The Trinidad and Tobago Cheer Federation (TTCF) held its third annual "Cheer Xplosion" competition at the Hasely Crawford Stadium last Sunday. Twelve teams participated at the competition, which comprised of cheer and dance routines.

The TTCF is the recognised governing body of the sport in T&T, and includes over 200 active athletes in the sport. These athletes range from various univeristies, secondary schools, primary schools and clubs locally.

Among the competing teams Sunday, included; Treasure House Cheer Club Limited, Woodbrook Secondary, Holy Name Convent, Bishop Anstey and Trinity College East, Atwell's Primary School as well as the UWI Cheer Team among others.

Sunday's Results:

Dance Hip Hop Juniors: 1. Sacred Heart Girls 2. Teamwork Dream Team

Dance Hip Hop Seniors: 1. Holy Faith Convent 2. Holy Name Convent

Stunt Level Two: 1. Woodbrook Secondary School 2. Treasure House and Holy Faith Convent - Elite (tie) 4. Holy Faith Convent - Royals, 5. Holy Faith Convent - Warriors

Stunt Level Three: 1. Phoenix All Stars, 2. Holy Name Convent

Level One Youth Mini: 1. Atwell's Primary School - Blue Eagles 2. Sacred Heart Girls

Level One Youth Prep: 1. Sacred Heart Girls 2. Southern Scarlets

Level One Youth Open: 1. Teamwork Dream Team 2. Treasure House 3. Chaguanas North Secondary

Level Two Team Cheer: 1. Holy Faith Convent - Infinity 2. Belmont Secondary

Level Three Team Cheer: 1. St Joseph's Convent


AARON WILSON reached the singles quarterfinals and under-21 semifinals and Trinidad and Tobago compatriot Catherine Spicer stunned a former champion on the penultimate day of the Caribbean Table Tennis Championships yesterday in Martinique.

After winning all three matches to top his round-robin group, Wilson edged Carlos Hernandez of Cuba 7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4 to reach the last eight in the open draw.

His three compatriots were beaten in the “round of 16.”

Curtis Humphreys, the country’s top-ranked player, surprisingly took second-seeded Emil Santos of the Dominican Republic to five game before he eventually went down 9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 7-11, 11-4.

Yuvraaj Dookram was the only member of the quartet who did not get a bye in the first round. And after prevailing in three straight games, the national champ was beaten 11-4, 9-11, 11-5, 13-11 by Cuban Livan Martinez, the top seed in the under-21 category.

National under-18 champ Arun Roopnarine went down 8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 against David Vila of Dominican Republic and was also sent packing in the under-21 quarters when No. 2 seed Hernandez prevailed 11-4, 11-9, 11-5.

Wilson, crowned Caribbean under-19 champ a couple months ago, crushed Andre Freeman of St Kitts 11-2, 11-5, 11-2 to reached the last four in the under-21 division.

Spicer registered by far the biggest victory of her career when she edged former open and under-21 champ Eva Brito in five games to top her group and quialify for the knockout phase.

Brito also moved into the last 16 and the top seed from Dominican Republic won her two matches to reach the under-21 final.

Spicer trounced a player from Dominica in three straight before she was beaten 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 by Yasiris Ortiz of Dominican Republic in the last eight.

Brittany Joseph also went out in the under-21 quarters as the national under-18 champ lost 11-5, 11-9,. 11-6 against Yuneisy Galvan of Cuba after a stright-set first-round triumph.

Linda Partap-Boodhan and 11-time national champ Aleena Edwards advanced to the last 16 in the open draw, along with compatriots Joseph and national under-21 champ Spicer.


From this weekend, another slew of medals will be on offer for athletes and teams from the Pan American region. The question that comes to my mind is how large a share can the Trinidad and Tobago contingent reasonably be expected to win?

Some 115 competitors in 14 disciplines, inclusive of men’s and women’s football and hockey teams will, in principle at least, be aiming to mount the medal rostrum in Toronto, Canada. I have to stress “in principle” because the majority of that group will not get near the podium. Check the history.

Since these regional games began in 1951 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, T&T have come away with no more than seven medals at a time—in Winnipeg, Canada in 1967, Cali, Colombia 1971 and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 2003. And only eight times in the 16 editions of Pan Am have T&T won gold, and five of those golds have come from cyclists alone.

Bare figures do not tell the whole story of course. For instance, while competition might not be open to the whole world, in some disciplines like track and field, the quality will truly be world class given that the Caribbean and North America currently dominate the globe in a number of events, especially the sprints.

And with a population just past one million, it would be like waiting for donkeys to fly to expect that TRI could ever be above USA on a Pan Am medals table.

So what is reasonable to expect? Not 10 gold medals. That ambitious target of Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis is not supposed to bear fruit until 2024.

