Port-of-Spain, Trinidad January 27, 2015:

In a surprise announcement during a press conference at Guardian Group’s offices yesterday Trinidad and Tobago's first Olympic Gold medalist Hasely Crawford offered his Olympic gold medal along with the vest, pants, socks and sneakers worn when he won Gold in 100m in 1976, to the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC).

This pledge of support to the #10gold24 campaign is to assist in raising funds to further assist athletes.

Trinidad and Tobago’s first Olympic Gold Medalist, stressed the importance of support for athletes He recalled many of the challenges he experienced as an athlete in the 1970’s and lamented on the struggles many Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympic hopefuls still undergo to prepare for international competition.

He congratulated TTOC President Brian Lewis on completing the Trinidad and Tobago  Marathon and his vision of #10gold24 and for establishing  the #10golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund .


At the press conference Guardian Group announced it will extend  its partnership with the TTOC for another three years and presented a $TT250,000 cheque to the TTOC as a contribution to the #10golds24 athlete welfare and preparation fund.

Olympic icon offers Montreal gold to 10golds24 fund
Hasely Crawford put his Olympic gold medal where his mouth is yesterday.


Catching the audience at the atrium of the Guardian Group offices in Westmoorings completely by surprise, the 1976 Montreal 100 metres champion said he would put up the medal and the gear he wore on that historic day to be leased, in support of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee’s #10golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund.


“I am offering my Olympic gold medal, my jersey, my pants, the socks and the shoes to you, the Olympic Association,” Crawford said, addressing a stunned TTOC president Brian Lewis at the head table. “You need to work out some form of arrangement where it can be leased to support our young people.”


Crawford’s words were followed by sustained applause from the gathering that was there to witness a cheque presentation by the Guardian Group in support of the Olympic Committee’s #10golds24 project.


Before presentation time arrived however, Crawford made a passionate plea for public support for the Fund.


Recalling his own personal struggles in the build-up to his Montreal triumph, he said: “A lot of people do not understand what an athlete goes through, especially to win an Olympic medal.”

He then gave examples of the current need for corporate help involving, “two of our young, budding athletes, 16, 17,” who, “personally I feel they will be world beaters in time to come.”


Crawford recalled: “Their coach came to me and said, Mr Crawford, one of these athletes needs to have an MRI but he doesn’t have the funding...I made some enquiries and it was done.


“He brought another athlete, we talking about Olympic potentials, she did not have a proper pair of shoes or equipment to train. I’m saying these things so you all could understand how important these things are...


“Ladies and gentlemen, to win an Olympic gold medal is not easy. You need a lot of support, especially our younger athletes...The reason I stay with it is that we have a lot of very, very poor athletes. If we really want to win these 10 gold medals, we need to really come forward and support Mr Lewis.”


Speaking to the Express later about his offer, Crawford elaborated: “I am offering to them (for the medal and gear) to be leased to some company and the proceeds will go towards the Olympic Association.


He added: “It doesn’t make sense me having it in my house, it’s for Trinidad and Tobago.”


Crawford said he has other projects in mind, the full details of which are still to be worked out.


In response, a still shocked Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis, who walked Sunday’s T&T International Marathon to kick off the Welfare and Preparation Fund said: “The gesture is awesome. I’m almost speechless at what Hasely Crawford today has offered to do, not only in support of not only the provision of 10 Olympic medals by the year 2024, but the Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund. I didn’t come here anticipating that was going to happen.”

Colombia’s long distance runner Juan Cardona Rios stopped the clock at two hours, 21 minutes and 13 seconds (2:21.13) to win the 2015 edition of the T&T International Marathon which started at St Mary’s Junction, Freeport and concluded at Whitehall at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain yesterday.

The Colombian running in his third consecutive T&T Marathon out lasted a field of 120 challengers under humid conditions along the 26.2 miles journey.

He won the race in 2013 in 2:23.51 and was third in last year’s edition in 2:26.51.

The course record is held by former multiple winner Pamenos Ballentyne of St Vincent, who clocked 2:15.30 in 2003 and 2:20.57 in 2004.

It was a reversal of positions for the top three runners. Hilary Kimaiyo of Kenya, the 2014 winner (2:23.39) had to settle for second spot and compatriot Mark Chepses who was second in (2;24.09) a year ago, settled for third.

T&T’s Curtis Cox crossed the finish-line in a creditable seventh place in 2:48.12. He was 2005 winner in 2:24.21.

Among the women, it was first time test for champion Truphene Busieni of Kenya (2:55.07), Monica Gonzales of Colombia (2:58.12) and Leah Kigen of Kenya the winner of the event in 2013 (2:52.30) and 2014 in (3:01.13) has to settle for third in this edition behind 3:00.16 seconds.

