21-year-old Phillip ready for battle with Kenny in men's sprint

The world may have tuned into the 100m final on the running track at the London Olympics, where Trinidad and Tobago finished seventh with Richard Thompson but the tiny island nation has little cycling history, especially at the Olympics Games. Today however, spectators will watch as the young Trinidad and Tobago sprinter goes up against Great Britain's Jason Kenny in the men's sprint.

Track cyclists from the country have competed at past Games but it would seem that Njisane Nicholas Phillip may be one of the country’s biggest hopes for the track in the coming years. The men’s sprint competitor is the sole track entrant at these Games and says "I feel like a VIP," according to The Associated Press.

Phillip has progressed into the semi finals of the individual sprint where he will come up against current Olympic recorder holder and Great Britain's gold medal hope, Jason Kenny. The young rider came up against the now popular German Robert Forstermann who, thanks to a photo on Twitter, has become one of the sport’s most recognised sprinters - at least concerning his quad muscle size.

Despite a lacking in funding from his country’s federation, which focuses its resources on the track and field, Phillip's has been able to receive the kind of high performance training necessary for him to be a real force at these Games. There is a joint agreement with the United States which has meant that some of Phillip’s time has been spent with US Cycling’s track coach Jamie Staff.

"He's a very, very talented kid, just raw talent," Staff said. "The tactics just come naturally."

"He's a racer, I know what he's capable of and some days in training I'll be like, 'What was that?!"

While Phillip is unlikely to beat the former world champion Kenny in the semi finals, his biggest goal - making it to the Games - has already been achieved.

"I've already made it here, so I'm happy with that," he said.

By: Cycling News

Source: www.cyclingnews.com

A man has been arrested after a bottle was thrown on to the track seconds before the start of the men's 100 metres final at the Olympic Stadium.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said a man had been heard shouting abuse and was then seen throwing a bottle.

The suspect is being held in police custody at an East London police station on suspicion of causing a public nuisance.

The bottle landed behind the sprinters (pictured top), coming to a halt a few feet behind Jamaican Yohan Blake, the eventual silver medallist, in lane five.

The sound of the item landing just behind athletes, including eventual winner Usain Bolt, could be heard on video footage just after the starter told the runners to "set".

United States athlete Justin Gatlin, who won bronze, said the bottle had been a "little distraction".

Nobody was injured and the event was not disrupted, police confirmed.

Speaking after the race, Gatlin said: "I didn't know what it was, but when you're in those blocks and the whole stadium's quiet you can hear a pin drop."

Gatlin said the incident had not affected the race: "You just have to block it out and go out there and do what you got to do.

"You can't complain about that, the race went on and it was a great race."

Bolt, from Jamaica, told reporters he had been unaware of the incident and said: "I don't know who would have done that."

Blake added: "I was so focused on just running to the line I didn't see anything."

Dutch judo bronze medallist Edith Bosch claimed on Twitter that she had "beaten" the person who had thrown the bottle.

She said: "A drunken spectator threw a bottle onto the track! I HAVE BEATEN HIM... unbelievable".

One spectator wrote on Twitter: "Man in front of me threw bottle onto track just at start! Had to be wrestled off..."

Another said: "So a drunk p---- actually threw a bottle onto the track as 100m started! He got punched by Dutch judo bronze medallist Edith Bosch tho".

"A man was arrested inside the Olympic Stadium on suspicion of causing a public nuisance on the evening of Sunday, 5 August," said a Scotland Yard spokesman.

"The man had been heard to shout abuse and then throw a plastic bottle on to the track immediately prior to the start of the men's 100m final.

"He remains in custody at an East London police station."

A London 2012 spokesman commented: "We are aware of the incident and are looking into it."

By Mike Rowbottom at the Olympic Stadium in London

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

Trinidad and Tobago's Njisane Phillip made a major breakthrough at the Velodrome, here in London, England, yesterday, beating Russia's Denis Dmitriev in two straight rides to reach the Olympic Games men's sprint semi-final.