Ten medals then?

Well let’s see where those ten might possibly come from.

From track and field I can see four, possibly five.

Right now the 400 metres pool is deep. Machel Cedenio and Deon Lendore have been among the best quarter-milers in the world this year; and T&T can also call on people with big games medals like Berlin World Championships 2009 bronze medallist Renny Quow and London Olympics 2012 bronze man Lalonde Gordon, in addition to Jarrin Solomon who is also an Olympic bronze medallist in the 4x400 relay and World hurdles champ Jehue Gordon is a relay option.

T&T got 4x400 bronze at both last year’s Commonwealth and World Relay Games, so a top three placing in Toronto should be expected; and should things go smoothly, gold could be the colour.

On form, Cedenio, the teen sensation is a candidate for a top three 400 finish also, should he pace himself well through the rounds.

So that takes care of two medals.

I can also see the evergreen Cleopatra Borel collecting another top three placing in the shot put. The older she gets the steadier her arm seems to grow. The current Sportswoman of the Year collected gold at the CAC Games and silver at Commonwealth in 2014 and was also a silver medallist in the last Pan Am event in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2011. Borel’s 2015 best so far of 19.26 metres is markedly better than the 18.46m that got her silver four years ago; so another medal of high shade is a definite possibility.

Three down, seven to go.

Here’s a fourth: I expect something solid from Keshorn Walcott also. His progress since his London 2012 gold strike has not been smooth. But his form this year seems to be on the improve. His re-setting of the national record in Birmingham last month was proof positive. The Pan Am competition, devoid of the high quality Europeans should be the ideal stage for the Olympic champ to gain needed confidence ahead of the World Championships by winning another significant title.

Jehue Gordon could also get a Worlds boost with a podium finish in the hurdles which should not be beyond him at this stage.

That’s five.

I’m less certain about a medal for Kelly Ann Baptiste in the women’s 100m given the strength in depth of the Jamaican and American camps. But her form since her return to competition this year certainly does not rule out a top three finish. A lot could depend on which athletes show up for these games.

In the swimming pool, it would be a surprise if George Bovell leaves Toronto empty-handed. We are talking about an elite level, world class performer who regularly holds his own with the world’s best in the 50 free. In 2003 he left Santo Domingo laden down with gold and silver. It was the year before his historic Athens 200 individual medley bronze. His history often does not neatly repeat itself so neatly. But even if the effort in Toronto is not followed up by Rio precious metal, big George will do his part at Pan Am.

I’ll be conservative and put him down for just one medal; that would make seven.

Roger Daniel took good aim in 2011 and got silver in the 10m air pistol competition. Possibly he could get another, or maybe bronze on the range.

That would be eight, but I’m stretching now. Don’t see hockey for football bagging anything but goals. With few exceptions, T&T’s record in team competition at this level is not good.

Cycling is another story. Sprinter Nijsane Phillip got bronze four years ago to keep up the sports rich Pan Am tradition. But the years since his promising fourth place finish at the 2012 Olympiad have not been as productive as he might have hoped. An individual medal is not a certainty this time, in either the sprint or the keirin. A medal in the team sprint looks even more remote for Quincy Alexander, Justin Roberts and Jude Codrington.

So I’m stuck at a shaky eight. But even that would be breaking new ground for T&T.

At least the next couple weeks will help president Lewis and his committee members to gauge how much more work needs to be put into their 10-gold plan.


Trinidad and Tobago's main Pan American Games swimming prospect, George Bovell III made the Olympic A qualifing time despite finishing only fifth in the 50 metres freestyle at the French Open on Sunday.

Bovell, who will be competing at a Pan Am Games for the first time since his four-medal haul in Santo Domingo in 2003, clocked 22.26 seconds to finish behind Frenchman Florent Manaudou (21.61), Brazilian Cesar Cielo (22.15), Kristian Gkolomev (22.17), and Ukranian Andriy Govorov (22.21). On Saturday, in the 50m breatstroke final, Bovell set a new national record in clocking 27.57 seconds to finish third.


Gold as well for Bledman

Cleopatra Borel captured the Istvan Gyulai Memorial women's shot put title, in Hungary, yesterday. Borel produced a big 19.26 metres effort—a new meet record and her best throw in four years—to secure the top spot ahead of American Michelle Carter (19.20m).

The Trinidad and Tobago field athlete is fourth on the 2015 world performance list.

On Saturday, Borel finished fourth at the Meeting Areva IAAF Diamond League meet, in Paris, France, with a 19.07m throw.

