As was expected the France-based duo of five-time Caribbean singles champion, Dexter St Louis and his step-daughter Rheann Chung captured the Solo National Table Tennis Championship men and women titles at the Central Regional Indoor Sports Arena, Chaguanas on Monday night.

The 47-year-old St Louis of Solo Crusaders, ranked third for the tournament got the better of 64-year-old Canada-based David Mahabir, 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-1, 11-7, 11-9.

Earlier on, when the tournament resumed on the night, St Louis who won the mixed doubles with Chung, but was ousted at the semifinal round of the men’s team competition by Arima Hawks defeated Caribbean Junior champion and Senior bronze winner, Aaron Wilson of Blasters 11-6, 11-9, 11-8, 11-2 and then dumped last year’s winner Yuvraaj Dookram of WASA 11-7, 11-2, 12-10, 11-3.

Mahabir, who was crowned national champion two years ago eased past five-time champion Reeza Burke of Hawks 15-13, 11-4, 11-9, 11-4 followed by an 11-5, 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7 triumph over top ranked local Curtis Humphreys of WASA.

In the other quarterfinal matches, Humphreys accounted for Arun Roopnarine 4-11, 12-10, 11-8, 4-11, 11-7 and Dookram silenced Hawks’ veteran and former national and Caribbean champion, Lionel Darceuil 15-13, 11-8, 11-3, 11-9.

Chung dethrones

Edwards as women’s champ

Chung had a much easier night as she won both her matches in straight sets to dethrone 11-time winner Aleena Edwards.

In fact, Chung of Crusaders overcame Edwards of the University of T&T in their highly anticipated semifinal 11-8, 11-6, 13-11, 11-3 before she humbled another of her national team-mates Linda Partap-Boodhan of Hawks, 11-9, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 in the decider.

Partap-Boodhan won her semifinal 11-7, 9-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-6 over former titlist, teenager Brittany Joseph, also of UTT.

In the quarterfinals, Edwards who was part of the UTT team to win the women’s team title defeated of University of West Indies’ Ambika Sitram 11-6, 11-6, 11-5; Chung outclassed veteran player Merle Bagoo of Queen’s Park Cricket Club, 11-7, 11-5, 11-5; Joseph swept aside Tobago Slammers’ Ackayla Lucas 11-3, 11-3, 11-5, and Partap-Boodhan ousted PowerGen’s Catherine Spicer 10-12, 15-13, 11-5, 6-11, 11-8.

On Saturday night, 12-year-old Derron Douglas powered Slammers to the Division Two Open Gender crown after he played unbeaten in a 3-1 whipping of last year's winners, UTT.

However, it was UTT who made the better start with Davone Joseph beating Benoni Daniel 4-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7.

Douglas then whipped Kamal Hunte 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 to get his team back on level terms while Shaquille Mitchell put Stars’ ahead via his 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 victory over Lamani Clarke before Douglas returned to beat Joseph 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 to clinch the title.

Last week in the semifinals, UTT defeated Himalaya Sports Club by a 3-0 margin with Joseph, Hunte and Clarke all in winners row and in the other semis, Stars 'A' created somewhat of an upset as they dumped Solo Crusaders which featured seven-times Caribbean mixed doubles champion, Chung, 3-2.


Walcott very proud of Pan Am gold

Keshorn Walcott is proud, very proud of his Pan American Games men’s javelin gold medal.

“All championships are important to me, no matter what the level. I set myself some goals and Pan Am was one of them, so the gold medal was a big achievement for me.”

When he arrived in Toronto, Canada, last month, 22-year-old Walcott was battling an ankle injury and not certain to compete.

“Coming off my last competition in Monaco, I couldn’t walk for two or three days. I had to be whee l-chaired through the airport coming all the way to Canada. The decision was for me not to throw, but me and my harden self, I tend not to listen to too much people. I tend to try to find my answers in my mind.

“I took the risk,” the 2012 Olympic champion continued, “because something told me to take it. We spoke about the ankle before with the doctors and stuff. It seemed like my season was over, so I just told myself I don’t think I could do too much more harm to my ankle, so at least let me achieve one of my goals for the entire year if I have to finish up my season. I think God blessed me. I went out, I took the risk, and now I’m still able to continue.”

Walcott was the class of the field at last month’s Pan Am Games, striking gold with an 83.27 metres throw.

“It means a lot to me, knowing that I haven’t been winning that much since the Olympic Games. That was kind of a confidence boost for me. No matter the level of competition, I’m back on top. Going forward, it will set some standards for me, knowing that I added Pan Am champion to my list.”

