On a windy yesterday afternoon at the London Velodrome, a young man from T&T sent shivers down the spine of a few of his country’s citizens, including the President of the Republic George Maxwell Richards, with an awesome display of cycling class. That young man was Njisane Phillip, and after a stunning performance in the first round of the Match Sprint at the cycling velodrome on Saturday morning, he surprised everyone by returning in the afternoon in the second round to out pedal world ranked German Robert Forstemann in a battle of power which brought the house down. In the morning, Phillip, the youngest rider in the competition, had started slowly with the 10th fastest time. While he was disappointed, he managed to stage a daring come from behind victory over New Zealander Edward Dawkins in the first round of 16. Later in the afternoon though, he left the best for last in the second round of 12 when he was forced into the lead by Forstemann and then had to hold off the determined German for a lap and a half.
A clearly overjoyed Phillip told the Trinidad Guardian "I am good... one step at a time... it was a crazy race, he definitely threw me off my game plan and with a lap and a half to go, I had to push it "But I had the confidence to believe in myself and I stepped up today...I am going to get a rest and I will be ready for tomorrow, whatever it brings," he added  Phillip, who was greeted in the media zone by T&T Olympic Committee Honary General Secretary Brian Lewis, also thanked his supporters. "I am enjoying all the support from home and especially today it is great to have the our President come here to support me, that really encourages me even more." "I want that gold medal. That is what I am chasing and that is keeping me focused. “I want to make the people of our country happy... I want to make T&T a household name... every year. “I am getting more and more respect out there from the other cyclists and today was good, but there's still a lot more to do." "I am already beginning to steal the crowd, with our Trini flavour... I am going to give everything all the time, that is just the way I am," he noted. The reward for Phillip’s victory is a place in the fourth quarterfinal against Denis Dmitrev of Russia at 11:34 am T&T time today.
By Andre Baptiste
Source: www.guardian.co.tt

Olympic champion Usain Bolt could lower his 100 metres world record to 9.4 seconds if in shape and the rain clouds stay away from London, International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) president Lamine Diack said.

"Anything is possible. I think if Usain Bolt is in shape possibly we will see 9.40-something (seconds) in the 100m," Diack told reporters on Tuesday.

Bolt's record-breaking 100m win in 9.69 stunned the world four years ago at the Beijing Olympic Games only for the 27-year-old Jamaican to better his time to 9.58 in Berlin at the world championships a year later. Bolt also holds the world record in the 200m set at 19.19 set in 2009 in Berlin as well.

In London, though, he has a new challenge from a familiar face in training partner and compatriot Yohan Blake, who beat Bolt in the 100m and 200m at the Jamaican trials and is the fastest man over the first distance this year.

"I am convinced that we are going to have extraordinary events and spectacles," Diack said. "For me the Games begin on the 3rd (when track and field starts)."

American great Michael Johnson said earlier this month that he too believed Bolt is capable of running 9.40 seconds if he can improve his starting position in races.

Diack also confirmed that the Federation would stick with its one false start rule, having recently clarified that athletes can twitch or flinch in the starting blocks without being disqualified as long as their hands do not leave the ground or their feet leave the blocks.

Bolt famously false started in the final of last year's world championship 100 metres, ending his chances of defending his title in South Korea.

The IAAF added that the dates for the world championships in London, 2017, had been approved as August 5-13.

