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Guzman is TTBA Technical Director

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MINISTRY of Sport specialist badminton coach and multiple national champion, Solangel Guzman has been appointed to the position of Technical Director by the Trinidad and Tobago Badminton Association (TTBA) new executive board.

Guzman is also this country’s leading female athlete and one of the top players in the Pan American region. And whilst her list of athletic achievements is quite extensive, the former Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games 2006 champion also boasts of an impressive academic curriculum vitae.

An inspired Guzman expressed her commitment towards such a post and revealed that she is ready for the task ahead. Though she expects a challenging list of assignments, Guzman is well aware that this opportunity will certainly derive all-round benefit. The former Cuban athlete holds a Bachelor’s of Scienc in Physical Education and Sport (Manual Fajardo University - Havana, Cuba 2002-2009) and is a Level III badminton coach (TT). She has attained certificates in Planning of Sport Training, Sport Preparation, Massage Therapy and Shuttle Time Badminton Tutor. Some of her previous work experience also entails being Cuban national badminton team captain/ assistant coach (2004-2007) and Cuban national badminton team captain/ coach (2007-2009).

On her recent appointment, TTBA president Derwin Renales admitted that Guzman’s knowledge and experience of the sport should play an instrumental role towards the overall enhancement of badminton.

Renales stated, “We, the members of the TTBA executive and by extension the Trinidad and Tobago Badminton fraternity are truly elated to have Ms Guzman on board as the Technical Director. We are used to seeing her from an athlete’s perspective, however, I am certain that Solangel is a good fit for this post. Apart from being well trained, she also brings years of experience and she is an extremely enthusiastic and creative individual with a strong work ethic. Solangel also possesses a high level of Sport Science acumen that would definitely be a valuable asset to us. We welcome Ms Guzman and look forward to the level of badminton in Trinidad and Tobago being lifted to higher heights in 2014 and beyond.”

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Florida-based Donahue out Carifta swim team

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Florida-based Alexandria Donahue has withdrawn from the T&T team which departs on Sunday to compete at the 29th Carifta Swimming Championships from Monday to Sunday at the Piscina Olimpico Roly Bislik, Oranjestad, Savaneta, Aruba, the same venue as in 2009.

Donahue, who attends Plant Senior High School, was a key member of both the Carifta, and Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) meets for the past years and was expected to play a vital role at this meet as well but is unavailable.

Last year, she swam to gold in the 15-17 girls 100 metres breaststroke (1:12.33 mins) and silver in the 15-17 girls 200m breaststroke in 2:43.05, to deny Jamaican duo Zara Bailey (2:41.37) and Breanna Roman (2:44.14), a one-two finish at the Carifta meet in Jamaica while at the CCCAN event, she won the CCCAN 100m breaststroke in 1:14.01 and also added a bronze.

Despite her absence, T&T will be represented by a very competitive 33-member team led by David Mc Leod and Jabari Baptiste for the Carifta meet which is expected to be a very competitive one as it will serve as an official qualifying meet for the 16th FINA World Championships 2015 which will be held in Kazan, Russia.

It has already been approved as a qualifying meet for Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) in Veracruz, Mexico and the Youth Olympic Games.

In Aruba, T&T will be aiming for its first team title since 2010 in Jamaica after it ended second on the medal table with a haul of 51 (22 gold, 16 silver and 13 bronze), 13 behind Guadeloupe (17 gold, 28 silver and 19 bronze) last year while Aruba was third with 50 (21 gold, 17 silver and 12 bronze). It was the third straight win for Guadeloupe.

At the Amateur Swimming Association National Long Course swim meet which was held in March, Mc Leod of Atlantis Aquatics and Baptiste of Marlins used the event which served as a qualifier for the Carifta Swim meet and Caribbean Islands Swimming Championship, to book tickets to the Nanjing, China Youth Olympic by bettering qualifying times in the 15-17 boys 50m freestyle.

Mc Leod won the event in 23.98 while Baptiste took silver in 24.20 seconds as they both dipped under the B standard qualifying time while attaining Carifta A and B marks as well.

Also in the swim squad is Jada Chai of Atlantis, the standout swimmer at the long course event with no fewer than 12 Carifta qualifying times attained, and Arieos Aquatechs’ Kristin Julien, who has also secured a ticket to China. T&T will also be represented in the Open Water swim where the girls 15-17 trio of David-sisters, Syriah and Shania, and Theana Hay are medal contenders.

Last year in Jamaica, Syriah won the 15-17 Open Water gold while Hay got silver, and Shania won silver in the 13-14 category, and Christian Marsden, bronze in the boys’ equivalent.

