Sei Daniel, Nijsane Phillip and Kwesi Browne completed a satisfactory weekend for Trinidad and Tobago cyclists with four more medals between them in the sprint and keirin events as the Milton International Challenge in Canada concluded yesterday.
Daniel, T&T’s main sprint prospect for the Pan Am Junior Championships later this year, boosted his confidence with gold and bronze in the junior sprint and keirin. In the sprint, he beat the event’s fastest qualifier, Nick Wammes of Canada in straight rides in the final on Saturday evening.
On his way to that triumph, Daniel also all set a personal best of 11.713 seconds in the qualifying Flying 200 metres ride. Wammes had topped the list in 11.406.
In the quarter-finals, Daniel came up against another Canadian, Jake Allaire and won in straight rides to move to the semi-finals where he also needed just two rides to get past Lucas Taylor to set up his successful final showdown with Wammes.
Daniel also got to the 1-6 final in the Junior keirin yesterday after placing second in heat two and then finished third behind Wammes and Taylor.
Phillip, meanwhile, coming off a difficult 2014 in which he struggled to find top form following kidney problems early in the year, started 2015 in more positive fashion by getting on the medal rostrum on Saturday.
He rebounded from his semi-final loss to training partner and Canadian champion Hugo Barrette in straight rides, by beating another Canadian, Evan Carey, also in straight rides in the bronze medal ride-off.
Barrette went on to win gold, coming from a ride down to beat Joseph Veloce who had qualified with the fastest time.
“Njisane is on his way back and he is moving in the right direction,” Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation president Robert Farrier told the Express yesterday. Farrier, who is at the meet being held at the new 250-metre track as an observer, added that Phillip, who used the event to sharpen up technically, “was very much pleased with this weekend.”
Phillip was also down to compete in the keirin but scratched from the event.
Yesterday, Browne battled to the bronze in the keirin behind Veloce and Barrette.
Browne qualified for the second round after winning heat two, while teammate Keron Bramble went into the repechage after finishing third in heat one. Bramble was second in heat one of the repechage but was eventually disqualified in the rideoff for seventh to 12th places.
Also yesterday, Varun Maharajh finished fourth in the omnium series of six races. In the women’s keirin, both Aziza Brown (third) and Jodi Goodridge (fifth) went into the repechage after failing to gain one of the two automatic qualifying spots. Keiana Lester finished bottom of the field in heat three and Kollyn St George was fifth in heat four.
Brown and Goodridge then finished one-two in heat two of the repechage, while Lester and St George were third and fourth in heat four. Only Brown advanced to the second round where she was fourth and in the rideoff for seventh to 12th places she ended 11th.
“For these kids, it was a great experience. They were all competitive,” said president Farrier.
Up to press time yesterday, T&T had won five medals, having also copped gold in the men’s team sprint on the opening day of competition on Friday through Phillip, Browne and Bramble.
Next up for the national cyclists will be the Cali, Colombia leg of the UCI’s World Cup series where Phillip, Browne and Bramble will be


Trinidad and Tobago’s senior men’s football team will commence its 2018 World Cup Qualifying Campaign in November after being seeded among the top six teams in the region by CONCACAF. The Soca Warriors, based on its ranking in August 2014, will join the US, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Honduras as the Confederation’s top six teams for Round Four.

For Round Four, the six Round Three winners will join six top seeds and the 12 teams will be grouped into three round-robin, home-and-away groups of four teams. The six group winners and runner-ups will then advance to Round Five which is the Final Round of CONCACAF qualification for the Russia 2018 World Cup Finals.
Round Four, T&T’s opening round in the campaign will, run from November 2015 to September 2016 and the Final Round will be staged between November 2016 and October 2017. qualifying three CONCACAF nations directly to the FIFA World Cup and providing a further intercontinental playoff spot for the fourth-placed team.
The match-ups and groupings for Rounds Three, Four and Five of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying will be determined at the FIFA World Cup Qualifying Draw in St. Petersburg, Russia, on July 25, 2015.
TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee commented on T&T’s seeding saying he was extremely pleased to be ranked among the top six of the Confederation which he said was evidence of the progress made by the “Soca Warriors” under Stephen Hart who was introduced as head coach in June 2013 under his leadership of the TTFA.
“It’s indeed pleasant news for us that we are seeded among the top six nations in all of CONCACAF but it’s also a revelation that our journey officially begins this year based on the format and the dates released by the confederation for qualification for Russia 2018,” Tim Kee told TTFA Media.
“Therefore, while we have already commenced the planning stages for our campaign and our team has been active, finishing second in the Caribbean Cup and qualifying for the CONCACAF Gold Cup last year, there is a lot to be done to ensure we continue to be on the right path in relation to our preparations for what will by all means be a rigorous qualifying campaign.
“The Team has to be adequately prepared which means there is a critical need for training camps, training matches and an overall program supported by all the stakeholders. Our national team deserves all that is required for us to be successful in the quest for Russia 2018 and rightly so, we shall make every effort to see this happen,” Tim Kee added.
National senior team head coach Stephen Hart, currently in Jamaica with the national Under 20 team, also spoke about the format, adding that intense preparations including international games would have to be  a part of the national team’s program between now and the start of its 2018 campaign.
“The draw is a double edge sword. On one had we avoid the early qualifications where anything can happen, but once your games come around you have to be mindful of the fact that you are playing teams that have been playing competitive international games. That being said, it is a more favourable position to be in,” Hart told TTFA Media.

