TRINIDAD and Tobago Special Olympians have returned home victorious after competing in eight disciplines at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

The athletes won a total of 48 medals—15 gold, nine silver and 24 bronze with (18) 4th place, three 5th place, seven 6th place, two 7th place and one 8th place ribbon.

The delegation comprised 64 people with 20 coaches and three officials. The athletes competed in aquatics, athletics, basketball,

bocce, equestrian, football, power lifting and volleyball.

The world games was held in Los Angeles, California, from July 25 to August 2 with approximately 7,000 participants from 177 countries.

In 2011, the T&T team captured 15 Gold, 15 Silver and eight Bronze medals.

The aquatics team struck gold on day one of the competition. Swimmers Nikolai Lalla finished his 50 metre breaststroke in 38.43 seconds, Jariah Walker finished his 25 metre backstroke in 23.23 seconds and Chavez Lamy in 16.85 seconds. Shania Surujbally and Jaleel Pierre won ribbons. Stefan Singh won silver in the 1,500 metre Open Water Swim, which was the first time this competition was held at Special Olympics.

On Day 2 the Bocce team also claimed gold victory. Bocce is a sport resembling lawn bowling.

Athletes Renee Massiah, Alicia Khan, Colin Duncan and Kerry James teamed up to win silver medals.

The football team was successful in defeating Canada, Barbados, Costa Rica, Switzerland, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Hong Kong.

Power-lifting champion Nicholas Mc Knight won a silver (in Benach Press with 67.5 kilogrammes) and three bronze medals in Squat (65.5 kg), Dead Lift (105 Kg) and Combine Lifts (240Kg). Damian Marquis got silver in squat and combination lift, bronze in bench press and 4th in dead lift. Malachi Sylvester got a bronze in bench press, squat, dead lift and combination loft.

Joanne Piango won gold scoring 53 points in the Equestrian English Equitation competition while Aaron Ben Ali won bronze with 48 points.

In athletics Donelle Walkes ran the 200m in 34.72 seconds to capture a Gold Medal. Yetendra Sing and Ishmael Perpignac won 7th place ribbons in their 400 metre races. Donal Doyle took 8th place ribbons in the 200 metre race. In the “Softball Throw”, which is an adaptation of the “Shot-put”, Salina Lennard won Gold with a throw of 9.97m Rosanna Gebodh also won Gold with a throw of 6.40m, while Tmeyon Logie capturing a Silver Medal with a throw of 14.46m and Jade Ramkawalsingh threw 11.82m to capture a Bronze Medal.

The basketball team captured the bronze medal while the volley team copped 4th place.

Proud parent Lee-Anthony Walker, Jariah Walker's father said he was proud of his son and his accomplishments in making his mark in the world games.


London Olympic gold medallist Keshorn “Keshie” Walcott believes the medal bonus initiative by the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) was a motivator for local athletes to perform and can drive them to achieve more medal success.

Walcott, winner in the javelin event, was one of three Pan Am Games medallists at Olympic House to receive their medal bonus and to mark one year to go to the RIO 2016 Olympics. As a gold medal winner at last month's Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, Walcott picked up US$3,000.

Fellow individual gold medallist, shot putter Cleopatra Borel will receive a similar amount. Silver medal winners, hurdler Mikel Thomas, quarter-miler Machel Cedenio and cyclist Njisane Phillip will get US$2,000, while bronze medal swimmer George Bovell III will receive US$1,000. The 4x400 gold medal and 4x100 bronze medal relay teams will get a combined US$9,000 and US$3,000 respectively.

“I think it's a good idea to begin with the initiative. Some people may not admit it but it is always something to look forward to besides the medal itself, something that will give you a little extra push, knowing you are going to get some reward for all your hard work outside of the competition,” said Walcott. Walcott related that he and Cuban-born coach Ismael Lopez Mostrapa always try to time the big throws for the major championships like Worlds, Pan Ams, Commonwealth, and the Olympics, but said “it was a bit of a surprise” when he launched the spear to a new national record of 90.16 metres in Switzerland on July 9.

“My coach and I always try to the big throw at the right moment but we always expected that throw (over 90 metres) to come this year. I guess it came a bit earlier than we expected,” said Walcott.

Walcott also related that he and Mostrapa pondered heavily on his decision to participate in the Pan Am Games after he injured the left ankle on July 17 in Monaco, days before his event in Toronto. He said he was embarrassed to be pushed in a wheelchair through the Pearson International Airport in Toronto ahead of the quadrennial hemispheric Games.

“I always tell myself tomorrow is never promised, so I always try to do my best when I get out there to achieve my goals while representing the country to the best of my ability. So coach and I sat down and decided this may be my only chance (at a Pan Am Games) and we might as well take it'', Walcott said.

Walcott said he has matured significantly from the dark-horse 19-year-old who shocked the world with a gold medal toss at the 2012 London Olympics, and is a more experienced and seasoned campaigner these days.

And he was especially complimentary of his training partner and fellow Pan Am Games gold medallist Cleopatra Borel, the Women's shot put champion.

