“If I can inspire one person to change their life forever I can die happy.”

This was just one of the inspirational messages that shot put champion Valerie Adams told young track and field athletes at a Talk Shop at the VIP Lounge, Hasely Crawford Stadium, on Wednesday.

Adams, who is from New Zealand, is currently in T&T training with her friend Cleopatra Borel. Adams and Borel have been friends since the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Adams took the time to pass on some advice and told the young athletes and coaches how she got involved in track and field. Also in attendance at the Talk Shop were T&T Olympians Jehue Gordon and Andrew Lewis.

Adams said that she turned a sad time in her life to something positive following the death of her mother due to cancer in 2000. “In 2000 I was 15, and my mom was quite ill. I was watching the opening ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and I was saying that one day I want to be there. It would be amazing if one day I could walk with the flag at the Olympics.” Adams said from that point it was her dream to compete at the Olympic Games. Shortly after Adams’ mother passed away and she used track and field as a way of dealing with her emotions.

“I took track and field as a way to get rid of my sadness and anger. In the back of my mind I said I just wanted to make her proud.”

Adams spoke about another experience when her stepfather told her to leave the house, but she never gave up on her dream and kept fighting. “Those were situations that could have made me or break me.”

The shot put champion told the athletes to hold on to one person who can inspire them but informed them that you must work hard to be successful.

Adams, who is the two-time defending Olympic champion, qualified for her first Olympics at the 2004 Athens Games. “Getting to my first Olympics that was everything, this is what we dream for. This is the pinnacle of our sport. That is the highest you can go.”

The shot put athlete said you must remain focused at the Olympics, because an athlete can get distracted at such a grand event.

Adams also spoke about the subject of drugs, diet and nutrition and mental preparation as important tools which can break or make an athlete.


The Trinidad & Tobago Gymnastics Federation wishes to congratulate Thema Williams and
Marisa Dick on their phenomenal performances at the recently concluded World Gymnastics
Championships, in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Federation further applauds both athletes on achieving the qualifying score and securing the
lone Trinidad & Tobago (TTO) spot at the Olympic Test Event - Brazil April 2016. Thema
Williams is our named gymnast with Marisa Dick as the first alternate. Trinidad & Tobago will
aspire to secure a historic place at the 2016 Olympic Games.

The gymnasts gave their all and we are very proud of their historic achievements

  • They both achieved their personal best All Around performances at a World Championship with
    Thema’s score of 52.466 being the highest for a TTO Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG)
    athlete at a World Championship event.
  • Marisa executed an original mount on the balance beam. This NEW skill is now entered in the
    F.I.G Code of Points and will be named after her, another first for Trinidad & Tobago.

The TTGF would be closely monitoring both athletes over the next six months leading up to the
Test Event to ensure readiness, consistency and progressive performances.

Unfortunately, our lone Men’s Artistic Gymnastics (MAG) athlete Joe Fox was withdrawn at the
last moment due to two major tears in his rotator cuff. We wish him a speedy recovery and look
forward to great achievements in his future.

The Federation wishes to thank the Sportt Company of Trinidad & Tobago and the Ministry of
Sport and Youth Affairs for their support and assistance to our elite athletes; and to the athletes’
coaches for their service and commitment to these talented gymnasts.

These accomplishments are theirs as well to applaud and for us, as a nation to celebrate.

Trinidad and Tobago’s senior footballers were expected to touch down in Guatemala City at 4:00pm TT time yesterday in preparation for their key World Cup clash with the home team tomorrow.

The 22-man team departed Miami after what was a successful training camp there. Coach Stephen Hart is scheduled to hold their final training session today at the Estadio Mateo Flores Stadium, the venue where the match will be played at tomorrow evening.

An estimated 20, 000 crowd is expected to fill the stadium to spur on their team which went down to the ‘Soca Warriors’ 3-1 at the Concacaf Gold Cup earlier this year. It means that the Guatemalans will attempt to gain revenge. The TT men are also expected to face a hostile environment on their arrival.

