Senior Sports journalist Rachael Thompson-King leaves today for London to cover the 2012 Olympic Games which opens tomorrow and runs until August 13. She will be on hand to witness T&T’s top athletes in action as they go in search of precious medals at the world’s biggest sporting event. The T&T contingent left the pre-Olympic camp in Wales today (Wednesday) for the Olympic Village in London. She will make her way to the EXCel Centre to see Carlos Suarez make his debut in the light flyweight catergory as well as Njisane Phillip at the Velodrome, competing in the sprint and keirin events. Shooter Roger Daniel will go to work at the Royal Artillery Barracks while George Bovell III will seek his second Olympic medal at the Aquatics Centre.

The Olympic Stadium will be the venue where the national track and field athletes will converge against the best in the world. Keston Bledman, Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Renny Quow are among the top T&T prospects for success at the Games. Bledman has been impressive leading up to the event, winning his first senior national sprint title in style, blazing to victory to a career best 9.86 seconds. This was in the NAAA Sagicor/NGC National Open Track and Field Championship men’s 100 metres final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, last month. Bledman, Olympic silver medallist Richard Thompson and Marc Burns and Rondell Sorillo form the sprint team and wiull challenge the likes of top contenders record-holder Usain Bolt and John Blake, both of Jamaica and United States sprinters Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay. The local group will be joined by Emmanuel Callendar and youngsters Deon Lenore and Jamol James on the 4x100m squad. Thompson did not achieve all of what he had hoped for last season, but had some measure of satisfaction running an impressive 9.96 seconds to cop silver behind Bledman in the final. Sorrillo mean clocked a new personal record (PR), 10.03, to claim bronze

Sorrillo got off to a fast start this season as in his 200m season debut at the Guadeloupe Invitational on May 1. He finished in second place in 20.42 seconds behind winner Churandy Martina (Netherland Antilles/ 20.40). On May 9 at the Cayman Invitational, Sorrillo again finished in second place in the 200m in 20.57 second behind winner Warren Weir (Jamaica/ 20.13). Baptiste also has great chance of becoming the first woman to win an Olympic medal. Baptiste has been excelling over the past seasons, running  consistently ran under 11 seconds in the 100. In Daegu, South Korea at the 2011 World Championships, impressed by claiming bronze in the women’s 100m dash. Baptiste is the reigning national women’s 100m champion and will definitely be one of T&T’s best option for a medal but she will have tough competition in USA’s Carmelita Jeter and Allyson Felix and Jamaicans Veronica Campbell-Brown and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.


Richard Thompson (100m; 4x100m), Keston Bledman (100m; 4x100m), Rondell Sorillo (100m; 200m; 4x100m), Mark Burns (100m; 4x100m), Renny Quow (400m; 4x400m), Deon Lendore (400m; 4x100m), Wayne Davis II (110m hurdles), Jehue Gordon (400m hurdles), Lalonde Gordon (4x400m), Emmanuel Callendar (4x100m), Machel Cedenio (4x400m), Ade Alleyne-Forte (4x400m), Semoy Hackett (100m; 200m; 4x100m), Kai Selvon (100m; 200m; 4x100m), Michelle-Lee Ahye (100m; 4x100m), Kelly-Ann Baptiste (100m; 4x100m), Janeil Bellille (400m hurdles), Ayanna Alexander (triple jump), Cleopatra Borel-Brown (shot put), Reyare Thomas (4x100m), Sparkle Mc Knight (4x100m); Dexter Voisin (manager), Dr Ian Hypolite (head coach), Edwin Skinner (sprint/hurdles coach), Gunness Persad (sprint/hurdles coach), Ismael Lopez Mastrapa (throws coach)
Carlos Suarez (Light Flyweight 46-49kg); Reynold Cox (manager/coach), Raulson Dopwell (coach)
Njisane Phillip (sprint, keirin); Peter Maharaj (manager/coach)
Andrew Lewis (laser); Kairon Serrette (manager), Fernando Alegre (coach)
Roger Daniel (50m pistol, 10m air pistol); Altansetseg Byambajav (manager/coach)
George Bovell III (100m backstroke, 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle); George Bovell II (manager/coach)

Governments and banks may be collapsing, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has arrived in London in rude financial health.