Renny Quow was also in fine form in Hungary yesterday, the T&T quartermiler bagging bronze in the men's 400m in 44.72 seconds. The clocking was the fastest produced by Quow since 2009, the year he finished third in the IAAF World Championship final in Berlin, Germany. He had run a personal best 44.53 in the semifinal round. Bahamian Steven Gardiner emerged victorious in Hungary in 44.30 seconds, while second spot went to American LaShawn Merritt in 44.43.

Quow, who captured the national one-lap title last month in 44.90 seconds, jumped from 18th to 15th on the 2015 world performance list with yesterday's 44.72 run.

Keston Bledman, who is joint-fourth on the 2015 men's 100m list with France's Jimmy Vicaut thanks to the 9.86 seconds scorcher he produced to win the T&T title, was again in winners' row on Monday.

Bledman stopped the clock at 10.02 seconds for gold at the Meeting Pro Athlé, in Sotteville-lès-Rouen, France. The 27-year-old track star forced Americans Mike Rodgers (10.06) and Charles Silmon (10.23) to settle for the minor medals. And at the Cork City Sports International Athletics Meet, in Ireland yesterday, T&T's Jarrin Solomon finished fourth in a men's 200m race in 21.87 seconds.


Nicolette De Mille has been appointed captain of the T&T team which left yesterday to compete at the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (Cazova) Youth Girls (Under-18) Championship in Curacao.

De Mille is the lone survivor from the Macsood Ali-coached team which won a third straight crown two years ago on home soil and will now lead the team in a quest for a fourth straight title from tomorrow (July 9) until Sunday against  Barbados, Bonaire and the host country.

The local squad under the guidance of Cuban head coach Idalys Gato Maya, a former Olympic gold medal winner also includes the first ever player from Tobago, to be selected on a national youth team in Anika Busby.

Busby was developed by Nolan Daniel and was drafted into the team by national youth team coach Sean Morrison during a national clinic conducted by former T&T men’s coach, Brazilian Augusto Sabatini.

Commenting on the team’s chances of a fourth straight crown assistant coach and senior national women’s team libero, Courtnee-Mae Clifford said the coaching staff was very optimistic.

“We did not start of training programme until March, which was late for us and at the start the turn out to the training sessions was a bit up and down due to most of the players having exams,|” added Clifford.

However, the assistant coach noted that with examinations over, the month of June saw an up swing in the attendance and the team has improved considerably.

She added, Nicolette is the lone player who had the past experience of playing national team volleyball, so the other players are all newcomers, but they meshed very well and we are all looking forward to the tournament.”

In 2013, captain Reann Young and the towering Kaylon Cruickshank tallied 42 points between themselves as host T&T bagged a third straight title beating Barbados 25-14, 25-15, 24-26.

Participating Teams

Barbados: Shamandra Shillingford, Xhane Greenidge, Shanae Boyce, Risa Niles, Reanna James, Jazzica Sealy, Iyana Alleyne, Dashonta Addison, Ashley Jordan, Aaliyah Durant, Donnique Alleyne.

Bonaire: Niandra Kock, Raymienne Albertus, Shardae Wedervoort, Deyanira Verolme, Jean-Mary Emer, Pietersz Fatima, Jahena Angela, Jenny Castro, Saitha Clarenda, Daniela Drullard, Michelle Williams.

Curacao: Liz Rossen, Tiffany Rosario, Sugee de Palm, Jeannivienne Martina, Dangela Maduro, Destiny Jacobs, Naima James, Jewengely Hart, Tahnee Gerard, Natiouska Geerman, Sigraina Fecunda, Anais Conradus, Brigitte Cathalina, Nadiene Burke, Esseline Brunkard.

T&T: Gabriella Supersad, Caline Nesbit, Payquelle Dickson, Tekeyah Hazzard, Afiya Alexander, Jordyn Ali, Journee Cunningham, Anika Busby, Nicolette De Mille (captain), Tsyan Selvon, Britney Choon, Neria Charles.

Technical staff: Idalmis Gato Moya (coach), Courtnee-mae Clifford (assistant coach), Kamla Elcock (manager)

Fifth Cazova Youth Girls Championship:

Tournament fixtures

July 9: T&T vs Barbados, 5.30pm; Curacao vs Bonaire, 8pm

July 10: Barbados vs Bonaire, 9am; Curacao vs T&T, 10.30am

July 10: T&T vs Bonaire, 6pm; Curacao vs Barbados, 8pm

July 11: Semifinals: 1st vs 4th, 5pm; 2nd vs 3rd, 7pm

July 12: Third place playoff, 4pm; Final, 6pm

Past winners:


Venue    Year    Gold    Silver    Bronze    Fourth

TTO    2007    T&T    USVI    Barbados

USVI    2012    T&T    Haiti    USVI    ...Barbados

T&T    2013    T&T    Barbados    Bahamas