For the swim team, Marlins’ Mark Pouchet will serve as head coach while former ASATT president, Hazel Haynes of Tidal Wave Aquatics has been appointed coach of the Open Water team.

The duo of Brian Wickham (Centre of Excellence Sea Hawks) and Chabeth Haynes (Tidal Wave) are also part of the coaching staff which will be managed by former national swimmer, Shastri Sankar.

On return home, the local swimmers will then turn their attention to the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championship carded for Barbados in July.

T&T Carifta Swimming team

Open Water

13-14 Boys: Christian Marsden, Kael Yorke, James Gillette

15-17 Boys: Jivan Chee Foon, Andrew Gillette, Kyle Caracciolo

15-17 Girls: Syriah David, Theana Hay, Shania David

Swimmers

11-12 Girls: Jada Chai, Jahmia Harley, Vrisnelit Faure, Deshor Edwards, Sabrina David

11-12 Boys: Gabriel Bynoe, Aqeel Joseph, Josiah Duke, Luke Gillette, Jae-Hwa Lee Wing, Jean-Marc Granderson

13-14 Girls: Amira Pilgrim

13-14 Boys: Justin Samlalsingh, Kael Yorke, Christian Marsden, Osaze Riley, James Gillette, Jeron Thompson, Dario Omiss, Christopher Mohammed

15-17 Girls: Kristen Julien, Ariel Cape, Syriah David,

15-17 Boys: David Mc Leod, Jabari Baptiste, Jeron O’Brien, Jonathan Farah, Joshua Ramkissoon

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USOC hosts first Olympic Academy in 23 years

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The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) today hosted its first Olympic Academy since 1991 to advance the spirit of Olympism throughout the nation.

Held in the 1984 Games host city of Los Angeles, the event - supported by US Olympic and Paralympic Foundation chairman Gordon Crawford and jointly staged by legacy organisation the LA84 Foundation - brought together scholars, students, athletes, administrators, business experts and members of the media to create a forum for Olympic education and the exchange of ideas.

The theme of the Academy was "Athlete Development" and Scott Blackmun, the USOC's chief executive, explained exactly what he meant by that phrase.

"Our mission is relatively narrow," he said in his opening speech.

"We are focused on sustained competitive excellence at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"We believe that our calling, our job within the global Olympic Movement, is to do the best that we can do to empower our American athletes to do the best that they can do."

Other speakers included International Olympic Committee member and USOC board member Anita DeFrantz, USOC sport performance chief Alan Ashley, USOC organisational excellence chief and 1984 Olympic 100 metres hurdles champion Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, and LA84 Foundation board member and 1960 Olympic decathlon champion Rafer Johnson.

Water polo Olympic champion Brenda Villa, London 2012 cycling silver medallist Dotsie Bausch and Paralympic sprinter Jarryd Wallace also spoke at the one-day event.

The original US Olympic Academy took place from 1977 to 1991 over three or four days on college campuses throughout the US.

Going forward, the USOC is now looking into whether the Academy could become a regular event once again.

"USOC leaders will now review participant feedback and discuss options for the viability of a US Olympic Academy," Lindsay Hogan, the USOC senior director of communications, explained.

"This was a successful first step in the assessment process."

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Athletes warned over social media ahead of Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

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Athletes competing at Glasgow 2014 have been warned they could be thrown out of the event if they do not adhere to strict social media guidelines released by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

The CGF has produced a list of rules and guidelines for competitors and team officials at this year's Games, which is due to take place from July 23 to August 3, warning them any flouting of the rules on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter will not be tolerated and could result in them being kicked-out of the event.

The policy, which also applies to Games volunteers, warns against the posting of inappropriate sexist or racist remarks on social media sites and orders athletes not to write anything about their fellow competitors unless it is positive.

The document states: "If you use social media at the Games, do be kind to others.

"Do not insult anyone or say anything that could be construed as offensive."

The move has no doubt been influenced by a number of high-profile cases involving athletes at previous events, including Greek athlete Voula Papachristou and Swiss footballer Michel Morganella at London 2012.

Triple jumper Papachristou was thrown out of the Olympic Games after tweeting a racist remark about Africans in Greece causing an outbreak of the West Nile virus which claimed the life of one person.

Morganella was stripped of his accreditation at London 2012 after he tweeted "I want to beat up all South Koreans! Bunch of mentally handicapped retards!" ("Je les tous Defonce Coréens, allez vous tous Bruler, bande de trisos!") after his side lost 2-1 to the Asian country.

During Sochi 2014, Australian athletes were angered after the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) placed restrictions on their use of social media.

