Source: www.trinidadexpress.com By Kwame Laurence in New Delhi
Boxer Tariq Abdul Haqq assured Trinidad and Tobago of a fifth medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, when he advanced to the semifinal round in the super heavyweight division, at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, here in New Delhi, India, yesterday.
Haqq won his quarter-final duel with New Zealand's Joseph Parker by the narrowest of margins. The bout was scored a 7-7 draw, and on a count back, the scorecards of the five judges still could not determine a winner. Haqq was then awarded the decision by preference, three of the judges giving him the nod over his opponent.
Today, Haqq will be back in the ring for his semifinal contest, against Cameroon's Blaise Yepmou.
By reaching the penultimate round of the competition, Haqq is assured of at least bronze. So, no matter what happens in his showdown with Yepmou, the 20-year-old will become the third boxer from T&T to climb a Commonwealth Games rostrum, following in the footsteps of 1994 middleweight bronze medallist Mervyn Penniston and 2002 super heavyweight silver medallist Kertson Manswell.
At the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range, T&T's Robert Auerbach produced an impressive performance in the men's singles trap, hitting 138 out of a possible 150 targets to capture fifth spot.
England's Aaron Heading grabbed gold with a Finals Games Record of 147. Australian Michael Diamond (146) and India's Manavjit Singh Sandhu (144) earned silver and bronze, respectively.
After two stages of qualifying, Auerbach was joint sixth, with four other competitors, each of the five hitting 120 targets. In the shoot-off for the sixth and final berth in the final, Auerbach emerged victorious.
The 22-year-old shooter then hit 18 out of 25 targets to edge into fifth spot.
Rhodney Allen finished 15th in the men's 25 metres centrefire pistol singles event. Allen scored 564, while his T&T teammate, Roger Daniel totalled 558 for 18th spot.
Indians Harpeet Singh (580) and Vijay Kumar (574) finished one-two, while third spot went to Singapore's Lip Meng Poh (574).
The full bore singles and pairs events continue today, at the CRPF Campus. T&T's Justin Lall and Norris Gomez are among the shooters on show.
T&T's netballers gave a spirited showing against the mighty Australians in their final Group A fixture, at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex. Australia won 62-34, T&T doing a fine job of containing the top ranked team in the world.
For T&T, Anestacia Wilson and captain Janelle Barker scored 16 goals each.
Afterwards, Barker told the Express she was very satisfied with her team's performance.
"A complete team effort. This is the game we should have been playing right through the tournament. Unfortunately, it took us today to get it together. But I am extremely happy, extremely proud of my girls.
"We like playing against Australia. We need to show Australia that hey, we could play just as good and even better than them. We outscored them in the second quarter, and I think that was splendid."
A small but enthusiastic cheering section, aided by the T&T bench, spurred the team on. The supporters even offered an amended version of David Rudder's "Calypso Music".
"Calypso, Calypso, Calypso Netball," they sang.
Perhaps it was no coincidence that sports psychologist Dr Margaret Ottley was leading the chant, the lyrics giving the Aussies a reminder that T&T were once world beaters.
"I want to think that was part of it," said Barker. "It wasn't something that was planned, but the adrenaline, it filtered out to the crowd tonight."
Playing with great intensity, T&T often matched their opponents on the court. Barker insisted, though, that another factor worked against her team.
"The officiating needs to be consistent. It was very inconsistent tonight. The officiating cannot only be to the advantage of one team and at a disadvantage to another team. It was clear. Everybody was seeing it. The people who are in charge of selecting these umpires need to reassess them, and really look and see if every team is getting a fair opportunity to win a tournament."
T&T, fourth in Group A with two wins and three defeats, take on Caribbean rivals Barbados today, in the seventh place playoff. T&T cyclist Emile Abraham returned a time of three hours, 57 minutes, 10 seconds to finish 35th in the 168-kilometre men's road race.
In a tight finish, Australia's Allan Davis claimed the gold, beating New Zealander Hayden Roulston and Scotland's David Millar into second and third, respectively. All three medallists were credited with the same time—3:49:48.
And late last night (TT time), T&T's hockey women squared off against Malaysia, at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, in a battle for ninth spot in the 10-team tournament.