The best time recorded among women is 2:34.17 set by Denmark’s Gitte Carlshoey back in 2003.

The half marathon which attracted an impressive field of 336 finishers was dominated T&T’s Shayne Barran (1:18.15) and Tonya Nero (1:19:30) in the men’s and women’s division.

The highlight of the race was participation by Brian Lewis, the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) president who used the event to promote T&T’s challenge for ten olympic medals by 2022.

Lewis’ goal was to cross the finish-line at 10:30 am some seven hours after his 26.2 miles walk.

However, he arrived at Whitehall at 10:25 am some six hours and 55 minutes later, but well inside the projected time set.

He started walking at 3:30 am.

Lewis, 54, attracted support from for T&T Olympic medallists Ato Boldon, George Bovell III, Richard Thompson, Jarrin Solomon, Emmanuel Callender, Keshorn Walcott and the likes of Michelle Lee Ahye, Cleopatra Borel are some of the high profile T&T athletes.



1.      Juan Cardona Rios (Colombia) 2:21:13
2.      Hilary Kimaiyo (Kenya) 2:22:10
3.      Mark Chepses (Kenya) 2:22:17
4.      Andres Malavier (Colombia) 2:23:59
5.      Philemon Kipchlat (Kenya) 2:32:18
6.      Kelvin Johnson (Guyana) 2:40:18
7.      Curtis Cox (TT) 2:48:12
1.      Truphena Busieni (Kenya) 2:55:07
2.      Monica Gonzalez (Colombia) 2:58:12
3.      Leah Kigen (Kenya) 3:00:16 
4.      Christine Regis (TT) 3:19:57
5.      Karen Downey (Canada) 3:28:32
6.      Wendy Shallow (TT) 3:47:56
7.      Leisl Puckerin (TT) 3:51:44



1.      Shayne Barran (TT) 1:18:15
2.      Lionel Dandrade (Guyana) 1:18:27
3.      Kasper Francis (TT) 1:22:34
4.      Kade Sobers (TT) 1:25:55
1.  Tonya Nero (TT) 1:19:30
2  Christelle Laurent (Guadeloupe) 1:31:33


Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) President Brian Lewis completed the Trinidad and Tobago International marathon today, as he aimed to raise awareness and funds for the newly launched #10gold24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation initiative.

The initiative is designed to provide financial aid to Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games athletes in the country, helping them to compete at the highest level possible, with the ambition that by 2024 Trinidad and Tobago will achieve 10 or more Olympic gold medals.

The funds are set to support athletes in several ways from direct financial support and health insurance, to medal bonuses and anti-doping education.

Lewis had previously expressed his concern at what he considered a shortfall in sports funding across the nation and by completing his "walk the talk" challenge, he hopes the public support he received translates into greater support for the countries athletes as they target medals at major championships.

""I am glad it [the walk] resonated so deeply with the public and it just goes to show there are still wonderful and tremendous people in this country who want to see the country progress," Lewis said following the marathon, which saw him cheered by supporters chanting "Trinidad and Tobago, we want gold!"

Lewis' marathon lasted for around seven hours, starting in the early hours of the morning in Freeport and coming to a close at Queen's Park Savannah in the country's capital Port of Spain.

Lewis was supported by athletes and supporters throughout his walk, including marathon swimmer Christian Marsden, and although the TTOC President suffered from cramps in the closing stages he was able to embrace the pain and finish.

"I had to dig real deep," said Lewis, who completed the marathon draped in the national flag.

"The pain from the cramps were so severe and after a while it actually felt that I had pulled my left hamstring in the last two miles.

"But quitting is not in my make-up."

Lewis will hope that his marathon will have a lasting effect for Trinidad and Tobago athletes with funds being raised to help the countries elite athletes to compete at the highest level.

Lewis goal prior to the marathon was to raise TTD$500,000 (£51,000/$79,000/€65,000) which will be used to help fund athletes preparing for Rio 2016.


Veteran marathoner Curtis Cox is urging racing officials to make changes that will help revive the discipline locally.

After the Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon (TTIM) on Sunday, Cox stated that organisers need to attract more local marathon runners and provide incentives to improve the quality of T&T’s current crop.

The 47-year-old, who won the TTIM in 2005, lamented that he was the first local to finish the race this year, having trained mostly for the half-marathon.

Only in the final three weeks, Cox decided to switch to the full marathon, where he placed seventh, clocking two hours, 48 minutes and 12 seconds.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful,” Cox said. “I just trained for the half-marathon and came back and finished in the top ten. That says something about marathon running in Trinidad. I’m hoping that the organisers can do something to revive marathon running in Trinidad so the locals will improve.”

Having seen the race dominated by Kenyan runners over the last decade—interrupted on a few occasions, including this year by Colombian Juan Cardona—Cox is hoping to see greater emphasis placed on locals.