Now all stakes are even and the Guatemalans will fancy their chances at being favourites in their home ground.

Yesterday Russian-based defender Sheldon Bateau says the T&T squad is ready for the steep challenge. “Definitely there will be some nerves, as we know it’s always difficult going to these countries and for most of the players it will be the first time playing a World Cup qualifier in Guatemala. But we have enough experience within the group to cope with this kind of situation” Bateau said.

He added “We just have to focus on our game and the task at hand which is to get a result. I think we are ready for whatever they throw at us.”

The “Soca Warriors” have enjoyed a fairly impressive preparation period, gaining a 4-4 draw with Concacaf giants Mexico and beating Panama 2-1 in friendly encounters. They also played to a 1-1 tied at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo with Nicaragua following another impressive game.

Quizzed on whether he thinks T&T can come away with two favourable results against Guatemala and the United States, Bateau replied “Definitely, yes. With the squad we have, the experience, athleticism, chemistry and the results of the last few games, even though you can’t really judge too much based on the past” Bateau said.

The former Jabloteh player noted “I think we just need to put everything into these two games as we’ve done before and even more and we can come away with two positive results.”

Bateau will like to see a filled Hasely Crawford Stadium behind the “Red Army” on Tuesday November 17 against the mights of the USA.

Bateau said “I hope we can have a full stadium on Tuesday because as far as I can remember, whenever we played the US and I was there as a fan, the stadium was always filled when players like Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy were around. I would like to see that again. We need to make it our home territory and the fans need to play their part and be the extra man for us,” he added.


The world governing body for Sambo, the International Sambo Federation, has once again come to the rescue of the T&T Sambo Team by providing funding for their stay at a proper hotel in Casablanca, Morocco.

The T&T team is there to compete at the Sambo World Championships which starts today and conclude on Monday, and yesterday, a release from Jason Fraser, president of the four-year-old National Sambo Federation said the team was made to stay in a four star hotel, courtesy the ISF.

The team has been strapped for cash although the Ministry of Sports provided them with tickets to take the athletes to Morocco. Sport Minister Darryl Smith, at a launch to distribute the tickets had said that government did not have the funding to send more athletes to the championships.

Fraser, who is also a member of the international federation, explained yesterday that the team did not even have money for food and proper accomodation and therefore it was due largely to his influence that the team was given cash to provide its members with food and remove them from Hotel Anfa Port, which provided conditions unsuitable for athletes preparing for a world championship tournament, at a cost of TT$147,000.

Fraser told the Guardian it was not the first time that the TT team has had to be saved by an outside organisation. The local Sambo boss said: “It is not the first time that they have come to our aid at a world championship. They did so in Belarus in 2012, when then Minister of Sports Anil Roberts disappointed the team and in 2013 in St Petersburg, Russia.”

The Russian Sambo federation, it is understood, also provided the TT team with TT$650,000 in equipment which is being kept at a storehouse in the West. The equipment was given because of the impressive performance of the TT team a few years ago.

Fraser said he was very thankful to minister Smith for providing them with the tickets, as well as Toyota T&T and First Citizens for helping the team in off-setting some of its expenses.

Keron Bourne will be the first in the four-man team to go into action today. He will first weigh in this morning as he has four pounds to lose to qualify for the 57kg category.

Two other TT fighters—Martin Joseph and rising talent Joash Walkins—will both weigh in tomorrow morning and are expected to be involved.

The Sambo boss said he was confident T&T would be able to medal at the world championship despite having to compete against over 109 countries.

He said they could be contacted at (+0626 100347) for anyone willing to provide assistance.


Chairperson of the T&T International Marathon Diane Henderson is challenging secondary schools and youth groups to come out in their numbers at the 34th edition of the event which takes place on January 16 and 17, in an effort to produce another Olympic athlete.