“Cleo and I have been training together and knowing how hard she works, it is great seeing that she is rewarded in her performances. Hopefully she can go on an do much better and achieve more success at Worlds and other major championships,” Walcott said.

The TTOC hosted the ‘One year to Rio 2016' acknowledgement at Olympic House on Wednesday in unison with the rest of the world in marking the one-year countdown to the Olympics on August 5 next year.

According to Lewis, the TTOC used the landmark day to celebrate the road to Rio and commemorate the athletes that had achieved excellence in Toronto.

The proceedings opened with a short video presentation highlighting team TTO's performances in Canada and TTOC president Brian Lewis reinforced the vision of achieving the ten or more gold medals by the year 2024. “Toronto 2015 and the performances of our athletes started to make some people believe that it (#10Golds24) may have been possible; that it wasn't far fetched and unrealistic,” he stated.

“Rio 2016 therefore, in the context of ten or more Olympic gold medals by the year 2024 is going to be very important because thereafter comes Tokyo 2020 and then 2024,” he continued.

National Association of Athletic Administrations (NAAA) president Ephraim Serrette said his organisation had a good working relationship with the TTOC and would work hard to facilitate the athletes in their pursuit for international glory.

Also in attendance on Wednesday was Emmanuel Callender and Dan Neil Telesford, both part of the 4x100m relay team, the country's first Olympic gold medallist Hasely Crawford, TTOC general secretary Annette Knot, Pan Am Games Chef de Mission Diane Henderson and former TTOC general secretary, senator Elton Prescott.


Despite the recent failure to send a team to the recent Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, the Trinidad and Tobago Karate Union (TTKU) is attempting to establish a foothold in traditional sports in the Pan American Region. That was the message from president Mario Kalloo who is also an instructor and a referee in the organisation.

T&T did have a representative at the 2011 edition of the Pan Am Games, with Kwame Kinsale representing the country at the preliminary kumite (sparring) rounds at the San Rafael Gymnasium in Guadalajara, Mexico. However, in the qualifiers for the Games, the national body only sent a lone representative; kata exponent Zachary Alexander, who was unable to qualify for Pan Am this year. According to Kalloo, Alexander was the only one who was up to standard from the local fraternity.

However, the disappointment of not qualifying for the Pan Am Games has not hindered plans to further develop the sport.

“This week, we have a competition in Nicaragua,” said Kalloo. “Both Dexter Shim (kata coach) and I will be going with the team.”

Currently, the TTKU is the national body for the sport, and is recognised by the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC).

And the trip to Central America isn’t the only competition in store for the national team. The national body is also preparing to send athletes to the Pan American Championships in Bolivia at the end of August, another competition in Martinique in September and an open tournament in Curaçao at the end of October.

“All these competitions will be in preparation for the second Caribbean Karate Championships which will be hosted here next year,” said Kalloo.

According to the president, there currently is a promising group of young karateka who have been getting good results recently in overseas competition. “Jesse Gonsalves finished 11th overall in the Male Under 60kg kumite division at the WKF World Championships last year,” he said.

Gonsalves became the first karateka from T&T to compete at the World Championships.

Other noteworthy youngsters include Keiden Joseph and Kate Gordon who are both members of Trinidad Associated Schools of Karate (TASK). “Darell Thomas is also showing a lot of promise,” Kalloo said. “Also Edward Rajmoolie has been showing improvement, he has been the most-improved competitor in the national team.”

Kalloo also said that David Skinner-Ballantyne is also an athlete showing promise. Both Rajmoolie and Ballantyne have been in the national set-up for almost a decade and are still in their twenties. Rajmoolie medalled both in kata and kumite in the recent inaugural Caribbean Championships in Suriname. They both train with the SKIF Kanawaza Group.

Currently, Japan, the host country for the Tokyo Olympics, is lobbying for the sport to become an Olympic event. Kalloo believes based on history, karate will be an event at the 2020 Games. When the Games last were held in Toyko in 1964, judo was included in the Games, and taekwondo was a demonstration event at the 1988 Games in Seoul, eventually becoming an official event in Sydney in 2000.

With the Olympics in consideration, the focus is currently on the younger athletes, and the TTKU intends to host a training camp next week from the 14-16 August. Former world champion, and ten-time Venezuelan champion, Luis Rubio will oversee the camp which will help athletes refine their competition skills.

“We have been working quietly for a long time,” Kalloo said. “And we intend to continue to build a good foundation which is important for the best level of the sport here.”


Freshly crowned Solo National Men Singles table tennis champion, Dexter St Louis, has urged Trinidad and Tobago’s younger generation of players to take charge of their individual careers if they are intent on becoming professional athletes.

St Louis, who stormed through the rounds to hoist this nation’s most prized ping pong title over the weekend, insists that the sport’s local governing body - Trinidad and Tobago Table Tennis Association (T&TTT A) - is not doing enough to ensure upcoming players receive the right opportunities to further themselves competitively.