The 21-year-old cyclist produced two superb rides, much to the delight of President George Maxwell Richards, who sat in the stands with his wife, Dr Jean Ramjohn-Richards, and T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Larry Romany.

In the first ride in their quarter-final showdown, Dmitriev came up over the top and closed on Phillip. The T&T wheelman, however, held off his Russian opponent.

And in the second ride, Phillip was again victorious, Romany leaping from his seat as the reigning Pan American champion wrote his name into the history books. Phillip is now the most successful T&T cyclist in Olympic history in the sprint event. Maxwell Cheeseman, eighth at the Seoul Games in 1988, previously held that distinction.

At 11 o'clock this morning (T&T time), Phillip will do battle with Great Britain's Jason Kenny in the semis. The second ride is scheduled for 11.35, while the third, if necessary, will be contested at 11.57.

"Kenny definitely has a lot of speed," Phillip told the Express. "Tactically, I don't really think he's all that hot. He's just got the gas. It will be interesting to see how I can match up with him."

The sprint finals will be contested from 12.43 p.m.

Like Phillip, the Gordons—Jehue and Lalonde—will be in the hunt for precious metal today.

At 3.45 p.m., at the Olympic Stadium, Jehue will run in the men's 400m hurdles final. And at 4.30, Lalonde faces the starter in the men's 400m championship race.

Lalonde produced a shocker in the semi-final round, yesterday, winning heat one in a personal best 44.58 seconds to progress to the final as the fastest qualifier. Grenada's reigning world champion Kirani James won heat two in 44.59, while the winner of heat three was Dominican Republic's world junior champion Luguelin Santos (44.78).

"I didn't see that time coming," Lalonde told the Express. "I'm really shocked. I just went out there, ran the first 70 hard like the coach told me to do, finished strong, and I came out with a surprising 44.58 personal best.

"Since the outdoor season started," he continued, "I kept seeing myself in the final. My dream actually came true."

T&T's Janeil Bellille was eliminated in the opening round of the women's 400m hurdles. She faded on the home straight to finish seventh in heat four in 57.27 seconds.

"I probably went out too hard, and it kind of threw off my race strategy. I am disappointed, because I know I'm way better than that. I should have been able to make it to the semis.

At 2.28 this afternoon, Semoy Hackett will run in heat two, in the opening round of the women's 200m. And at 2.44, her T&T teammate, Kai Selvon, competes in heat four.

The women's shot put qualifying event, featuring T&T's Cleopatra Borel, starts at 5.45 a.m. The final is scheduled for 2.15 p.m.

Roger Daniel closed off his third Olympic campaign with a 35th-place finish in the men's 50m pistol event, at the Royal Artillery Barracks, yesterday. The T&T shooter earned 539 points.

South Korea's Jin Jong-oh completed an impressive pistol double, adding 50m gold to the 10m air pistol title he had earned, two Saturdays ago. Daniel was 36th in the 10m event with 568 points.

Yesterday, Jing-oh scored 662–562 in qualifying and 100 in the final–to repeat as Olympic 50m champion, forcing his teammate Choi Young Rae (661.5) to settle for silver. China's Wang Zhiwei (658.6) picked up bronze.

For Daniel, falling 26 points short of his 50m personal best (565) was disappointing. He, however, had a positive outlook, setting his sights on the 2016 Games, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

"What I realise," he told the Express, "is I need to do a lot more work. I'm thinking of way beyond Rio, and everything else before Rio, but I'm taking it one step at a time. Right now, I need to go back and put in the work that I'm supposed to.

"If you're going to work at something," Daniel continued, "you need to try it out, test it out, consistently, and over and over. So, I'm targetting the World Championships and the World Cups next year. It's all for Rio 2016."

