T&T whips Barbados in Nacra rugby opener

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...prepares for Guyana play-off decider

T&T’s senior men’s rugby team made a convincing start to its North America and Caribbean Rugby Association (Nacra) South Championship, on Saturday, easing past host team Barbados, 44-7.

At the Garrison Savannah, T&T secured the win by a margin wide enough for the Calypso Warriors to earn a bonus point and to leapfrog Guyana in the one-round three-team standings on points-difference. Guyana opened the championship on March 7 with a comfortable 48-22 home win over Barbados.

The Warriors’ win on Saturday put them in the familiar situation of playing Guyana, its bitter rival, to determine the team that advances to the winner of the North Zone Championship. That match will take place in Port-of-Spain on April 11.

T&T got off to a flying start with early tries from winger Anderson Joseph and prop Ernest Wright. Closer to the end of the half, Akiel Smith scored another T&T try, which was converted by Felician Guerra.

Barbados then returned fire through teenaged scrum-half Mikyle Walcott, who scored a converted try, completed by Kevin Carter, to close the half at 19-7, in T&T’s favour.

The second period was returned with an even more dominant and physical performance from the away team. Joseph doubled up with another try, while Joseph Quashie and flanker Jesse Richards added a single and pair of tries, respectively. The match then blew off soon after Shakir Flemming scored the final try for T&T.

Either T&T or Guyana will play either Mexico or Cayman Islands in the final.

Mexico and Cayman Islands are both on three points after one match with both having won their openers against USA South, 50-25 and 25-24, respectively. They will also meet to determine the North Zone Championship winner on April 11, the same day the South Zone Championship winner will de decided.

Standings

Teams Pld W D L F A B Pts

T&T 1 1 0 0 44 7 1 3

Guyana 1 1 0 0 48 22 1 3

Barbados 2 0 0 2 29 92 0 0

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St Kitts/Nevis' Williams sent home

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St. Kitts & Nevis sprinter Tameka Williams has been sent home from the London Olympics by her team for a potential drug violation.

Williams had been using a substance which was "clearly oyesteron Sunday.

Knight said Williams had not tested positive, but the team acted after consulting with the World Anti-Doping Agency "to find out about the product."

"In discussions with our team management, she volunteered to them that she had been using a particular substance which, when we did our own investigations, we considered to be outside the accepted medical code," Knight said.

Williams told team officials about using the substance — which the team has not disclosed — in a pre-Olympics training camp.

"It was a matter of the management of the team doing their due diligence," Knight said.

The 22-year-old Williams had qualified for the 100 and 200 metres, and gave samples for anti-doping tests at national Olympic trials last month.

"It was not based on any positive drug test. She turned up a clean test," Knight said.

Williams marched at the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday as the only woman in a seven-member team from the Caribbean islands, who are all track sprinters. The best known is five-time Olympian Kim Collins.

Knight said St Kitts team officials sought expert advice in London before acting.

"We wanted to consult with the anti-doping fraternity," he said. "We are a very tiny country with limited knowledge of these things."

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Indians upset by mystery woman marching alongside them in Opening Ceremony

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India have complained to London 2012 over an apparent security lapse during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics last night when an unidentified woman walked alongside flag-bearer Sushil Kumar during the athletes' parade.

The young woman, dressed in a red shirt and blue trousers, marched next to the weightlifter, a bronze medallist at Beijing four years ago, despite having no visible accreditation.

India's Chef de Mission P K Muralidharan Raja has now complained to London 2012 about the incident which has become the main talking point in India about the much-praised Opening Ceremony.

"She had no business to walk in with the Indian contingent and we are taking up the issue with the organisers," he said.

"We don't know who she is and why she was allowed to walk in.

"It is a shame that she was with the athletes in the march past.

"We were initially told that she would accompany the contingent till the track but she went on to take the entire lap.

"There was another man also but he stayed back and did not enter the Stadium.

"We have taken strong exception to this.

"The march past is for the athletes and officials attached to the contingent.

"We are totally taken by surprise how a person could just intrude into the track."

A total of 40 Indian athletes and 11 officials dressed in traditional blazers and Rajasthani yellow turbans or yellow sarees marched in the Opening Ceremony, earning one of the biggest cheers of the evening.

"The Indian contingent was shown for hardly ten seconds in the television coverage and the entire focus sadly was on this lady, instead of the athletes," said Raja.

It is a major issue for Raja to take over having only been promoted to the role of Chef de Mission on the eve of the Opening Ceremony after Ajitpal Singh, the original choice, was unable to travel here due to a serious back problem.

By Duncan Mackay at the Main Press Centre in the Olympic Park in London

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

Dyette sizzles with new partner

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CAC player and Youth Olympian unbeaten at Saith Park.

AYANA DYETTE played unbeaten and won back-to-back tournaments with a new partner when the second leg of the Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball Federation’s (TTVF) Beach Series served off over the weekend at Saith Park, Chaguanas.

After being half of the dominant pair in the country and English-speaking Caribbean last year, the 28-year-old was forced to combine with Malika Davidson when Nancy Joseph recently decided to take break because of work committments.

