What's new with Team TTO

July 04, 2020

Matthews and Collett Banned From Olympics

MUNICH, West Germany, Sept. 8 — The International Olympic Committee barred today two United States…
July 04, 2020

Vincent Matthews and Wayne Collett: A Most Casual Protest With Most Striking Consequences

They stood there casually, one barefoot, hands on hips, the other in thoughtful repose, right…
July 04, 2020

Athletes Will Be Banned From Protesting at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But the Games Have…

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced new guidelines on Thursday that ban athletes from making…
July 04, 2020

RESOLUTION OF THE IOC EXECUTIVE BOARD WITH REGARD TO RACISM AND INCLUSION

The IOC stands for non-discrimination as one of the founding pillars of the Olympic Movement,…
July 01, 2020

Lewis highlights racial discrimination and gender inequality in sports

"Olympic Order is the Olympic Movement highest award for distinguished contributions to sports. The list…
June 29, 2020

Black Lives Matter movement brings ex-IOC President Brundage under new scrutiny

When the Olympic Games were last held in Tokyo, American multi-millionaire Avery Brundage was President…
June 27, 2020

Opinion: Equality still remains an elusive goal

My professional life has been defined by three principles: excellence, integrity, equality. They were bred…

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Vincent Matthews and Wayne Collett: A Most Casual Protest With Most Striking Consequences https://t.co/KBV4TV5dm1
Saturday, 04 July 2020 19:14
Athletes Will Be Banned From Protesting at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But the Games Have a Long History of Political… https://t.co/gVIY0fZt5q
Saturday, 04 July 2020 18:30
RESOLUTION OF THE IOC EXECUTIVE BOARD WITH REGARD TO RACISM AND INCLUSION https://t.co/dsIbvXX5ai
Saturday, 04 July 2020 16:34
Lewis highlights racial discrimination and gender inequality in sports https://t.co/kBo4RRlsZW
Thursday, 02 July 2020 20:58

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Full credit to finalists Michele Lee Ahye, Kelly Ann Baptiste and Machel Cedenio, as well as our 4x100 ladies and 4x400 men’s team, which brought home medals from the World Championships in Beijing.

But we learnt one thing. There is a lot of work to be done ahead of next year’s Rio Olympics. Getting to the finals is a step in the right direction. It acts as a catalyst for the athlete, coach and management team to assess what needs to be done to turn finalists into medalists.

Cedenio, at 19, was seventh and can only improve with proper guidance. He will recall that earlier this year, he beat La Shawn Merritt but the American placed second in the final in a personal best time, ensuring that he was at his best for the Championships.

Next year will be similar but the rivalry becomes even more significant because it is the Olympic Games.

We must hope that the National Association of Athletic Administration (NAAA) works with the athletes for the future. Everyone needs to share a common goal. While some of these athletes will have managers with different mindset, the NAAA and the athlete must sit with the coaches and managers and set a clear pathway.

After the manager’s report on the World Championships is completed and addressed,  a meeting should be called as soon as possible. If the NAAA have to travel to meet the athlete and their team outside of T&T,  this must be a priority. I would suggest a team of three or four from the NAAA, comprising of highly influential and respected persons such as the president, Ephraim Serrette, and members such as Hasely Crawford, Dr Ian Hypolite and Dexter Voisin.

My other concern remains Keshorn Walcott, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist who failed to progress out of the first round. The most disturbing aspect is that this is the second World Championships where Walcott has struggled. His conqueror Kenya’s Julius Vego in 2012 finished 12th in the Olympic final.

At the press conference for the 2012 final, I recall that the first three were on stage and a number of questions were thrown by the Kenyan contingent, asking for tips on how to improve their thrower. This was a novel event for the Kenyans and you could see they were attempting to acquire as much knowledge as possible. To their credit, their athlete improved tremendously, not only throwing in excess of 92 metres but he is also the reigning Commonwealth Champion, where he also beat Walcott.

Unless Walcott does something quickly, he may find himself having to play second fiddle to the consistent Yego.

Walcott’s first throw was his longest but sadly he lost his balance and overstepped and so it was considered a foul throw and he nevered recovered. Similarly on Yego’s first throw, he fell and it was also declared null and void  but he recovered to make the final and then a few days later regained his composure to win.

 Walcott will have to examine his training regime. He cannot expect to gain in this country and must travel to Europe and get match fit and ready. As good as his local coach is, there is nothing to beat experience.  I also believe that because of early success, Walcott needs guidance and counseling and if it is that he cannot or will not listen to the NAAA, then another avenue has to be sought. The Olympic Committee president  Brian Lewis is very athlete driven and focused and I am certain he will ensure that a requisite team is put in place to assist some of the obvious needs of Walcott.

I believe that psychologist Dr Margaret Ottley should be hired immediately and brought home for the next ten to 12 months to work with as many athletes as possible in time for Rio.

Talent alone will not do it, we have to have the mental and emotional strength to go with it.

Without a doubt, our men’s 4x400 metres relay team can win gold in Rio. This current team of Renny Quow, La Londe Gordon, Deon Lendore, Machel Cedenio and Jarrin Solomon can reap success.

Once Jehue Gordon is fully recovered from his latest injury and with his studies completed, 2016 should be a strong year for him. His event was one of the few where the times were not as good as when he won in Moscow, which augurs well for him.

It was good to see the NAAA taking the bold step of incorporating some of our former athletes into their system. We have seen Niconnor Alexander getting involved and most recently Ato Boldon with the women's relay team. This group can become a long term core for success and with the leadership of Baptiste and the likes of Lee Ahye,  Hackett, Thomas, Khalifa St Fort and Kamira Durant, there is a lot to smile about.  

It looks promising, but as most men know, looks are sometimes deceiving.

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