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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

Tokyo 2020 #1YearToGo

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GOLFER Ysabelle Lawrence and martial arts’ Gabrielle Wood brought team TTO’s triumphant performance at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru to an end yesterday, hours before a ceremony closed the curtains to the quadrennial event after more than two weeks of action.

The delegation’s final two medals came on Saturday evening when two-time Olympic medallist Keshorn Walcott earned silver in the men’s javelin and the men’s 4x400m relay team sealed bronze. In the end, TT placed 17th out of 30 countries, by value of the medals, while the team’s medal count - 13 - was, in fact, the 16th highest by number.

This was TT’s best ever medal haul at the Pan Am Games, bettering the eight medals amassed at the previous Games in Toronto, Canada in 2015.

Last evening, Lawrence finished 29th out of 32 golfers, shooting 24-over-par. Wood, meanwhile, won her first judo match in the women’s +78-kilogramme quarter-final, beating Sasha Ingraham of the Bahamas 11-0 to move into the semifinals. However, Wood lost the semi-final to Cuba’s Idalys Ortiz 10-0 and, in the repechage, fell 10-0 to Izayana Marenco of Nicaragua.

Nicholas Paul closed with the most honours, sealing TT’s only two gold medals – in the men’s sprint and the men’s team sprint (along with Njisane Phillip and Keron Bramble). Paul defeated Phillip in an historic sprint, which for the first time saw two riders from TT or anywhere the Caribbean compete against each other in a Pan American sprint final.

Teniel Campbell, like Paul, continued her unstoppable rise in cycling, as she too got a pair of silver medals – in the women’s time trial and in the road race.

Cycling accounted for the most valuable of TT’s medals, while athletics won the same number of medals, five, but no gold.

Michelle-Lee Ahye and Jereem Richards took silver medals in the women’s and men’s 200m final, while Walcott and the 4x100m men’s relay team sealed the other silver medals.

The other medal, a bronze was captured by the men’s 4x400m relay team of Dwight St Hillaire, Jereem Richards, Deon Lendore and Machel Cedenio.

TT’s first medal came from boxer Michael Alexander, who won his first bout in the men’s 64kg welterweight division to move into the semifinal, which guaranteed him the bronze at the least. He lost his second match to finish joint third.

Dylan Carter, meanwhile, broke one record and got a bronze medal in the men’s 100m backstroke.

One of the last medallists for TT, the 43-year-old veteran rower and Olympian Felice Chow, sealed silver, the least expected from her as Chow entered the final as the second fastest rower in a brilliant qualifying effort.

There were some notable hiccups and untimely injuries suffered by TT’s best, including Tyra Gittens’ late knock in the women’s heptathlon having held a lead going into the final day of her event, only to withdraw with one test remaining.

Despite the set-backs, the national organising committee, fans and athletes are expected to to be thoroughly satisfied with team’s overall performance. The athletes, especially the highly talented and passionate gold medal winning team sprint cyclists, are said to have won over many new fans in Peru.

TT medals –

SWIMMING

Bronze - Dylan Carter - Men’s 100m backstroke

CYCLING - TRACK

Gold - Keron Bramble, Njisane Phillip, Nicholas Paul - Men’s team sprint

Gold - Nicholas Paul - Men’s sprint

Silver - Njisane Phillip - Men’s sprint

CYCLING - ROAD

Silver - Teniel Campbell - Women’s individual time trial

Silver - Teniel Campbell - Women’s road race

ROWING

Silver - Felice Chow - Women’s single sculls

BOXING

Bronze - Michael Alexander - Men’s 64kg light welterweight

SWIMMING

Bronze - Dylan Carter - Men’s 100m backstroke

ATHLETICS

Silver - Jereem Richards - Men’s 200m sprint

Silver - Jerod Elcock, Keston Bledman, Akanni Hislop, Kyle Greaux - Men’s 4x100m relay

Silver - Michelle-Lee Ahye - Women’s 200m sprint

Silver - Keshorn Walcott - Men’s javelin

Bronze - Dwight St Hillaire, Jereem Richards, Deon Lendore, Machel Cedenio - Men’s 4x400m

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