seven times a week!

Seven times a week means that this athlete had no days off from training to allow his body to heal from microtrauma and to recover. As I continued to inquire, I became very annoyed at a few things:

1. That in this day and age, we have athletes who are training seven times a week.

2. That the reason why this athlete had to train this much was because he was selected to represent both his club as well as his country in his sport and that neither team seem to be aware of what program the other was doing.

3. That the coaches of these teams show blatant disregard for the welfare of their athletes, displayed by the mere fact that seven-day training weeks were allowed to happen.

4. That the parents of junior athletes continue to expose their children’s bodies to this sort of abuse!

Surely, by now, all coaches are aware of the existence of a periodised program. For information sake, I am referring to a training system that has been in existence for more than 50 years and has been proven to improve training outcomes evident in athlete performance and results.

Without delving too deeply into the intricacies of the concept, a periodised program is meant to structure an athlete’s training regime so that his/her muscles are constantly being challenged in dynamic ways. By so doing, the muscles get little opportunity to fully adapt to a routine/regime, which is good because, adaptation translates into muscle efficiency which leads to a plateau in performance and results.

Avoiding this means manipulating the exercise variables. Variables such as exercise motion, body positioning, stabilisation, repetition tempo, intensity, volume, duration, frequency, recovery/breaks in between sets, and others of the such.

The training phases are broken up into macro and mesocycles. The macrocycle refers to the long-term goals that are months apart. Within that are the mesocycles which are the subcomponents of the macrocycle and are meant to focus on specific training needs while being sure not to neglect complimentary components. It’s all about balance. For instance, although an athlete might be working towards improving his/her strength, it should never be to the detriment of something else such as endurance.

Every coach should be aware of the principles of periodisation so that his/her athletes peak at the right time and avoid burn out and/or injury. Every sport program should have a strength training program as part of their training structure.

It seems to me that in Trinidad, we all know all this and are well aware of the benefits but are either too lazy or too comfortable with mediocrity to implement them. Some say we have become numb to the disappointment of losing. Will it take the next generation to see sports programs elevated beyond the patchy product it currently is?

You have to admire the professionalism that went into dealing with the issues that surrounded the NFL lockout. Players came together to stand for something they believed in, regardless of the risks that lay in the uncertainties. Granted, the NFL environment in the USA is astronomically different to anything we will ever see in Trinidad, the bottom line is that Americans love football and they know they love football. Letting the sport die could never be an option so that, although there would have been several unsure moments surrounding this strong stance they were taking, especially in the early stages of discussions amongst the players and the NFLPA, football is America and America is football.

Letting the sport die was just not an option. So, the players stood together for what they believed in, the owners argued their points, legal protocols were followed and after about five months of negotiations and discussions, middle-ground was struck.

I wonder… if athletes and/or parents of athletes were to really unite and insist on training standards, where they know it can be afforded, would those in authority accept their challenge or would they just allow the sport to die. Sadly, in many cases, I fear that it would be the latter to happen.

So, I challenge the senior athletes and even the parents of junior athletes who are part of poorly structured training programs that subject their children to the potential for overuse, injury, and physical abuse to some extent, to insist on better for themselves or their children. Put the selfish interests aside and instead focus on the bigger picture of realising the very attainable goal of outfitting athletes with what they need to safely get the most out of the hundreds of training hours that are invested.

The reality is, without the proper structure in place, their full potential is hardly likely to be realised.


By: Andrew Gioannetti

Several major sporting associations and local prominent athletes have voiced concerns that financial assistance previously offered by the Sport Company of T&T (SporTT) to their respective federations, have been withdrawn until the next financial cycle which begins in October.

When contacted by the Guardian yesterday, a source within the country’s top football league described the developments as “the Sport Company’s major financial bankruptcy” claiming that many clubs of major sporting disciplines, and their respective federations have been seriously affected by the financial drawbacks.

The source also said that many summer football camps in which SporTT has financed in past years have been suddenly cancelled. The T&T Pro League clubs which benefits from SporTT’s assistance with wage stipend for players includes W Connection, North East Stars, San Juan Jabloteh, Caledonia AIA and St Anns Rangers. The National Super League has been similarly affected by the “exhaustion of funds” as described  by SporTT  in a letter to the heads of the T&T Pro League and the National Super League. Richard Piper,  National Super League Tournament Co-ordinator said that the league has been “drastically affected”.

According to Piper, SporTT has been unable to assist with expenses for the past two months and the league would have been unable to move on without the assistance of sponsors All Sport. “SporTT has not helped with the stipend for referees and were unable to assist in transport for the clubs travelling to and from Tobago,” said Piper.

Association of T&T (ASATT), there are claims that a meeting with the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and SporTT and ASATT was called so that matters within the sports and funding can be discussed. At the meeting, the association was advised to cancel their upcoming Goodwill Swim Meet, an prominent annual swim meet which was scheduled to take place between August 12-14 at the Centre of Excellence Macoya, due to a lack of available funds.

The release acknowledges that the meet may be in crisis, as the association requires funding which was previously promised by SporTT.

Neal Marcano, chairman of the Local Goodwill Organising Committee expressed disappointment at the sudden turn of events, saying that he and his committee may require funding from external sources, to avoid the embarrassment.

“It is very unfortunate that the Government is unable to assist in funding this very important meet. We do hope to get the assistance of corporate T&T to host the event.” Jason Wickham, Public Relations Officer of the ASATT insisted that every effort will be made to allow the meet to continue.

“While it has been suggested that the meet be cancelled, our Association knows the importance of this development meet. Cancellation is an option but an absolute last resort,” said Wickham.