By Kwame Laurence in London

Source: www.trinidadexpress.com

There is no doubt that Ian Sharpe the T&T Olympic team physiotherapist is a big man. In fact in certain circles, you would describe him as a giant and given his continual influence on the health and welfare of the team in London, this is a man whose knowledge and intelligence has to be respected. So after an exhilarating performance from Njisane Phillips in the quarter finals of the cycling match sprint yesterday, Sharpe who was at the Cycling Velodrome, explained that he had not seen any athlete in recent time with the same recovery instincts as Phillips. “He is a different kind of athlete, the kind of special ones that do not take very long to recover. His appetite is quite good and strong and he seems to have a lot of strength, he can keep going.”
Phillips defeated European champion Denis Dmitriev in two straight rides. “He is so strong after a race,  it is just unbelievable. I ask him if he is okay and he is willing to go back out there and compete right away,” said an amazed Sharpe. This should augur well for Phillips in his best of three semifinal rides against British cyclist Jason Kenny, the favorite for the gold medal. Phillips will take to the track at 11am (T&T time) and will need to ride at least two other races in the space of less than two hours, since the 3rd place ride-off and the final will take place today. For Sharpe, this will be a further test of the skills with his hands. He worked with George Bovell in 2004 in Athens and will know what is required to succeed. He will be determined to produce Phillips in the right zone in terms of his body strength.
Sharpe, a veteran of three Olympics, says it is a pleasure working with Phillips since he listens and follows instructions. “He is really very special and working with him is a pleasure. He seems to want to do everything and ensure he gets everything right. I have to say he is an inspiration to everyone in the team with his positive spirit and outlook,” stated Sharpe Phillips’ style has ignited this match sprint finals. The partisan English crowd has fallen in the love with him. Before these Games, not many in Europe's cycling world knew of Njisane Phillips.  But by the end of today, his name will remain forever in their minds and hearts as it is with all of T&T.
By Andre Baptiste
Source: www.guardian.co.tt

The greatest Olympian in history brought down the curtain on his uniquely glittering career, and the London 2012 swimming competition, by doing what has come naturally for over a decade – winning.

Swimming the third leg for the United States in the 4x100 metres medley relay – an event they have never lost at any Olympic Games – Michael Phelps (pictured top) devoured the lead established by another all-time great swimmer, Kosuke Katajima of Japan, in the breaststroke phase and powered to the head of the field with his instantly recognisable, pterodactyl-like butterfly.

Freestyler Nathan Adrian was quick to exploit the edge that the great man had given him and saw the team home the best part of two seconds clear, in a time of 3min 29.35sec.

The win put the seal on what has been as fantastic a Games in the pool for Phelps' country as it has been disappointing for their old arch-rivals, Australia.

With only the open-water events in Hyde Park to come, the Americans have racked up a total of 30 medals, more than half of them gold, to the Australians' 10, which includes just one solitary gold.

Underlining the US' dominance is the multi-medal hauls of their top swimmers.

If Phelps led the way with four golds and two silver medals – some way short of his epochal eight gold-medal haul four years ago in Beijing – his team-mates were not far behind him.

Team-mate and rival Ryan Lochte managed five medals at London 2012, as – following the US women's team's scorching win tonight in their 4x100m medley relay in a world record 3:52.05 – did Allison Schmitt and Missy Franklin.

Franklin, a 17-year-old 6ft 1in backstroke specialist, actually matched Phelps' total of four gold medals and, should she be granted the great man's competitive longevity, might conceivably one day challenge his towering overall total of 22 medals – 18 of them gold.

"I'm definitely just taking them one at a time," she said after the night's events, betraying the sort of level-headedness likely to stand her in good stead in her years as a sporting celebrity.

There was a world record, too, in the men's 1,500m – the longest event in the Olympic pool – with Sun Yang of China smashing his own mark by more than three seconds in recording a time of 14:31.02.

It was this remarkably versatile swimmer's fourth medal of the Games, following gold in the 400m, silver in the 200m freestyle and bronze in the 4x200m freestyle relay.

He afterwards drew applause from journalists by offering an aggressive response when questioned over allegations of doping that have swirled around the Chinese swimmers, following their strong performance in London, including five golds.

