Sunday 19thh, Toronto, Canada – Trinidad and Tobago’s athletics team will go into action tomorrow at the Pan Am Games. Track and Field has long been Trinidad & Tobago’s strength at international events. This year’s Games are no different, with several of our stars such as Keshorn Walcott, Machel Cedenio, Keston Bledman, Semoy Hackett and Kelly Ann Baptiste putting in strong performances in the lead up to this event.
Coming into this year’s games Baptiste was first at the NGC-Sagicor NAAA Open Track and Field Championship in 10.84, equalling her national record and breaking the championship record. Hackett was fourth in that race. Both women will face the starter in tomorrow’s women’s 100m heats. Over on the men’s side Keston Bledman ran a scorching 9.86 at the Championships to equal his personal best. Marcus Duncan was second in 10.15, and will face the starter in tomorrow’s 100m heats as well. All four are expected to feature when relay action begins later this week.
In today’s events, the men’s beach volleyball duo of Whitfield and Williams won their 9th -10th round match against Venezuela this morning, and will end the tournament in 9th place. The women’s team ended the tournament ranked 14th. Both teams will be staying in Toronto following the games to compete in the 3rd leg of the NORCECA tour. Coming into Pan Am the men were training in San Diego courtesy TTOC and Sport Company and will continue to prepare for the next round of Olympic qualifiers following the NORCECA tour. They also plan to attend the world tour in August. Manager David Thomas also credits the physical training that Williams and Whitfield have been doing with Caribbean Cross training for their improved fitness levels saying “their fitness levels are definitely higher. El Salvador would have beaten them for CAC and they were able to beat them here at Pan AM.”
In the ring, boxer Chimere Taylor lost her rematch against Guillen Benitez of the Dominic Republic in a technical knock out in the second round this afternoon and will not advance. Taylor got off to a good start, but was unable to match her opponents roughhousing tactics. Manager Ria Ramnarine said despite the defeat Taylor showed improvement over her last fight. In Taekwondo, 2014 CAC bronze medal holder Dorian Alexander suffered a similar fate as he lost his first found fight against Columbian Miguel Trejos in the men’s 68kg Contest.
The medal hunt for Trinidad and Tobago will continue tomorrow in the men and women’s 100m events and the men’s long jump. In field hockey, our men face Canada in the quarterfinals while the male footballers face Mexico.