Source: www.trinidadexpress.com

I have no crystal ball, neither have I ever pedalled myself quicker than Granny Luces’ fastest running speed, but, with my experience around athletes of the highest level in many sports, I am enthusiastic about the chances of Njisane Phillips in both his events. He may well have been the best-prepared athlete in our national team in London. He has often been able to communicate his own progress from ride to ride very analytically, and knows what he has got to do to become better. Having seen the likes of Roger Gibbon, Gene Samuel, Leslie King, Ian Atherley at their best in tournaments across the world, give me credit for grasping the mindset of a budding champion. He has already claimed that the track here in London is excellent and with the wide turns, it suits his style of riding. Some claim that it’s the best cycle track they have seen and much is expected in terms of speed from the wheelmen. With butterflies starting their flight around in the stomachs of our track and field athletes, our country awaits patiently for satisfactory performances in the various events.
With the glamour of our silver medal thrust in Beijing four years ago, we should really have been grabbing at the bit to get into starting positions. Their camp in Cardiff brought some fine comments from the athletes that spoke to the media, but the heat during that period may differ a great deal with what presently exists in London. Yesterday, the thermometer showed 20.9 degrees, and many performers had to increase their warm up sessions before facing the starter. There have been rumours that our medal contender Kelly Ann Baptiste has been troubled with a slight Achilles tendonitis, albeit not yet inciting a default from her. She has been absolutely outstanding in her overall preparation over the past two years and her times over both the 100 and 200 metres, compare favourably with the best women sprinters at the games. Without having recorded any injuries in the men’s  camp, it is difficult to make a confident case for too many of the guys. Keston Bledman, Rennie Quow and Rondel Sorrillo have been showing gradual improvement over the past six months. Bledman in particular has hit the 100-metre tape under ten seconds four or five times in the last year and a close look at his rippling muscles will tell its story of readiness. I will admit that together with Richard Thompson, Emmanuel Callendar, and the veteran Mark Burns, Bledman could take this group into the final of the relay.
Some may wish to claim a medal in advance for the quartet, but, unlike Jamaica, maybe Great Britain and the USA, the times run by our relay runners have not been startling. This simply means the need for a smooth handling of the baton and doing a bit better than their best times. Two years ago, the BBC made a documentary on the outstanding teenager Jehue Gordon, the 400-metre hurdler after witnessing his success at the youth international level. It did not surprise me. The guy has all the ingredients of a quality hurdler and he found the distance to his liking. He may not have had the exposure which some of his teammates were able to obtain. However, the past few weeks have shown that spark once more and if he can take the preliminary rounds to provide him with that extra zip in the final 50 metres over the hurdles, the results could be interesting. For Rennie Quow, that wonderful run in the final in Beijing has remained in the memories of many and they live with the hope that he will go one better. Injury was once a setback, but his times did not go much better than what he showed four years ago. However, he has the fighting spirit that tells me the field will have to be at their best to keep him out of the final. And while we struggle to show our country’s name on the medal scoreboard, China, USA and France are showing the world what excellence is all about. The Chinese are constantly causing chaos in the minds of those who are astonished by their 16-year-old female who broke two records by wide margins.
By Alvin Corneal
Source: www.guardian.co.tt

Reigning Olympic 200 metres queen Veronica Campbell-Brown conceded Wednesday it will be difficult to successfully defend her crown at the London Olympics.

The 30-year-old has not been enjoying the best of seasons, suffering a string of defeats this year which have hinted at chinks in her armour.

She told journalists here that she had worked hard on her preparation for the Olympics, however, and would be giving the title defence her best shot.

"I put in all the work and I know it will be absolutely difficult for me to claim victory here in the 200m but anything can happen," she said.

"I prepared well and so I just have to keep my mental focus right and make sure that I get my race together. It will come down to execution and mental focus and I will go out there and I will give it my all and we will see what happens."

Campbell-Brown has run a season-best 10.82 seconds in the 100 metres for second behind Olympic champion and fellow Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.70) at the Jamaica trials.

She was again beaten in the 200m at the trials, running 22.42 behind Fraser-Pryce and Sherone Simpson.

But the most notable of her defeats came in Lucerne on July 17, when she ran 22.70 for second behind American Charonda Williams (22.52).

Campbell-Brown, who will run both 100m and 200m races at the Olympics, agreed it had not been her best year but said she was remaining optimistic.

"I will not dwell on those (bad races) and look on those as something negative… I learned from those races and I am going into my competition here very confident," she said.

"I am going to go out there and give it my best and only God knows what the result will be. I have trained hard this season and not because I had a few races that did not went too well, I am not going to let that deter my confidence or allow it to let me feel weak or anything."

Campbell-Brown won back-to-back 200m titles in Athens and Beijing, on both occasions beating American Allyson Felix, a three-time world champion over the distance.

However, she won her first 200m world title last year in Deagu.

Source: www.trinidadexpress.com

The Badminton World Federation  has charged eight Olympic doubles players with "not using one's best efforts to win a match".

Four pairs of players - two from South Korea, one from China and one from Indonesia - could be disciplined.

Constant errors, including players serving into the net, were made.

All four pairs had already qualified for the last eight and have been accused of wanting to lose in an attempt to manipulate the draw.

The federation meets on Wednesday morning to discuss the case. As well as the "not using best efforts" charge, the players are also accused of "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport". Options open include expulsion from London 2012.