"I think many people think China's gold medals are because of doping or other substances," Yang said.

"I can tell you it's thanks to hard work – training and hard work.

"Chinese are not weaker than the US or other countries."

In the other event in an extraordinary night's swimming, Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands completed a sprint double in the women's 50m freestyle.

Tonight, though, was all about Phelps, this phenomenon who first took to an Olympic pool in Sydney 12 years ago, managing fifth place in the 200m butterfly.

Now 27, he has amassed a haul of Olympic gold worthy of a central bank and was this evening presented with a striking silver trophy proclaiming him "The Greatest Olympic Athlete of All Time".

It is just a pity that he had to collect the trophy in a pair of those ghastly lime-green trainers that appears to be part of the US swim team's gear.
Not that the great man seemed to mind, as he flashed his trademark toothy grin to all corners of the London Aquatics Centre.

Phelps, whose London 2012 campaign had begun in low-key manner with fourth place in a 400m individual medley won in emphatic style by Lochte, used the post-race media formalities to confirm that he would be retiring.

"I told myself I never want to swim when I'm 30," he explained.

"That would be in three years."

Furthermore: "I have been able to do everything I wanted.

I have been able to do something no-one else has ever done."

Looking at his new trophy, he reflected that it was "kind of weird looking at this thing and seeing 'The Greatest Olympic Athlete of All Time'".

He had "looked up to Michael Jordan all my life" because, he said, he was the greatest basketball player of all time.

Now "I have been able to become the best swimmer of all time".

Phelps, though, has always been more eloquent in the pool than with a microphone and it was the precocious Franklin who produced the best epitaph for his extraordinary career.

"Just watching Michael swim is beautiful," she said.

Those of us privileged enough to have seen him will never forget the experience.

By David Owen at the Aquatics Centre on the Olympic Park in London

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

Jehue Gordon will try to settle his nerves today when he takes on the world’s best in the 400 metres hurdles final at the Olympics Games in London, England. “I know T&T is behind me 100 percent. I just want to thank them for the support,” said Gordon ahead of his first Olympic final which will be at 8.45 pm (3.45 pm T&T time) at Olympic Stadium. “I am going to again concentrate on my lane and have fun.” In his first appearance at the premier sporting event, the 2010 world junior champion qualified for the final, clocking a personal and season’s best time of 47.96 seconds, to break the national record. Gordon lines up against USA’s T&T-born Kerron Clement, who joined American Edwin Moses and Dominican Republic’s Felix Sanchez in 2009 as the only men ever to win the world 400m hurdles title twice, with all three accomplishing the feat in consecutive years.
Clement advanced as one of the fastest losers in a season’s best 48.12 so did Briton David Greene. His time was 48.19. Sanchez, too will go for gold in the event, along with Angelo Taylor and Michael Tinsley, both of the USA, Jamaican Leford Green and Javier Culson of Puerto Rico. Sanchez qualified with fastest time of 47.76, a season’s best, followed by Culson (47.93), Taylor (47.95) and Gordon, respectively. Taylor’s time was also his season’s best. Before that though in the morning session, Cleopatra Borel will be in action in group A of the Women’s shot put qualifying round from 10.45 am (5.45 am T&T time). Borel, who is competing at her third Olympics, will aim to go past her best throw this season of 18.69, working to progress to final round to get a chance at a medal. She has a personal best toss of 19.48, done in 2004.
“It’s been a lot of hard work but I am happy to be here. I see myself doing well and scoring well,” shared Borel. She too was very appreciative of the support from the national community. “This is the first time we can be in contact with people at home with our friends and family at home through the social media so it’s a new and different experience. “I like the fact that I can hear from people daily. We really appreciate all the support from back home.” Five minutes after the start of Borel’s event, Semoy Hackett and Kai Selvon will go for glory in the Women’s 200m. Hackett will run in heat two while Selvon competes in heat four.
By Rachael Thompson-King
Source: www.guardian.co.tt