This much was made clear at the 124th IOC Session by Richard Carrión, chairman of the IOC's Finance Commission and a possible contender to replace President Jacques Rogge (pictured) when he steps down next year.

Carrión confirmed – as disclosed by insidethegames in May – that the total raised by selling Olympic broadcasting rights for 2009-2012 had shot ahead to $3.91 billion (£2.51 billion/€3.24 billion) from just $2.57 billion (£1.65 billion/€2.13 billion) in the four years to the Beijing 2008 Games.

But he also revealed that $3.7 billion (£2.38 billion/€3.06 billion) in broadcast revenues has already been contracted for the next four-year period, culminating with Rio 2016 – with "still quite a few territories to be negotiated in the next few months".

A further $2.6 billion (£1.67 billion/€2.15 billion) in broadcast income has already been contracted for 2017-2020, with the choice of the 2020 Summer Games host still more than a year away.

In a set of figures whose robustness was described as "an extraordinary event" by Kevin Gosper, a veteran IOC member from Australia, Carrión showed that the Movement's assets had continued to edge ahead during the recent months of global financial turbulence and now stood at some $564 million (£364 million/€468 million).

In a lengthy contribution, Samih Moudallal, the IOC member for Syria, urged Carrión to "look closely" at how the IOC's funds were invested, arguing that investments in shares could be dangerous and lead to the IOC's assets being reduced.

Carrión replied that, while most of the body's investments were in fixed income instruments, the IOC also invested in real estate, commodities and equity markets.

"I think we have protected the value of [our] capital having come through difficult financial times," he said.

By David Owen at the Grosvenor House in London


Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee(TTOC) president Larry Romany will attend the opening of the T&T cultural village.
" Over the years the TTOC tried to  encourage  the Tourism authorities  to use the opportunity of the Olympic games to showcase T&T. We  saw  other countries use the occasion and felt that T&T was missing out . I am happy that His Excellency Garvin Nicholas believed that the combination of the Olympics and the 50th anniversary of our Independence presented an opportunity not to be missed." said Romany T&T will host a culture fest in London during the 2012 Olympic games. The event will be held at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, London, and  will be facilitated by T&T High Commissioner to London Garvin Nicholas and will run from  26 July to August 25 .
The venue is only 20 minutes from the Olympic Village by train. The festival will include a number of children’s workshops. In addition there will be workshops on preparation of local foods , drumming and a variety of other activities for children.
The festival will put the spotlight on T&T’s culture and talent and cuisine. There will be booths with local foods such as bake and shark, curry, sada roti, local soups and a Creole kitchen.

A decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) not to re-award the medals from the women's 4x400 metres at the 2004 Games in Athens has caused surprise among senior officials at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The IOC's ruling Executive Board last week claimed they were awaiting "clarification" from athletics' world governing body over whether to disqualify the United States team despite one of the squad, Crystal Cox, admitting afterwards she took steroids from from 2001.

The IOC have alrady disqualified Cox, who was one of several athletes who have admitted using banned performance-enhancing drugs as part of the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO) conspiracy.

But IOC claim it was not clear whether the current rules which mean an entire relay team can be disqualified because of the doping of one member were in place at the time.

The IOC vice-president Thomas Bach repeated that position at the annual 124th Session here today.

But the IAAF claim they are mystifyed because they published more than two years ago that the team had been disqualified after Cox accepted a four-year ban.

The IAAF disqualified the US team, even though Cox only ran in the heat, under rule 39.2 and decided that the gold medal should be reallocated to Russia with Jamaica moving from bronze to silver and Britain being upgraded to the bronze.

"The IAAF position is that the team is disqualified – and note the date of the decision," Nick Davies, the deputy general secretary of the IAAF, told insidethegames.

"We have no reason to review that decision."

Mark Adams, the IOC spokesman, claimed he was not aware of them having received any notification from the IAAF about the US being disqualified but promised that they would check so "we can deal with the matter swiftly".

Yet, adding to the confusion surrounding the status of the race, is that the IAAF have not amended the result on their own website or even indicated that it is under review.

Cox, meanwhile, has claimed she has spoken to the athletes who stand to lose their gold medal - Deedee Trotter, Monique Henderson, Sanya Richards and Monique Hennagan - about the situtation.

