In The Spotlight
Warriors seek boost ahead of qualifiers
T&T’s senior men’s team will be looking to turn the result over to their favour when they face off with Panama in an international friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez at 8.30 pm (9.30pm TT time) today.
Back in 2000, when both teams met at the CONCACAF semifinal round of World Cup qualification, T&T were easy 6–0 winners at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, with Dwight Yorke leading the way with a hat-trick.
Since then the two teams have met 11 times with T&T winning five, Panama four and two being drawn. But Panama have won four out of the last six outings, including the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal clash in June and a friendly in Couva in March.
‘Warriors’ going positive against Panama
TRINIDAD AND Tobago’s senior men’s team will be looking to turn the result over to their favour when they face off with Panama in an international friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez at 8.30 pm today (9.30pm TT time).
Back in 2000 when both teams met at the CONCACAF semi-final round of World Cup qualification, TT were easy 6-0 winners at the Queen’s Park Oval, with Dwight Yorke leading the way with a hat-trick. Since then the two teams have met eleven times with TT winning five, Panama four and two being drawn.
Emile rides off on a high
MULTIPLE NATIONAL road cycling champion, Emile Abraham, caps off his distinguished 30-year career when he suits up in the red, white and black for one last hurrah at the Caribbean Road Cycling Championships in Barbados later this month.
The 41-year-old veteran endurance rider made public his decision to retire from all major international competition at the closing ceremony of the 29th Tobago International Cycling Classic (TICC) on Sunday.
Abraham is rated as Trinidad and Tobago’s most accomplished road cyclist having won over 30 National titles (senior and junior), UCI ‘B’ World Championships bronze (2003), Pan American silver (2007/ Road Race), TT Male Athlete of the Year (2007), Central American and Caribbean (CAC) silver (2010), Caribbean Road Cycling Championships silver (2013 and 2014), produced numerous top-three finishes at countless global Tour races and was ranked 33rd in the world in the Points Race among a lengthy list of other competitive accolades.
Speaking exclusively to Newsday prior to his apt announcement on Sunday, the Tobago bred cyclist opted to tell all on his astounding career, delving into the many highs and lows which ultimately built him into the athlete he is today. Looking back, Abraham is pleased but will ever so often reminisce and sometimes question decisions made and opportunities he was unable to capitalise on and benefit from.
Pro League on course with Govt goals
The T&T Pro League appears well on course to achieving the objectives set out in government's plan for sports over the next five years.
At least so says Dexter Skeene, Chief Executive Officer of the T&T Pro League, in his feature address to players at the first ever Player Development Seminar at the VIP Lounge of the Hasely Crawford Stadium, yesterday.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert in his budget presentation on Monday stated that Government will develop plans and programmes to encourage many citizens to become involved in sport and recreational activities. He also revealed that T&T will be aiming to be a world class sporting nation by establishing an all encompassing policy to increase the pool of talent from where more world champions will emerge and gain international recognition.
Local beach v-ballers in Olympic qualifiers
Top local duo Fabien Whitfield and Daneil Williams will start as favourites to secure one of the two places available when the T&T Volleyball Federation stages its beach volleyball national team selection process for the second round of NORCECA Continental Olympic Qualifiers.
The local players will compete in three one-day tournaments, serving off today from 5.30 pm at the National Beach Volleyball Developmental Centre in Saith Park, Chaguanas, at the end of which the top two teams will earn tickets to St Lucia.
Last month, Whitfield and Williams claimed a second ever bronze medal finish on the NORCECA Tour when they placed third at the fifth stop of the Hickory Point Beach Sand Volleyball Complex in Tavares, Florida.
At the first round Caribbean Olympic Qualifiers which were held at Chaguanas, Whitfield and Williams won a “Golden Set” decider against Jamaica top pair of veteran Mark Lewis and Ryck Mc Kenzie 15-12, for a 2-1 T&T team victory.
Williams and Whitfield, who represented T&T at the Pan American Games, had earlier swept aside a visibly injured Donovan Richards and Christopher Walters 21-10, 21-15, for a 1-0 lead.
But Lewis/Mc Kenzie (Jamaica-A) kept alive their hopes of gold when they silenced Abraham Eccles and Tevin Joseph (TTO-B), 21-15, 21-13 to level the tie at 1-1 and set up the “Golden Set” where the host backed by a vociferous home crowd powered their way to victory.
Among the local women’s teams, Pan American Games participants, Ayana Dyette and Malika Davidson will start as favourites to earn tickets to Jamaica.
However, they will face a stern test from the pairs of Shenelle Gordon/Elki Phillip and Apphia Glasgow/La Teisha Joseph, all of whom represented T&T in the Caribbean first-round qualifier of the NORCECA Continental Cup Olympic Qualifiers which were held at Ocho Rios Bay, Jamaica, in May.
Back then the T&T women defeated their Barbadian opponents, 2-1 in their third place playoff via the “Golden Set”, with Glasgow and Joseph beating Shari Matthews and Anicia Wood, 16-14.
Jamaica, which defeated Cayman Islands in the final, along with fifth and sixth-placed finishers Suriname and US Virgin Islands, all earned spots in a second-round tournament of the qualifiers against the top six teams from the Eastern Caribbean zone.
Additionally all who are interested in becoming a beach volleyball coach are invited to attend a meeting at the same venue for 6 pm today.
•For further information, please contact Colin Charles @ 375-1227 or David Thomas @ 356-6792.
Elite athletes in T&T face financial hardships
Athletes can’t be competitive in elite sport without some form of financial support.
Even though many athletes in T&T are amateur in that they don’t earn a living from their sport, their ambition to achieve excellence in their sport demands supreme effort.
The net result is training is full time. In fact it’s not only the athletes. Coaches, administrators and officials at the highest levels of competition are essentially full time.
Being professional in your approach to the various roles and responsibilities is a requirement. Taking extended leave from work in order to prepare for major competitions is more the rule than the exception.