The first day of the Olympic Trials being hosted by the National Association of Athletics Administration of T&T (NAAATT) has been shifted from Sunday to Monday but remains at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, Port-of-Spain.
This according to acting president of the NAAATT, George Commissiong said Wednesday as the unavailability and the change in curfew hours over the weekend by the government due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, forced the organising committee to delay the event by a day. The meet is set to start at 3 pm at the same venue.
Earlier this week, Commissiong confirmed that his organisation will not be hosting any track and field Championships and will instead hold the two-day Trials for the Olympic Games from July 23 -August 8 in Tokyo, Japan. The other day carded for the trials is June 27 at the same venue.
The NAAATT did, however, receive permission from the Minister of Health to host two Olympic trials, which will be invitational meets for athletes, who may still have a chance of making the qualifying standards for the Olympics.
The likes of Olympian Rondel Sorrillo, brothers Jonathan and Nathan Farinha, Shakeem McKay, Genesis Joseph, Dominic Cole, Ronaldo Moore and Ayodele Taffe will feature among the men and in the women's category, Kamaria Durant, reigning "Junior Sportswoman of the Year" Shaniqua Bascombe, Leah Bertrand and Reneisha Andrews will seek out qualifying times.
The last date for the qualification for the Olympics is on June 29, following which the team will be selected in early July and submitted to the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) for ratification by its council before the final submission of entries. This is in consideration that World Athletics, will be inviting some athletes to participate, by way of example.
Then, he explained: "The current quota for the heptathlon is 24 athletes, that is to say, that the organisers want 24 athletes to compete at the Olympics in that event. Not all of these athletes may make the standard. Let’s say 14 athletes attain the standard then, an additional 10 athletes will be invited based on their performance rankings.”
He singled out star multi-sport athlete Tyra Gittens in explaining the invitation process by World Athletics saying: “Our Tyra Gittens has been having a wonderful year and is currently 23rd on the rankings. We expect that Tyra would attain the standard but let’s just say she didn’t, then on July 1, we should know for sure if she is among those who will be invited to compete.
“We have already advised TTOC that our team will be submitted late on the night of July 1 or alternatively very early on the morning of July 2. This will allow sufficient time for ratification by the TTOC council before the final submission of entries.”
On Wednesday in the Ministry of Health’s latest COVID-19 update, T&T reported 297 new positive cases and nine additional deaths in the last 24 hours with an overall 8,869 active positive cases and 695 deaths.