TRINIDAD and Tobago will be represented by two pairs when the 2015 NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Beach Volleyball Tour resumes today.

After flying the red, white and black flag a few weeks ago in the Pan American Games in Canada, the combinations of Fabian Whitfield and Daneil Williams and Ayana Dyette and Makila Davidson are back in the north American country for the third leg of this year’s circuit.

Whitfield and Williams placed ninth in the previous leg at the end of June in the Dominican Republic after occupying the same position when the series began two months earlier in the Cayman Islands.

The “Toco Boys” have been unstoppable at home this season, as, in addition to winning all ten local tournaments, they led T&T men to the gold medal in the Caribbean Championships in May and a place in the second round of regional qualifying for the Olympic Games in Brazil in August next year.

Davidson, who played in the Youth Olympics in China last year after being involved in the World Under-21 Beach Volleyball Championships in 2013, only joined forced with Dyette in March but they did not win a match in their first NORCECA tournament together in Dominican Republic.

Dyette and Nancy Joseph enjoyed a dream season last year as they were unbeaten from nine local tournaments as well as contesting six of the ten NORCECA tournaments and reaching the quarter-finals of the CAC (Central America and the Caribbean) Games in Mexico at the end of November.

But Dyette was forced to find a new partner when Joseph, a six-time national champ and the country’s most celebrated beach volleyball player, decided to take a break very early in the season.

There are 11 events on this year’s NOECECA Tour and, for the third year in succession, it is scheduled to conclude in this country in the middle of November.


Mikel Thomas opens his bid for a North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Senior Championship medal in San Jose, Costa Rica, this afternoon.

Thomas, who captured men’s 110 metres hurdles silver at last month’s Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, is tipped for top honours in Costa Rica. The Trinidad and Tobago athlete clocked a national record time of 13.17 seconds in the Pan Am Games final. He is the fastest man in the NACAC field.

Michelle-Lee Ahye. Lalonde Gordon, Ayanna Alexander and Emmanuel Callender will also be on show for T&T in today’s opening session.

Ahye and American Barbara Pierre look evenly matched in the women’s 100m. Of the sprinters on the entry list, Pierre has the fastest clocking this year, 10.92 seconds, while Ahye is second at 10.97. Ahye and Pierre share a personal best of 10.85 seconds. Pierre, however, goes into the NACAC women’s century with a competitive edge. She earned bronze at the Pan Am Games in 11.01 seconds. Ahye, on the other hand, ran in a comeback race in the United States on Saturday after more than five weeks away from competition because of injury. She finished second in 11.29.

Reyare Thomas is the other T&T sprinter listed for action in the women’s 100m.

Gordon is expected to challenge for the men’s 400m title. Among the other contenders for the one-lap crown are Dominican Republic’s Pan Am Games champion Luguelin Santos, Costa Rican Nery Brenes and American Marcus Chambers.

T&T will also be represented by Tacumar Sterling in the men’s 400m.

Alexander should be in the hunt for precious metal in the women’s triple jump.

And Callender will be the lone T&T sprinter in action in the men’s 100m event.


As was expected the France-based duo of five-time Caribbean singles champion, Dexter St Louis and his step-daughter Rheann Chung captured the Solo National Table Tennis Championship men and women titles at the Central Regional Indoor Sports Arena, Chaguanas on Monday night.

The 47-year-old St Louis of Solo Crusaders, ranked third for the tournament got the better of 64-year-old Canada-based David Mahabir, 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-1, 11-7, 11-9.

Earlier on, when the tournament resumed on the night, St Louis who won the mixed doubles with Chung, but was ousted at the semifinal round of the men’s team competition by Arima Hawks defeated Caribbean Junior champion and Senior bronze winner, Aaron Wilson of Blasters 11-6, 11-9, 11-8, 11-2 and then dumped last year’s winner Yuvraaj Dookram of WASA 11-7, 11-2, 12-10, 11-3.

Mahabir, who was crowned national champion two years ago eased past five-time champion Reeza Burke of Hawks 15-13, 11-4, 11-9, 11-4 followed by an 11-5, 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7 triumph over top ranked local Curtis Humphreys of WASA.

In the other quarterfinal matches, Humphreys accounted for Arun Roopnarine 4-11, 12-10, 11-8, 4-11, 11-7 and Dookram silenced Hawks’ veteran and former national and Caribbean champion, Lionel Darceuil 15-13, 11-8, 11-3, 11-9.