“They’re supposed to have prizes for the locals only, incentives,” he said.

“Because last year, the first prize was $19,000, this year it was $15,000. So the prizes keep dropping every year and that is not good. It also had less participants in the marathon this year.”

One of the culprits, Cox felt, was the parallel running of the half-marathon with the marathon. Many runners who previously competed in the 26.2-mile marathon are now keener to run the shorter distance.

He feels the latter can be used as a December warm-up event to the full marathon.

Cox also revealed his decision to run the full marathon at a late stage was in honour of his friend and former training partner Dana Seetahal.

On Facebook yesterday, Cox indicated that it was Seetahal who took him to the start line in 2005, when he enjoyed his maiden win.

Seetahal, herself an avid marathon runner, was tragically gunned down in May last year.

THE LAST Olympic Games of the Twentieth Century were held in Atlanta in 1996 and Trinidad and Tobago's 13 athletes were among those who witnessed another exceptional opening ceremony created and choreographed by one of this country's top Carnival designers, Peter Minshall.

Ato Boldon was now the main member of the track contingent: a World Championship bronze medal in 1995, and a time of 9.92 seconds in winning the 100m title at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, made him one of the favourites for the short sprint gold medal, along with world champion Donovan Bailey of Canada and Namibia's Frankie Fredericks.
Neil De Silva and Robert Guy also returned from 1992 and were joined by long jumper Wendell Williams, javelin thrower Kirt Thompson, long-distance runner Ronnie Holassie and female high jumper, Natasha Alleyne-Gibson.
After being written off after the Barcelona Games, Gene Samuel experienced another resurgence over the next few years and surprised everybody when he won the time trial crown at the 1994 Pan American Cycling Championships in Santiago, Chile. He later got a bronze medal at the Pan American Games in Mar Del Plata in 1995, and surpassed the qualifying standard for Atlanta.
Amateur boxer Kirt Sinnette had to cross two hurdles before he became Trinidad and Tobago's third ever fighter at the Olympic Games. After losing out in a qualifying tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the light-middleweight was allowed to compete in another Pan Am tournament in Halifax, Canada - having achieved a sufficient standard in Puerto Rico. This time around, he made it to the final and earned his ticket to Georgia. Table tennis player, Dexter St Louis, also had to go through the rigours of a regional competition (in Havana, Cuba) before earning his berth.
Debra O' Connor's world ranking was the reason she was able to go to the Olympics, while female swimmers Siobhan Cropper and Cerian Gibbes had to make qualifying times before they could be allowed to join the contingent. O'Connor's Olympic adventure lasted just one game, as she lost 3-11, 0-11 to Canada's Denyse Julien in the opening around of the ladies badminton singles. Sinnette had everything going his way against Ethiopia's Yarod Wolde until a final round knockdown paved the way for the latter to triumph 11-10 on points. St Louis went out after failing to win a game in a first round group which comprised Sweden's Jorgen Persson, South Korean Kim Song-Hui and Brazil's Hugo Hoyama.

There were also preliminary heat exits for Cropper in the women's 50 and 100m freestyle and Gibbes in the 100 and 200m breaststroke. At the Olympic Stadium (which has since been converted into the Turner Field baseball stadium), Boldon cruised through his heats easily enough. However, prior to the final he and others were forced to contend with the distracting antics of British sprinter Linford Christie. The 1992 gold medallist refused to leave the track area after being disqualified for a second false start. When the starter's gun did eventually go off without a second report, Boldon did have an early advantage. But, Donovan Bailey suddenly accelerated over the last 40 metres to cross the line in a world record time of 9.84.Frankie Fredericks claimed the silver medal and Boldon, with his bronze effort in 9.90, was left with the consolation of capturing Trinidad and Tobago's first Olympic medal in 20 years. He would add a second bronze in the 200m after having to witness another world record performance from behind. This time, it was American Michael Johnson's 19.32 effort which vaulted him into history as the first man to complete the Olympic 200-400 double. Fredericks was once again second. De Silva reached the semi-finals of this event, just as he had done in the 400 to atone for the early elimination of Guy. Holassie was this country's first ever competitor in the men's marathon and he completed his historic run in a creditable 75th place. An embarrassing situation occurred when it was discovered by track officials that Wendell Williams' alleged qualifying jump in Germany had actually been wind aided and the athlete was refused entry into the long jump competition. The other two field athletes were unable to provide much of a consolation: Thompson placed 17th in the first round of the javelin; Alleyne-Gibson was also a first stage casualty in the women's high jump -- she recorded a best leap of 1.85m. As expected, Boldon was the most celebrated athlete on his return to Port of Spain, and the 22-year-old showed his gratitude by donating his medals to the display case at Royal Bank's branch at the corner of Park and Henry Streets.