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May 31, 2020

FEMALE MEMBERSHIP OF IOC COMMISSIONS REACHES AN ALL-TIME HIGH OF 47.7 PER CENT - TWO…

THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (IOC) ANNOUNCED TODAY THE COMPOSITION OF ITS COMMISSIONS FOR 2020. THE…
May 28, 2020

TTOC to roll out covid19 relief to athletes

The TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) is currently finalising the criteria needed for athletes to benefit…
May 26, 2020

OpEd: The IOC Stands in Solidarity With All Athletes and All Sports

Much has been written lately about the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s finances. Some of these…
May 26, 2020

Stellar example Duncan teaches art of adaptability

Marcus Duncan knows how to adapt to different circumstances. While other athletes have suffered because…
May 24, 2020

Chow remains focused Olympic rower trains harder during lockdown

For Team Trinidad and Tobago’s top rower Felice Aisha Chow, being defeated by the circumstamces…
May 23, 2020

TTOC President Lewis claims cancellation of Tokyo 2020 would put NOCs in "a big hole"

Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) President Brian Lewis claimed the cancellation of the Tokyo…
May 22, 2020

Lewis: Olympic cancellation not good for NOCs

Brian Lewis, president of the T&T Olympic Committee says a great number of National Organising…

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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

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A few fans stopped me to ask what I thought about the West In­dies' per­for­mance so far in the se­ries against In­dia in both the T20's and the ODIs.

So, I said, “I don't think.” and walked away. I fig­ured that that was a good enough re­ply. Then, 2 days ago, some­one saw me and said that he had just seen an ar­ti­cle com­ing out of Ja­maica al­lud­ing to the be­lief that Chris Gayle was as great as Bri­an Lara. My first re­ac­tion was to say to the gen­tle­man, “There is just no com­par­i­son in terms of bats­man­ship but maybe, in terms of fig­ures.”

Away from the crick­et, let's write about some­thing a bit more pos­i­tive and up­lift­ing like the great per­for­mances of our ath­letes in the just con­clud­ed Pan Am Games in Pe­ru. It is al­ways good when you can pre­dict the out­come of an event or a se­ries of games etc and I am sure you will re­call that when I pre­viewed the games a few weeks ago, I en­vis­aged that the T&T con­tin­gent would come home with our high­est medal haul in the his­to­ry of the games. We copped 13 medals in to­tal, five more than our pre­vi­ous best of eight in Toron­to, Cana­da at the 2015 Games.

Pride and place have to go cy­cling. Again, I in­di­cat­ed that we were cer­tain­ly go­ing to medal in cy­cling but, how great was the per­for­mance of dou­ble gold medal­list, Nicholas Paul? Here is a young man in his ear­ly 20's who ap­pears to be get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter, has a heart as big as the At­lantic Ocean and is the type of in­di­vid­ual who can eas­i­ly il­lu­mi­nate the dark and murky world. I have al­so been fol­low­ing the tal­ent­ed and rangy fe­male cy­clist, Teneil Camp­bell, since she burst on the scene and seems de­ter­mined to go where no oth­er woman cy­clist has dared to ven­ture be­fore. What a won­der­ful and ded­i­cat­ed young woman who seems to rel­ish the road and one can on­ly wish her con­tin­ued suc­cess as she es­sen­tial­ly takes on the world by her­self.

Njisane Phillip was his usu­al pro­fes­sion­al self but seems un­able to get the best of Paul in the in­di­vid­ual sprints. How­ev­er, when he teams up with Paul and Keron Bram­ble in the men's team sprint, they ap­pear to be un­beat­able. Make no mis­take, we will see their true abil­i­ty when the Olympics come around next year.

In ath­let­ics Michelle-Lee Ahye, Jereem Richards and Keshorn Wal­cott were ex­pect­ed to medal but for me, I thought both Wal­cott and Richards would have won gold; but it goes to show how tough these games were. In Ahye's case, how is she go­ing to beat Elaine Thomp­son? The Ja­maican has phe­nom­e­nal speed. Not be­ing an ath­let­ics coach, I tried to analyse Thomp­son's weak point. It seems that her start is slow so if Ahye can get a great start and run as if her life de­pend­ed on it, who knows what can hap­pen? Am I sim­pli­fy­ing it and be­ing naive or is it pos­si­ble?

Our 4x400 me­tres men won bronze but some­how Machel Ce­de­nio wasn't at his best as he just fad­ed in the last 30 me­tres of the re­lay. Nor­mal­ly, he would be fin­ish­ing like a freight train but un­for­tu­nate­ly, he looked more like a toy train with the bat­ter­ies fad­ing fast. No doubt he will be back fit­ter, stronger and ready to rep­re­sent the red, white and black.

Dy­lan Carter, as I thought, would win a medal in the pool. He con­tin­ues to pave the way for some of our younger swim­mers to un­der­stand that with some hard work and the right frame of mind, we can do well at swim­ming in var­i­ous games.

One of the sur­pris­es at the games was Michael Alexan­der win­ning bronze in the men's wel­ter­weight di­vi­sion but as was ex­plained to me, Alexan­der need­ed these games to get a sense of where he is and for him to im­prove. He now needs to get ac­cess to top-class spar­ring, so let's hope the T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee (TTOC) can get him an op­por­tu­ni­ty where he can re­ceive qual­i­ty world-class train­ing.

The oth­er sur­prise was the 4x100m men's re­lay team win­ning sil­ver. Based on the in­di­vid­ual sprints, I thought the team would have no chance but how Jerod El­cock, Ke­ston Bled­man, Akan­ni His­lop and Kyle Greaux proved me wrong. Well done guys! I am hop­ing that when 2020 rolls around, we can pro­duce some world-class sprint­ers. At the mo­ment, I am not see­ing a Craw­ford, Boldon or Thomp­son on the hori­zon.

But the biggest eye-open­er for me was Fe­lice Chow in row­ing, wow! Sil­ver in the women's sin­gle sculls fi­nal; how great an ef­fort that was. Hope­ful­ly, she is an­oth­er who can build on that.

So, where does that leave our ath­letes? I was elat­ed to read where Bri­an Lewis, the Pres­i­dent of the TTOC, says that the per­for­mance was en­cour­ag­ing. He ob­vi­ous­ly did not go over­board and as I al­lud­ed pre­vi­ous­ly, it gives us an in­di­ca­tor of what is need­ed for Tokyo 2020.

I am 1200% cer­tain the TTOC will give the T&T ath­letes the sup­port go­ing for­ward to sur­pass our ex­pec­ta­tions of them. It is my sin­cer­est wish the Min­istry of Sports, along with the var­i­ous sport­ing bod­ies or­gan­ise them­selves ear­ly to give the ath­letes the prepa­ra­tion that is need­ed for the 2020 games. There is no ex­cuse not to have our ath­letes well-pre­pared for the Olympics as we all know the com­pet­i­tive lev­el is much high­er than the Pan Am games.

Let us be­gin the prepa­ra­tion now so that our ath­letes can bring more glo­ry in these trou­bled times of crime and com­plete law­less­ness in T&T. The Sum­mer Olympics - Tokyo 2020 is just 344 days away.

Ed­i­tor's note

The views ex­pressed in this col­umn are sole­ly those of the writer and do not re­flect the views of any or­gan­i­sa­tion of which he is a stake­hold­er.

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