Trinidad and Tobago to train in Cardiff before London 2012
08 Dec 2010
Cardiff has been chosen as the pre-London 2012 training camp by Trinidad and Tobago, whose team is expected to include sprinter Richard Thompson who is set to be one of Usain Bolt's main challengers at the Olympics.
The Caribbean country are the first Olympic team to sign-up to train in Wales and join Australia and South Africa, whose Paralympic squads have already announced that they will base themselves there before the Games.
The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) revealed that they chose Cardiff because of its cutting-edge sports science and medical services that the Welsh capital offers.
TTOC president Larry Romany said: "After considering many options for our training location in the UK, we are very pleased with our choice of Cardiff.
"We have been impressed by the range of world class facilities we will be using and by the enthusiastic support of our friends in Wales in assisting our final athlete preparations for London 2012."
Welsh Assembly Government First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "I'm delighted that the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee has chosen Wales as their location for pre-Games training ahead of London 2012.
"The decision reflects the hard work put in by the Welsh Assembly Government and its partners over the past few months and shows that Wales has the kind of facilities and infrastructure that Olympic teams are looking for. I'm sure they will receive a warm Welsh welcome during their stay."
Trinidad and Tobago sent a team of 28 athletes to Beijing in 2008, the majority of whom were track and field competitors.
They made up 23 members of the team with the rest being completed by three swimmers, a shooter and a table tennis player.
The team won two medals, both silver, thanks to Thompson, who finished second to Bolt in the 100m, and then the men's 4x100m relay team, who came second to Jamaica.
Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012, welcomed the news of the latest country to agree a deal to train in Britain.
"It's great to hear that national Olympic committees from around the world are developing strong relationships with the UK to aid their training in advance of London 2012," he said.
"And it's fantastic to know that with less than two years to go plans are being developed to maximise benefits for both nations across sporting, educational and cultural agendas.
"I wish Trinidad and Tobago and their Welsh colleagues all the very best in their preparations for London 2012."