Walcott does not relish the limelight, but could not avoid it following his 2012 Olympic triumph. He is grateful there’s no more Walcottmania in T&T.

“It died down a bit, so it’s better now. You still go places and people come at you asking for pictures and what not, but I think I’m handling it okay. And now that I’m a lot more busy, I’m out of the country a lot, it’s easier for me. I don’t have that much downtime to be out. When I train, it’s train, home, different things, so people don’t see me that much. It’s a little bit easier for me now.”


THE SIXTY-FOUR TT athletes who competed at the World Special Olympics Summer Games in Los Angeles came away with far more than medals and ribbons. That was the view of Ferdinand Bibby, National Director for the TT Special Olympics (SOTT) as he spoke exclusively with Newsday on his return with the second half of the TT contingent on Monday night.

Bibby said the LA experience met the objectives of the movement’s mission statement.

“That’s one of the aims — to express joy to the athletes,” he said, as they reunited with their loved ones in the Arrivals lounge at the Piarco International Airport. “Special Olympics always brings out joy.

So while there was competition, you would see athletes, after they compete, hug each other, give each other high-fives; and when they go back to the games village they would be talking to each other, exchanging pins. There was always the element of celebration — celebrating the achievements of the athletes, as well as their performances, whether it was gold or ribbon performance.” TT earned 48 medals, including 15 gold and nine silver. Asked what moments in competition stood out, Bibby responded, “We try to celebrate all the athletes’ achievements and to stay way from elitism. But when you look at Joanna Piango (English Equitation) as well as Alicia Khan (Bocce) who are two of the younger athletes in the group, and their ability to go out there and perform at the high level, that would be something to look forward to for the future.” Among TT’s major successes was the triumphant seven-a-side football team, which defeated Barbados 2-1 in the gold medal game.

The captain, Devant Mahadeo said his players had been confident they would go one better than their silver medal performance in 2011, adding that their greatest challenge had come earlier in the competition.

“Hong Kong,” he said, with a smile. “But we win them (4-2).

They gave us a great fight.” Away from the competition, the Games organisers managed to provide more than just an enjoyable atmosphere for almost 7,000 athletes.

“In the USA campus alone there were 5,000 athletes, and in each campus there was a games village, where the athletes were encouraged to mingle, they were encouraged to experience the various cultures,” Bibby said.

Describing the facilities at the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of Los Angeles (UCLA) as state-of-theart, he singled out the Healthy Athletes facility for special mention.

“Many of the persons with intellectual disabilities have health issues, whether it is their physical health. So part of Special Olympics is offering healthy athlete screening where they are screened for vision, they are screened for dental work, they are screened for nutrition, and given advice. “One of the features also was that each athlete was given a pair of sneakers — 7,000 athletes given a pair of New Balance sneakers on being screened for their healthy feet in the Healthy Athlete campaign. So besides competition, it was also about the athletes’ welfare.” Bibby praised the TT coaches and assistants, noting that they were all volunteers. “So they did it for the love of the athlete, for the interaction, the sense of pride when you would have trained someone and see them perform and achieve at the highest level.” On a parting note, the National Director made a plug for better training facilities for the special athletes and greater exposure to competition. “We always say at Special Olympics, access means more than a ramp or an elevator; it means access to opportunities, access to funding, access to a sporting space where the national governing bodies could offer a vision or a grouping or a category for their national events, because some of our athletes only compete once a year,” he said. “So that with regular access to competition, you would see a greater achievement in performance.” The dates and venue for the XV Summer Games (2019) will be announced at the Winter Games in Austria (2017).


President of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) Brian Lewis said there is no margin for error and all obstacles must be removed, as the T&T athletes begin their final preparations towards the 2016 Olympic Games.

The 2016 Olympic Games begin on August 5 next year in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Lewis, speaking at a press conference yesterday at the Olympic House, Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, said: “Today around the world the Olympic movement is being celebrated - one year to go to the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Games. A journey for some that started when they were five years old and will culminate in Rio.”

He added: “There is no margin for error, as our athletes, coaches and administrators will tell you we are at a particular point where everything that can be done, must be done. Whatever obstacles there are, they must be removed. Whatever door is closed, must be opened. Whatever channels are blocked must be freed.”

The TTOC president said that next year’s Olympics is the beginning of the goal for ten or more gold medals by 2024.

“A couple years ago I had a vision for ten or more Olympic gold medals by the year 2024. Initially the majority of the people I spoke to were negative. But there are a couple I would like to mention because they were an inspiration at that point in time. One of the first people I had that discussion with was Keshorn Walcott. I then spoke to Hasely Crawford and he was supportive.”