Chung dethrones

Edwards as women’s champ

Chung had a much easier night as she won both her matches in straight sets to dethrone 11-time winner Aleena Edwards.

In fact, Chung of Crusaders overcame Edwards of the University of T&T in their highly anticipated semifinal 11-8, 11-6, 13-11, 11-3 before she humbled another of her national team-mates Linda Partap-Boodhan of Hawks, 11-9, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 in the decider.

Partap-Boodhan won her semifinal 11-7, 9-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-6 over former titlist, teenager Brittany Joseph, also of UTT.

In the quarterfinals, Edwards who was part of the UTT team to win the women’s team title defeated of University of West Indies’ Ambika Sitram 11-6, 11-6, 11-5; Chung outclassed veteran player Merle Bagoo of Queen’s Park Cricket Club, 11-7, 11-5, 11-5; Joseph swept aside Tobago Slammers’ Ackayla Lucas 11-3, 11-3, 11-5, and Partap-Boodhan ousted PowerGen’s Catherine Spicer 10-12, 15-13, 11-5, 6-11, 11-8.

On Saturday night, 12-year-old Derron Douglas powered Slammers to the Division Two Open Gender crown after he played unbeaten in a 3-1 whipping of last year's winners, UTT.

However, it was UTT who made the better start with Davone Joseph beating Benoni Daniel 4-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7.

Douglas then whipped Kamal Hunte 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 to get his team back on level terms while Shaquille Mitchell put Stars’ ahead via his 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 victory over Lamani Clarke before Douglas returned to beat Joseph 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 to clinch the title.

Last week in the semifinals, UTT defeated Himalaya Sports Club by a 3-0 margin with Joseph, Hunte and Clarke all in winners row and in the other semis, Stars 'A' created somewhat of an upset as they dumped Solo Crusaders which featured seven-times Caribbean mixed doubles champion, Chung, 3-2.


Walcott very proud of Pan Am gold

Keshorn Walcott is proud, very proud of his Pan American Games men’s javelin gold medal.

“All championships are important to me, no matter what the level. I set myself some goals and Pan Am was one of them, so the gold medal was a big achievement for me.”

When he arrived in Toronto, Canada, last month, 22-year-old Walcott was battling an ankle injury and not certain to compete.

“Coming off my last competition in Monaco, I couldn’t walk for two or three days. I had to be whee l-chaired through the airport coming all the way to Canada. The decision was for me not to throw, but me and my harden self, I tend not to listen to too much people. I tend to try to find my answers in my mind.

“I took the risk,” the 2012 Olympic champion continued, “because something told me to take it. We spoke about the ankle before with the doctors and stuff. It seemed like my season was over, so I just told myself I don’t think I could do too much more harm to my ankle, so at least let me achieve one of my goals for the entire year if I have to finish up my season. I think God blessed me. I went out, I took the risk, and now I’m still able to continue.”

Walcott was the class of the field at last month’s Pan Am Games, striking gold with an 83.27 metres throw.

“It means a lot to me, knowing that I haven’t been winning that much since the Olympic Games. That was kind of a confidence boost for me. No matter the level of competition, I’m back on top. Going forward, it will set some standards for me, knowing that I added Pan Am champion to my list.”

Walcott does not relish the limelight, but could not avoid it following his 2012 Olympic triumph. He is grateful there’s no more Walcottmania in T&T.

“It died down a bit, so it’s better now. You still go places and people come at you asking for pictures and what not, but I think I’m handling it okay. And now that I’m a lot more busy, I’m out of the country a lot, it’s easier for me. I don’t have that much downtime to be out. When I train, it’s train, home, different things, so people don’t see me that much. It’s a little bit easier for me now.”


THE SIXTY-FOUR TT athletes who competed at the World Special Olympics Summer Games in Los Angeles came away with far more than medals and ribbons. That was the view of Ferdinand Bibby, National Director for the TT Special Olympics (SOTT) as he spoke exclusively with Newsday on his return with the second half of the TT contingent on Monday night.

Bibby said the LA experience met the objectives of the movement’s mission statement.

“That’s one of the aims — to express joy to the athletes,” he said, as they reunited with their loved ones in the Arrivals lounge at the Piarco International Airport. “Special Olympics always brings out joy.