The AOC denied it was a "blanket ban" but instead urged its athletes to use social media "responsibly".

The Glasgow 2014 guidelines also warn athletes not to post exclusive material which infringes copyright agreements and upsets media partners or "share information that might compromise the security, staging and organisation of the Games, such as details of Ceremonies".

They also urge participants to be careful when posing for photographs with children under 16-years-old and ask their permission before they post the photographs on social media sites.

It adds: "Tweeting a picture of your friends in the crowd is fine (with their permission); uploading the 100m men's final is not," although athletes and volunteers are allowed to post fun pictures of themselves from the Opening and Closing Ceremonies."

"The CGF wants everyone to have a happy and enjoyable time at the Commonwealth Games," head of communications at the CGF Peter Murphy, told insidethegames.

"Our policy on social media only covers those who have accreditations to the Games, but it contains advice that's useful to everyone.

"For instance we really encourage spectators, the public and athletes to share their experiences via Twitter or Facebook, but we'd remind everyone to ask permission before sharing someone else's photo online.

"Ultimately though, it's all common-sense, we simply ask people to be mindful and considerate of others."

To view the complete set of social media guidelines for Glasgow 2014, click here.

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Letter calls for resignation of Rio 2016 President as immediate action urged

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A miserable month for Rio 2016 has continued with a stinging letter calling for the resignation of President Carlos Nuzman, claiming he is personally responsible for all the problems affecting the future host.

The letter, entitled: "On Rio, or more accurately, blame it on Nuzman" is written by Eric Walther Maleson, a Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic bobsledder who was founding President of the Brazilian Ice Sports Federation from 1996 to 2012 and a Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) Board member between 1999 and 2012.

After admitting his personal animosity to Nuzman which led to him being the only National Federation President to oppose the 72-year-old's re-election as BOC President in 2012 - after which he lost much of his personal power - Maleson insists Nuzman is fully culpable.

Maleson continues by insisting that: "If the International Olympic Committee [IOC] wants to save the Games in Rio, the IOC image and the high financial investment made by their sponsors, they better act now and demand the resignation of Carlos Nuzman."

He adds: "The constant delays in the preparation for the Games in Rio are very simple to understand: the Government of Brazil does not want to work with Nuzman and his group."


In the open letter Maleson outlines how "the latest news about the successive delays that resulted on the present 'chaos' regarding the preparations are no surprise to me and should not be a surprise to the IOC".

"The IOC was informed well in advance by me and other Brazilian sports authorities about the lack of integrity, skills and know-how of the Brazilian Olympic Committee and the Organising Committee of Rio 2016, with both entities presided over by Nuzman," he adds.

"We provided the IOC in 2012, hard evidence of corruption, numerous breaches of the IOC bylaws, election fraud, but unfortunately the IOC did not act in any capacity to investigate these serious issues.

"Why is there a different treatment to Brazil, considering that the IOC acted quickly to punish the Olympic Committee of India among allegations of corruption and election fraud?

"Because of his actions and proven inability to command Rio 2016, Nuzman should resign immediately, but unfortunately he doesn't walk his talk...his long speeches about 'meritocracy' only apply to others."

These words are another blow to the Organising Committee after an embarrassing week at the SportAccord International Convention in Belek, during which the Brazilian Government was blasted by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) for further delays in preparations for the Games.

This was followed by 18 of the ASOIF member federations raising "serious concerns" to the IOC in relation to venue construction, transport planning, accommodation, financial backing and other support from the three levels of Government.

Strikes have also been going on at Olympic sites, delaying already behind schedule construction plans, while the belated holding of a twice delayed meeting between Brazilian Government officials has so far failed to bring about any concrete changes.

Amid all of this, Rio 2016 have announced the full schedule of test events due to be held over the next two years.

But with the first to take place in August on a sailing course at Guanabara Bay strongly criticised for high pollution levels, this seems hardly likely to enable an upturn in fortunes.

Although they continued a trend in place since Athens 2004 by resisting any public criticism of Rio in Turkey, the IOC have introduced various measures to combat the fears, including the introduction of three task forces, a special advisor and more regular inspections by IOC executive director Gilbert Felli.

In a statement released today, ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti welcomed these changes as a sign of strong "immediate action" by the IOC.

He added that "the International Federations are determined to provide full support, cooperation and flexibility to the IOC and the Organising Committee in Rio to deliver excellent Games".  

"Time is in very short supply now and any delay will put elements of the Games at risk," he added.

"This means that we will have to start considering options, sport-by-sport and venue-by-venue."

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