Lewis also stated that National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) president Ephraim Serrette, Senator Elton Prescott Secretary General Annette Knott and the TTOC executive also showed their support.

Lewis said the performance of the national athletes at the Pan American Games made more people believe that ten or more gold medals by 2024 is possible. “The performances of our athletes at the Pan Am Games in Toronto started to make some people believe that it may be possible and after all it was not far fetched and unrealistic.”

T&T won eight medals at the recently concluded Pan American Games, the most in the country’s history.

Lewis has also spoken to mayor of Port-of-Spain Raymond Tim Kee about making Lord Harris Square into an Olympic Village and calling the surrounding area Olympic Neighbourhood.

Pan American medal winners Keshorn Walcott, Emmanuel Callender and Dan-neil Telesford were all in attendance to receive their medal incentives. Walcott won gold in the javelin, while Callender and Telesford were part of the 4X100m men’s team that won bronze.

National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) president Ephraim Serrette, said the relationship between the TTOC and the NAAA is excellent. “I always believe in team and as the president indicated we have an excellent working relationship, we understand what it takes to get to a high level. I am very fortunate to be at the helm of the Association at this time and have the support of people like Hasely Crawford who understands what it takes to get to the top.”


Port of Spain, Trinidad. The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) hosted a ‘One year to Rio 2016’ acknowledgement at Olympic House in unison with the rest of the world in marking the one-year countdown to Rio 2016 Olympic Games on August 5th.

The TTOC used this landmark day to celebrate the road to Rio and  commemorate the athletes that have achieved excellence at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

The proceedings opened with a short video presentation highlighting team TTO’s performance at the recently concluded 2015 Pan American Games. TTOC’s President, Brian Lewis, reinforced the vision of achieving the 10 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 10 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.

Toronto 2015 Chef de Mission, Diane Henderson led the Trinidad and Tobago Pan American
Games contingent of 180 athletes and officials in fourteen different sporting disciplines. The
T&T contingent left Toronto with 8 medals, surpassing the medal haul of the Guadalajara
Games in 2011.

In celebration of the one-year mark to the Rio Olympics 2016, the TTOC presented Trinidad
and Tobago’s medalists from the 2015 Pan American Games with their medal bonuses. Of the
13 athletes were Keshorn Walcott, Dan-Neil Telesford and Emmanuel Callender.

The complete list of medal winners include: Cleopatra Borel, Keshorn Walcott, George Bovell
III, Njisane Phillip, Mikel Thomas (Individual medalist), Rondel Sorrillo, Emmanuel Callender,
Keston Bledman Dan-Neil Telesford (4 x 100m Relay team), Renny Quow, Jarrin Solomon,
Machel Cedenio and Emmanuel Mayers (4 x 400m Relay team).

With the conclusion of the Pan American Games, the TTOC moves forward with full force in
preparation for the Olympics in 2016. The games will take place from 5th – 21st August 2016 in
four regions throughout the city.

Thank you to other distinguished guests Olympic gold medalist Hasley Crawford, President of
the National Association of Athletics Administration Ephraim Serette and Senator Elton
Prescott SC for attending.

The TTOC would also like to thank our official partners Guardian Group Limited, National
Lotteries Control Board (NLCB), Toyota, Lisa Communications, ScotiaBank, Adidas, BPTT,
Columbus Communications for their continued support.

Trinidad and Tobago yesterday began their training in Sydney, Australia ahead of the start of the Netball World Cup 2015. Barbados and Jamaica are the other Caribbean nations participating in the tournament which opens on Friday.

The ‘Calypso Girls’ captain Joelisa Cooper said she is excited to be a part of her third Netball World Cup, having represented T&T in 2007 and 2011. “To be representing my country on a whole is very exciting, but this is my third [Netball World Cup] and I am really excited to actually be here and to compete,” Cooper said. “We are stoked to be here and can’t wait until the actual tournament starts and portray what we have more or less been training for.”

Trinidad and Tobago play their opening NWC2015 game against Australia on Friday night at Allphones Arena. Cooper told reporters that her players are excited and ready to face Australia in their opening game. “We’re ready for Friday, our first game is against Australia,” Cooper said. “In all honesty, Australia is the number one, we’ve come to play the best netball for our county and that’s what we are here to do.”

Jamaica begin their campaign against rivals England on Saturday while on the same day Barbados play Australia in their opening match. The youngest player in this year’s netball world cup is Barbados goal attack Sheniqua Thomas, who is 17 while the most capped is T&T’s Rhonda John-Davis with 148 appearances to her name.