The veteran national player and five-time Caribbean Singles champion reflected on his 1992 French Antilles singles victory in Martinique, where after winning the tournament, he was immediately offered a two-year contract to the tune of 80,000 francs by SAG Cestas Club. According to the experienced right-hander, if it weren’t for him being at the top of his game at that particular tournament by himself, he may have still been stuck on the local circuit unable to captialise on opportunities to better his sporting career.

“I think the youths must take charge of their own career,” said St Louis on Wednesday. “They cannot sit down and wait for a table tennis association to do anything for them. They (youths) seem to be still thinking like back in the 80s, when the Association probably contacted another Federation for matches to be played against each other. But to me, these things don’t seem to be happening again here in Trinidad.” The 47-year-old Solo Crusaders representative however, lauded the many talents on show at this year’s National Championships and was pleased to see athletes such as Curtis Humphreys (WASA) and Aaron Wilson show great promise on the local tables. But, St Louis reiterated his opinion that further success would only come if these individual players, among others, begin to take the initiative in furthering their sporting careers and create avenues for themselves in pursuit of personal and professional excellence.

“Do not wait on the Association,” added St Louis. “The main focus is have your dreams, work on it and just keep going. Don’t depend on anyone. The youngsters must take charge of themselves. They must understand that from an early age and take charge of their career destination. It is the only way for growth in your sporting discipline.

Stop sitting down and waiting on people who know less about the game than yourselves.” Additionally, the 2013 French Professional League Men Singles winner, called on the T&TTT A executive to broaden their developmental vision of athletes and to not restrict athletes from exploring new ground and other options of growth.

St Louis and newly crowned Solo National Women Singles champion, step-daughter Rheann Chung, are scheduled to return to France tomorrow. He resumes competition in England from September 13 and will commute between there and France for the next few weeks of European competition.

“Playing professional table tennis is what I do for a living. Coming back and playing in Trinidad is always fun and there is no hard feelings towards anyone. Life goes on. I have a career outside of Trinidad and nothing is a problem for me,” concluded St Louis.

St Louis returned to the Trinidad circuit this year after a sixyear absence and has proven many critics wrong with his mesmerising return.


TRINIDAD and Tobago will be represented by two pairs when the 2015 NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Beach Volleyball Tour resumes today.

After flying the red, white and black flag a few weeks ago in the Pan American Games in Canada, the combinations of Fabian Whitfield and Daneil Williams and Ayana Dyette and Makila Davidson are back in the north American country for the third leg of this year’s circuit.

Whitfield and Williams placed ninth in the previous leg at the end of June in the Dominican Republic after occupying the same position when the series began two months earlier in the Cayman Islands.

The “Toco Boys” have been unstoppable at home this season, as, in addition to winning all ten local tournaments, they led T&T men to the gold medal in the Caribbean Championships in May and a place in the second round of regional qualifying for the Olympic Games in Brazil in August next year.

Davidson, who played in the Youth Olympics in China last year after being involved in the World Under-21 Beach Volleyball Championships in 2013, only joined forced with Dyette in March but they did not win a match in their first NORCECA tournament together in Dominican Republic.

Dyette and Nancy Joseph enjoyed a dream season last year as they were unbeaten from nine local tournaments as well as contesting six of the ten NORCECA tournaments and reaching the quarter-finals of the CAC (Central America and the Caribbean) Games in Mexico at the end of November.

But Dyette was forced to find a new partner when Joseph, a six-time national champ and the country’s most celebrated beach volleyball player, decided to take a break very early in the season.

There are 11 events on this year’s NOECECA Tour and, for the third year in succession, it is scheduled to conclude in this country in the middle of November.


Mikel Thomas opens his bid for a North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Senior Championship medal in San Jose, Costa Rica, this afternoon.

Thomas, who captured men’s 110 metres hurdles silver at last month’s Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, is tipped for top honours in Costa Rica. The Trinidad and Tobago athlete clocked a national record time of 13.17 seconds in the Pan Am Games final. He is the fastest man in the NACAC field.

Michelle-Lee Ahye. Lalonde Gordon, Ayanna Alexander and Emmanuel Callender will also be on show for T&T in today’s opening session.

Ahye and American Barbara Pierre look evenly matched in the women’s 100m. Of the sprinters on the entry list, Pierre has the fastest clocking this year, 10.92 seconds, while Ahye is second at 10.97. Ahye and Pierre share a personal best of 10.85 seconds. Pierre, however, goes into the NACAC women’s century with a competitive edge. She earned bronze at the Pan Am Games in 11.01 seconds. Ahye, on the other hand, ran in a comeback race in the United States on Saturday after more than five weeks away from competition because of injury. She finished second in 11.29.

Reyare Thomas is the other T&T sprinter listed for action in the women’s 100m.

Gordon is expected to challenge for the men’s 400m title. Among the other contenders for the one-lap crown are Dominican Republic’s Pan Am Games champion Luguelin Santos, Costa Rican Nery Brenes and American Marcus Chambers.

T&T will also be represented by Tacumar Sterling in the men’s 400m.

Alexander should be in the hunt for precious metal in the women’s triple jump.

And Callender will be the lone T&T sprinter in action in the men’s 100m event.