So while there was competition, you would see athletes, after they compete, hug each other, give each other high-fives; and when they go back to the games village they would be talking to each other, exchanging pins. There was always the element of celebration — celebrating the achievements of the athletes, as well as their performances, whether it was gold or ribbon performance.” TT earned 48 medals, including 15 gold and nine silver. Asked what moments in competition stood out, Bibby responded, “We try to celebrate all the athletes’ achievements and to stay way from elitism. But when you look at Joanna Piango (English Equitation) as well as Alicia Khan (Bocce) who are two of the younger athletes in the group, and their ability to go out there and perform at the high level, that would be something to look forward to for the future.” Among TT’s major successes was the triumphant seven-a-side football team, which defeated Barbados 2-1 in the gold medal game.

The captain, Devant Mahadeo said his players had been confident they would go one better than their silver medal performance in 2011, adding that their greatest challenge had come earlier in the competition.

“Hong Kong,” he said, with a smile. “But we win them (4-2).

They gave us a great fight.” Away from the competition, the Games organisers managed to provide more than just an enjoyable atmosphere for almost 7,000 athletes.

“In the USA campus alone there were 5,000 athletes, and in each campus there was a games village, where the athletes were encouraged to mingle, they were encouraged to experience the various cultures,” Bibby said.

Describing the facilities at the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of Los Angeles (UCLA) as state-of-theart, he singled out the Healthy Athletes facility for special mention.

“Many of the persons with intellectual disabilities have health issues, whether it is their physical health. So part of Special Olympics is offering healthy athlete screening where they are screened for vision, they are screened for dental work, they are screened for nutrition, and given advice. “One of the features also was that each athlete was given a pair of sneakers — 7,000 athletes given a pair of New Balance sneakers on being screened for their healthy feet in the Healthy Athlete campaign. So besides competition, it was also about the athletes’ welfare.” Bibby praised the TT coaches and assistants, noting that they were all volunteers. “So they did it for the love of the athlete, for the interaction, the sense of pride when you would have trained someone and see them perform and achieve at the highest level.” On a parting note, the National Director made a plug for better training facilities for the special athletes and greater exposure to competition. “We always say at Special Olympics, access means more than a ramp or an elevator; it means access to opportunities, access to funding, access to a sporting space where the national governing bodies could offer a vision or a grouping or a category for their national events, because some of our athletes only compete once a year,” he said. “So that with regular access to competition, you would see a greater achievement in performance.” The dates and venue for the XV Summer Games (2019) will be announced at the Winter Games in Austria (2017).


President of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) Brian Lewis said there is no margin for error and all obstacles must be removed, as the T&T athletes begin their final preparations towards the 2016 Olympic Games.

The 2016 Olympic Games begin on August 5 next year in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Lewis, speaking at a press conference yesterday at the Olympic House, Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, said: “Today around the world the Olympic movement is being celebrated - one year to go to the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Games. A journey for some that started when they were five years old and will culminate in Rio.”

He added: “There is no margin for error, as our athletes, coaches and administrators will tell you we are at a particular point where everything that can be done, must be done. Whatever obstacles there are, they must be removed. Whatever door is closed, must be opened. Whatever channels are blocked must be freed.”

The TTOC president said that next year’s Olympics is the beginning of the goal for ten or more gold medals by 2024.

“A couple years ago I had a vision for ten or more Olympic gold medals by the year 2024. Initially the majority of the people I spoke to were negative. But there are a couple I would like to mention because they were an inspiration at that point in time. One of the first people I had that discussion with was Keshorn Walcott. I then spoke to Hasely Crawford and he was supportive.”

Lewis also stated that National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) president Ephraim Serrette, Senator Elton Prescott Secretary General Annette Knott and the TTOC executive also showed their support.

Lewis said the performance of the national athletes at the Pan American Games made more people believe that ten or more gold medals by 2024 is possible. “The performances of our athletes at the Pan Am Games in Toronto started to make some people believe that it may be possible and after all it was not far fetched and unrealistic.”

T&T won eight medals at the recently concluded Pan American Games, the most in the country’s history.

Lewis has also spoken to mayor of Port-of-Spain Raymond Tim Kee about making Lord Harris Square into an Olympic Village and calling the surrounding area Olympic Neighbourhood.

Pan American medal winners Keshorn Walcott, Emmanuel Callender and Dan-neil Telesford were all in attendance to receive their medal incentives. Walcott won gold in the javelin, while Callender and Telesford were part of the 4X100m men’s team that won bronze.

National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) president Ephraim Serrette, said the relationship between the TTOC and the NAAA is excellent. “I always believe in team and as the president indicated we have an excellent working relationship, we understand what it takes to get to a high level. I am very fortunate to be at the helm of the Association at this time and have the support of people like Hasely Crawford who understands what it takes to get to the top.”