Davidson, who played two of the five tournaments in the first leg last month, is undoubtedly a rising star as she and Chelsi Ward flew the red, white and back flag in the World Under-21 Beach Volleyball Championships in Croatia in 2013 and in the Youth Olympic Games in China last year.

Playing their first match together, Dyette and the 19-year-old took some time to get into stride, but managed to recover after the slow start to defeat Elki Philip and Shenelle Gordon 15-21, 21-18, 15-7.

There were just three female pairs involved in the round-robin tournament so when Dyette and Davidson trounced Apphia Glasgow and La Teisha Joseph 21-14, 21-12 they were crowned champs. What made this victory even more impressive was the fact that Glasgow and Joseph had clinched the first leg two weeks ago.

But the youngsters definitely started this one on the backfoot as they were also beaten (22-20, 21-15) by Gordon and Philip. The same three pairs entered the tournament the day after and the order of finish was unchanged. Dyette and Davidson were 21-15, 23-21 winners over Philip and Gordon and then took the title with with a commanding 21-11, 21-14 triumph over Glasgow and Joseph, who also lost (21-13, 13-21, 21-6) against Gordon and Philip.

Dyette and Nancy Joseph first combined in October 2012 and made an immediate impact when they just missed the podium with a fourth-placed effort in the Trinidad leg the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Beach Volleyball Tour.

In addition to competing in six of the ten NORCECA tournaments last year, the top-ranked duo also played unbeaten in nine local events, but left the best for last as they reached the quarterfinals of the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Mexico in late November.

It was the second straight CAC Games for Dyette and also the second for Joseph, who made her debut at this level in 2006 and was heavily favoured to make the team four years later, — with Philip — but was forced out of the qualifying series with a knee injury which eventually required surgery.

Joseph, the only beach volleyball nominee for Sportswoman of the Year, and Dyette did return together in the first leg of this year’s TTVF series, and although they were not at this best they did win two of the five tournaments and were narrowly edged by Glasgow and La Teisha Joseph for the top spot.

Both pairs earned the right to play in the first of three legs of Caribbean qualifying for next year’s Olympic Games in Brazil. but as a result of Nancy Joseph’s withdrawal, the third-placed team of Philip and Gordon will accompany La Teisha Joseph and Glasgow to Jamaica late next month.

The second leg of the TTVF series will continue on Saturday and Sunday and conclude next week Saturday. The triumphant male and female pairs will be selected to participate in the Pan American Games in Canada in July.

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How about HDC houses for national athletes

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Athlete welfare and preparation is a key priority of the ten or more Olympic gold medals by the year 2024 vision (#10G24). In this respect, access to Housing Development Corporation (HDC) houses is an idea that can be advanced under an Elite Athlete Housing Assistance Programme. Representing T&T at the Olympic and World level is national duty and service. It is a declaration that should be meaningful with tangible measures put in place to support such a declaration.

HDC houses for national sportsmen and women with a priority on those who have represented T&T at Olympic and World level in both team and individual sports is in the opinion of the writer a powerful statement of intent that we are serious about supporting our athletes in their quest for excellence.

There are national athletes who have served this country with distinction for five years or more who need assistance to obtain HDC housing.

Just as there is a priority given to members of the national security service, it is proposed that a similar policy be implemented for national sports men and women who have given sustained and meritorious service.

Just as is done with the Elite Athlete Assistance Programme, the national sport organisations and the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) are well positioned to clarify, confirm and recommend those athletes in both team and individual sports that merit favourable consideration under the proposed Elite/High Performance Athlete Housing Assistance Programme.

My one caveat is that the criteria be transparent, fair and just and that it not be based on affiliation to any political party. Athletes, sportsmen and women, should not have to hold any particular party card or declared support.

Let me make it abundantly clear that having benefited from an expedited distribution, the recipient (athlete) must honour their mortgage obligations. At a much elevated level of achievement —an Olympic or World championship gold medal—the precedent has developed where a gift of appropriate housing may be given.

The idea of houses for national athletes, sportsmen and women is simple, athletes who dedicate years of their productive life to representing their country at Olympic and World level sport make tremendous sacrifices in respect of their careers, families, income etc.

Their choice to dedicate themselves to national duty and service through sport ostensibly place them at a significant social and economic disadvantage.

Currently, the burden is a de-motivating one for athletes who aspire to Olympic and World level.

Dedication to national duty and service through sport must no longer place our athletes at a disadvantage and compromise their constitutional and human right to the dignity of a roof over their heads.

Other issues impacting sport include:

• High crime and traffic. Both have made participating in sport and physical activity difficult. There is a pressing need to decentralize sport to the respective communities.

• There are national sport organisations dependent on funding from the Ministry of Sport and the Sport Company of T&T that haven't met their monthly salary obligation to their office staff.

• Those involved in sport are concerned about the future of this country and their family. The young people are concerned about well-paying jobs, first world infrastructural development which will ensure them and their families a high quality of life.

Young people involved in sports aren’t any different. They have the additional worry about their future in sport and the future of sport in the country. The indifference shown to the needs and concerns of sportsmen and women is a demeaning experience that brings into question the sincerity of utterances that sport is important.

Action matters more than talk.

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