"It's a sad situation, but my thing is, the truth will come out eventually," she said in an interview published in her local newspaper, the Fay Observer.

"Life goes on.

"I've held my head high ever since [I was banned].

"Being able to walk away from the sport with my head held high, I have no animosity toward it because I know I was one of the good athletes.

"I played by the rules and did what they wanted me to do.

"I'm still introduced as a 2004 Olympic gold medalist.

"Once an Olympian, always an Olympian."

By Duncan Mackay at the Grosvenor House in London


THE Trinidad and Tobago Olympic contingent will leave their camp in Wales tomorrow for the Olympic Village in London as the countdown to Friday’s opening of sports’ biggest stage continues.

Chef de Mission, Annette Knott, has already arrived at the Village and is ensuring everything is in place for when this country’s athletes decamp.

Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Dexter Voisin, manager, TT athletics team, revealed that the athletes’ preparations have intensified even further. He noted that although the opening ceremony for the London Games is less than a week away, the athletes are focussed primarily on their training.

“In terms of training, they are still in their final preparation and placing emphasis on their events. The mood will change when we go to the Village but for now they’re just focussed on their preparation,” Voisin said.

While in their downtime, however, Voisin revealed that a room has been set aside at the Vale Hotel in Wales for the athletes to relax. There are pool tables, video games and other forms of entertainment available for the athletes to unwind and enjoy themselves.

Meanwhile, Voisin expressed satisfaction with what he has seen from the TT relay teams at their training sessions at the Wales Track and Field Stadium. This country 4x100 men picked up silver at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the World Championships a year later and expectations are high for the Women’s 4x100m and Men’s 4x400m teams to pick up a medal.

“They practiced yesterday (Sunday) and will practice again today (Monday). This is the first time in a major tournament really that we’ve got to do baton practice.

“Usually the focus is on preparing for your individual event first but this is the benefit of having a camp,” the manager declared.

Citing the disastrous efforts by the US men and women’s 4x100m teams at the 2008 Olympics where the baton was dropped in each race, Voisin argued that one can not take anything for granted when it comes to relays. He noted that TT have improved significantly in their transition of the baton especially the 4x100m men who have gotten ample time to practice.

Commenting on the efforts of our athletes at the Welsh Athletics International last week, Voisin was delighted that they were able to get some competitive action under their belt but noted that the conditions were quite unfriendly.

“The weather condition was terrible. It was windy and very cold, it wasn’t the best for performing,” he said, “It has changed, though, and the sun is out. It hasn’t rained for the week and you can go to practice in sleeveless jerseys,” he revealed.

Asked to comment on whether this country can improve on their medal count of two from 2008, Voisin was unwilling to make any predictions.

“I don’t ever make predictions because what is important is making your way through the (early) rounds (of competition). The focus is on reaching the finals,” he pointed out.

-Stephon Nicholas

TRINIDAD and Tobago Olympic team’s athletic manager Dexter Voisin is pleased with the week-long pre-Olympic camp in Cardiff, Wales.

The team spent their last day at the Vale Resort in Hensol, Wales, yesterday, before they relocate at the Olympic Village in London, England today, two days before the start of the 30th Olympiad.

“As the manager of the team, this is my first Olympics,” said Voisin, in a telephone interview from the Vale Resort yesterday.

“I’ve been to several World Championships. We’ve organised several camps before.

“However, in terms of Olympics, from what I’m hearing from the athletes and some of the support staff who’ve been to other Olympics, this is the best organised camp,” he admitted. “Based on the productivity in the camp, I’ll safely say this was a very good camp.” Concerning yesterday’s activities in the camp, Voisin stated, “it went pretty good.

We had the second relay session today and that went well.”

Asked if any decision was made regarding the athlete who will carry the Trinidad and Tobago flag at Friday’s opening ceremony, Voisin responded, “no official word on that as yet.”

But he pointed out that the athletes are eagerly anticipating the start of competition at the Games.

“At this stage here, if there is any nervousness we wouldn’t see just yet,” Voisin said. “It’s a week before the start of competition so nervousness wouldn’t been seen yet.

When it’s about a day (before), then you may see (it). But, so far, everybody is ready to go to the Games Village.”

-Joel Bailey