Next year’s event includes the marathon, marathon relay and a 5km race. At the event’s press conference yesterday at the T&T Olympic House on Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, Henderson spoke about the marathon relay, a new edition to next year’s event. Henderson explained that each team can register up to six athletes, each running 7km of the 42.16km course (26.2 miles).

Henderson stated that the marathon relay is flexible, saying that it is not mandatory to register six persons. “These legs can be run with two persons if you don’t have six people. This gives an individual the opportunity to complete a half marathon because two people will run three legs each.”

One of the goal’s of next year’s marathon is to develop talented youngsters to reach their full potential. “We realise there are a lot of groups out there other than the main clubs that don’t have sufficient training access to coaches. We need to link these young groups to the coaches.”

Henderson believes that many young athletes simply use their natural ability. The marathon organiser wants to see the youngsters times improved so T&T can see another youngster reaching the Olympic level.

A special moment at next year’s race will be a tribute to Charles Spooner, an avid marathon runner who passed away earlier this year. Spooner’s granddaughter Chenelle is aiming to complete the marathon in memory of her grandfather. Henderson said the marathon committee will assist Chenelle with her goal, as the committee has asked an experienced distance runner to assist her with preparations for the race.

TTIM (T&T International Marathon), the marathon mascot, will make his debut next year. “He (TTIM) represents a bit of our culture, our pan and our colours. His legs has the pitch lake, several parts of our musical culture and national birds. We will bring TTIM alive in 2016. Look out for TTIM as a representative of the T&T International Marathon.”

More info

For more information visit www.ttmarathon.com, check ‘Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon’ on facebook or contact 757-7772/497-5598.


Top local swimming duo, Olympic bronze medal winner George Bovell III and World Youth Olympic silver and bronze medallist, Dylan Carter continue their 2016 Rio Olympic Games preparations when they compete at the Arena Pro Swim Series from today.

The three-day meet featuring some of the top swimmers in the USA including US Olympic champions Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky, Ryan Lochte, and record gold medallists Michael Phelps takes place at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Centre, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

The 32-year-old Bovell III, also a two-time World Championship bronze medal winner will be returning to action for the first time since the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada in July where he captured bronze in the men’s 50m freestyle final.

It was his fifth Pan American Games medal won, after picking up two golds and two silver in his previous appearances.

A former Auburn University stand-out swimmer, Bovell was then expected to compete at the 16th FINA World Championship in Kazan, Russia (July 24-August 9).

However, he joined a star studded list of athletes who did not compete at the Championships and followed the four-time Olympian’s withdrawal from last December's 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Doha, Qatar due to personal reasons.

Bovell, who was a five-time NCAA champion also opted out of this year’s FINA Swimming World Cup Circuit events, and after some intense traing over the past few months will make his much anticipated return today.

The Canadian-born Bovell a 25-time All American Honour Roll student will face the starter in the men’s 100m breaststroke today from 11.46am before he compete in his pet event, the 50m freestyle tomorrow (Friday) from 11.43 am

The 19-year-old Carter, a University of Southern California All-American is sitting out of the coming NCAA season in order to prepare for the 2016 Olympic year.

Carter was the only T&T swimmer to make a semifinal in Kazan where he placed 15th in semis of the 50metres butterfly, and also competed in the 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly.

With the Trojans, Carter scored at NCAAs in both the 100m freestyle and 200m freestyle last year as a sophomore and perhaps best known for his relay heroics in the meet’s last event, running down NC State for a national title for USC in the 400 free relay.

He also swam on the winning 800 free relay.

Also, a silver medal winner in the men's 50m butterfly at the 2013 FINA World Junior Championship, Carter has to hit a FINA “A” cut in order to qualify.

Today, he will line up in the men’s 200m freestyle from 11am before facing the starter in the 100m backstroke tomorrow from noon, and the 100m freestyle on Saturday at 1.15 pm.