TRINIDAD and Tobago sprinters focussed on baton passing yesterday, particularly the men and women 4x100-metres relay teams, during their pre- Olympic camp at the Wales Track and Field Stadium.

Dexter Voisin, manager of the TT athletic team for the London Olympic Games, made this disclosure during a brief interview yesterday from the team’s base at the Vale Resort in Hensol, Wales.

“Kelly Ann (Baptiste), Richard (Thompson) and (Keston) Bledman joined the camp,” said Voisin. “Both relay teams, the 4x100m women and men, worked (yesterday) afternoon and did their first session of baton passing.”

The Stadium is located 15 minutes away from the Vale Resort.

Asked if the athletes, particularly Baptiste and Bledman, were suffering with jet lag after arriving on the camp yesterday morning, Voisin stressed, “they weren’t jet-lagged.

Everybody came just within an hour (on their) flight.

“Kelly Ann and Bledman came from Amsterdam (in Netherlands) which is just an hour (from Wales). So there was no jet lag.

Voisin continued, “the session went well and, as the manager of the team, (I’ll say) the coaches were pleased with the session (yesterday) afternoon.”

Concerning today’s plans, Voisin said, “we leave the camp on Wednesday so we have two days down here at the Wales training camp.

“(Today) they go back to their individual programmes and on Tuesday we have baton passing practice again,” he ended.

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee(TTOC) president Larry Romany leaves for London this afternoon .
Romany will attend the opening ceremony and all the events where T&T athletes will be participating.
The national Olympic  committee chief will also represent the TTOC at a number of meetings and other events that will take place during the London 2012 Olympics.
Including in his packed schedule is an important meeting with current TTOC partner Adidas.
Romany said most of the measures the TTOC have in place for the T&T athletes seem to be going well.
" Based on the feedback from our athletes. the pre Olympic training camp in Cardiff, Wales has gone well.  There is a very positive vibes in the camp. So far so good."
The pre Olympic camp will come to an end in a few days with the T&T athletes and coaches heading for the Olympic Village in East London.
A  visit to the T&T quarters in the Olympic Village is the first order of business for the TTOC president.
" Within hours of my arrival in London I will head over to the Olympic Village to meet with the chef de mission (Mrs Annette Knott) and the members of the team. "

Having been delegated the role and responsibility of ‘Uniform Distributor’ for the Trinidad and Tobago team at The Vale, it seemed an unbelievably exciting experience. That was until the 415 boxes of kit arrived! Although the days flew by, all volunteers got on well and worked as a team. We met the athletes, liaised with team heads and were treated very well by the Trinidad and Tobago team, they are the most relaxed, and friendliest people I’ve ever met.

I have been privileged to be a part of that experience and the coordinated volunteer effort by Sport Cardiff and look forward to seeing the team wearing the gear on the Olympic podium at the London 2012 Games .

Tulshi Varsani – Uniform Distributor for the Trinidad and Tobago team


Russian tennis ace Maria Sharapova, who was raised in Sochi, will carry the Olympic flag for her country at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27.

Sochi is the host of the Winter Olympic and Paralympics in 2014, making Sharapova a particularly fitting choice.

The 25-year-old (pictured top), the world's highest paid female athlete, won her fourth Grand Slam title at the French Open last month.

She will hope for better fortune on the grass at Wimbledon during the Olympics, though, after surprisingly losing in the fourth round of the Grand Slam event there last week.

"Sharapova will carry our flag," said Alexander Zhukov, President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

"She was the most worthy candidate among all our athletes.

The honour of carrying the flag was previously given to famous male athletes, such as the renowned Greco-Roman wrestling champion Alexander Karelin and basketball player Andrei Kirilenko, who carried it in Beijing four years ago.

Sharapova will be the first woman to have carried the flag at the Opening Ceremony for Russia.

London 2012 will be Sharapova's first Olympic Games after missing out on Beijing four years ago through injury, and she was thrilled to be given the honour.

"I am so honoured, and especially excited as it will be my first Olympics in my career," she said on her website.

"I have had to keep this hush hush for two weeks and keeping secrets is not my best quality!"

Zhukov is hopeful that Sharapova can help Russia to win one of at least 25 gold medals they are aiming to win this summer.

"Judging from the results of recent world championships we should win the region of 25 gold medals," he said.

Russia is targeting third place if they can reach their target and are sending 436 athletes to London.

They may have a fight on their hands from the hosts for that particular target, though, after Britain came fourth in Beijing.

-David Gold


• Defending champion 'not in condition' to compete
• 'One of the saddest moments of my career,' says Nadal

Rafael Nadal, who was due to be Spain's flag-bearer at the opening ceremony, has pulled out of the London Olympics because he is "not in condition" to compete due to injury.

Nadal, who won the singles gold at Beijing four years ago, said in a statement his withdrawal made it one of the saddest days of his career. He will not travel with the Spanish delegation to the Games.

Nadal has not played since his shock defeat by Lukas Rosol, then ranked 100 in the world, in the second round at Wimbledon. He has been struggling with a knee injury since winning the French Open.

"I have to think about my colleagues, I can't be selfish and I have to think of what's best for Spanish sport, especially tennis and Spanish players, and give fellow sportsmen with better preparation the chance to compete," said the 26-year-old, who won a record seventh French Open title in June.

"I tried to hurry my preparations and training up to the very last minute, but it was not to be."

He saidthe decision "is one of the saddest days of my career as one of my biggest ambitions, that of being Spain's flag-bearer in the opening ceremony of the Games in London, cannot be. You can imagine how difficult it was to take this decision.

"I am not able to compete at the Olympics in London and therefore will not be travelling as planned with the Spanish delegation," he said. Earlier this month Nadal pulled out of a charity match against Novak Djokovic in Madrid because he was suffering from tendonitis.

-Associated Press

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President was greeted by Sebastian Coe and Sir Craig Reedie as he arrived in London for the start of the Olympics in exactly a week's time as excitment begins to mount, especially with the arrivial of the Olympic Torch in the capital.

Rogge is due to chair the IOC Executive Board meeting tomorrow and the 124th IOC Session from next Tuesday (July 24) until Thursday (July 26).

"I can't wait for the Opening Ceremony," he said.

"I expect the maximum from London.

"There have been a few challenges during preparations for the Games, but they have been dealt with quickly and efficiently and all our bases are now covered. It has made me optimistic that London 2012 will be great Games."

These will be the last Olympic Games of Rogge's 12-year term in office, which began in 2001 and comes to a close at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires in September 2013.

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