Teams blamed the introduction of a round-robin stage rather than a straight knockout tournament as the catalyst. In the round-robin format, losing one game can lead to an easier match-up in the next round.

In the first women's doubles match at Wembley Arena on Tuesday night, fans jeered China's Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli and South Koreans Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na .

The longest rally in the first game lasted four shots, with match referee Thorsten Berg coming onto the court at one point to warn the players.

South Korea won the Group A match, which lasted 23 minutes, 21-14 21-11.

Both pairs were already through to the quarter-finals, with the winners to face China's Tian Quing and Zhao Yunlei. The two Chinese pairings can now only meet in the final.

Korea's coach Sung Han-kook said: "The Chinese started this. They did it first. It's a complicated thing with the draws. They didn't want to meet each other in the semi-final, they don't want that to happen.

"They (BWF) should do something about that."

But Yu said the Chinese decided to preserve energy ahead of the knockout stages.

She said: "Actually these opponents really were strong. This is the first time we've played them and tomorrow it's the knockout rounds, so we've already qualified and we wanted to have more energy for the knockout rounds."

A later match between South Korean third seeds Ha Jung-Eun and Kim Min-Jung and Indonesian pair Meiliana Juahari and Greysia Polii was played out in a similar atmosphere.

Referee Berg returned to court and brandished the black card, signalling disqualification, but it was rescinded and the match resumed when the Indonesians protested.

Both pairs had also already qualified for the knockout stages, with the winners of Group C to play Yu and Wang and the Korean pairs to face each other if Ha and Kim lost.

The Koreans won 18-21 21-14 21-12 and did not comment before leaving the court, but Polii said: "I don't know what happened. If that's the game, we have to accept all the things.

"Either they want to trust us - we play bad or we play good. Our control is only to play as good as we can."

Gail Emms, a badminton Olympic silver medallist for Great Britain in 2004, who was at the event for BBC Sport, said: "I'm furious. It is very embarrassing for our sport.

"This is the Olympic Games. If badminton wants to save face they should disqualify the two pairs and reinstate the pairs that came third in the group.

"This is something that is not acceptable. The crowd paid good money to watch two matches."

The International Olympic Committee said it had "every confidence" in the badminton federation to "deal with the issue appropriately and take any necessary measures".

China's Olympic sports delegation has begun an investigation into the matches, state media reported. The country's Olympic Committee opposed any behaviour which violated "sporting spirit and morality", a spokesman said.

Further action could be taken based on the results of the investigation, the spokesman said in a report published by Xinhua news agency.

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Referee Ishanguly Meretnyyazov from Turkmenistan has been expelled from the London Olympics, the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) said yesterday.

A second referee, Frank Scharmach of Germany, was suspended for five days by AIBA and a technical official from Azerbaijan sent home following two controversial decisions at the Olympic competition on Wednesday.

"I deeply regret that we had to take these decisions," AIBA president Wu Ching-Kuo said in a statement.

"However, our main concern has been and will always be the protection of the integrity and fair-play of our competitions. I will take all possible steps to reinforce this."

He later told Reuters: "There is only one truth and we always get to the truth."

Meretnyyazov failed to stop a men's bantamweight bout despite fighter Magomed Abdulhamidov being knocked down six times in the final round. The referee was expelled with immediate effect and AIBA said he was on his way home.

Japan's Satoshi Shimizu, who went into the last round of the bout against the Azerbaijani trailing by seven points, lost the contest by five when all three rounds were scored.

AIBA later overturned the verdict saying Meretnyyazov should have given the Azerbaijani "at least" three standing counts which would have resulted in the contest being stopped.

Iran's Ali Mazaheri accused officials of "a fix" after being disqualified by referee Scharmach in the second round of his opening heavyweight bout against Cuban Jose Larduet Gomez following three warnings for persistent holding.

Mazaheri was leading by two points going into the second round but the Iran team did not appeal and under AIBA rules it is now too late to do so.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) restored ties with AIBA in 2006 after freezing some funds to the association over controversial scoring decisions at the 2004 Athens Games.

At the time, the IOC expressed concerns over the scoring process and the selection of judges and froze more than US$1 million in payments to AIBA.

The boxing tournament in Athens was marred by several controversial scores that angered spectators and fans.

Source: www.trinidadexpress.com