Mexico-based Kenyans Leah Kigen and Hillary Kipchirchir Kamaiyo will defend their female and male crowns when the Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon and Half Marathon runs off January 25.
The Trinidad and Tobago Marathon Committee (TTMC), organisers of the event, will also offer awards to the first local male and female of the marathon will receive an individual award.
More than $200,000 in prizes will be awarded for the 2015 event, which is being run in honour of the late Dana Seetahal, who was visible in many of the races in the marathon’s history. 
“We hope that her running legacy will live on through the many females who choose to run the marathon and encourage healthy lifestyles,” organisers stated.
The T&T Marathon Committee will also partner with the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee as it launches its 10 golds 24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund, with the aim of raising $500,000 to help finance local athletes in their preparation for Rio 2016. President of the TTOC, Brian Lewis will walk in the TTIM on January 25 to launch the initiative. Organisers said this year’s events will comprise just two races: the Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon (TTIM) and the Half Marathon. Both races will be run off on January 25 on the same courses as in recent years.
The TTIM will start at 5 a.m. from St Mary’s Junction, Freeport and finish outside Whitehall, Queen’s Park West. But walkers and slower runners will start at 3.30 a.m. The Half Marathon will start at 5.45 a.m. at ETech Park, Caroni and will also finish outside Whitehall.
Interested persons can sign up online at To register for the race, persons can go to  and check the online registration tab.
Offline registration will be held at the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) office on Abercromby Street from Monday. Race bibs will be distributed during the week prior to race day at the TTOC office.
Athletes are advised to keep checking the for race info updates.
For race information persons can check the website or contact Diane Henderson at 757-7772.


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) are investigating the case of marathon runner Guor Marial, who has been suspended after refusing to share a grant he was awarded to help him prepare for Rio 2016.

The South Sudan Athletics Federation have revoked the membership of 30-year-old Marial, potentially stopping him competing in Brazil, in a row over funding he has received from Olympic Solidarity.

Marial was awarded the IOC scholarship to help him prepare for the Rio Olympics but the South Sudan Athletics Federation demanded he hand it over in accordance with its policy of putting athletes together for training and to compete under one umbrella and administration, rather than operating in separate entities.

The marathon runner, who finished 47th at London 2012 when he competed as an independent athlete under the Olympic flag, insisted that because the scholarship was awarded solely to him and not to the Federation nor other athletes, he has no obligation to hand it over.

"I have just received note from the secretary general of the South Sudan Athletics Federation that I have been suspended from any South Sudan federation activities, simply because they want me to hand over to them the scholarship, which the International Olympic Committee is about to give me for my Olympic preparation," Marial wrote on Facebook.

"To me, this is really a huge crime and against the IOC's scholarship polices.

"Its great shame to the people of South Sudan and the country as a whole."

The IOC has since told insidethegames that they "are aware of this issue and currently in discussion with the concerned parties in order to understand what exactly the problem is and what actions need to be taken - if any - to reach a solution that works for all."

The situation is further complicated by the fact that the South Sudan Athletics Federation is recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations but it still does not have a National Olympic Committee that fulfills the requirements of the IOC, meaning they are not eligible to compete in the Olympics.

South Sudan is the world's newest country having only gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 following a bitter civil war in which Marial lost 28 relatives, including eight brothers and sisters.

Marial, who fled to the United States in 1994 and has not seen his parents for more than 20 years, was offered the opportunity to compete for Sudan at London 2012 due to South Sudan not being recognised by the IOC.

He refused the offer, however, stating, "If I ran for Sudan, I would be betraying my people.

"I would be dishonouring the two million people who died for our freedom.

"I want to bring honour to my country.

"People who just want glory, the spotlight of the Olympics, they don't care about other people.

"I'm fighting for independent status because I do care.

"When I run, I want people to see me and say, 'He is from South Sudan'."

Instead, the IOC offered him the opportunity to compete as an independent athlete under the Olympic flag.


International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has addressed a letter to President François Hollande and to the French people, to express his "shock and grief" regarding the Charlie Hebdo magazine headquarters attack in Paris.

Gunmen shot dead 12 people at the Paris office of French satirical magazine in the capital yesterday, with the editor and three leading cartoonists among those killed..

In the letter, President Bach denounced the attack stating that "such barbaric acts are an attack on the values of all civilised people from whatever country, religion or creed".

Bach shares a close relationship with the French President and met with Hollande in November 2013 to discuss a potential bid from Paris, for the 2024 Olympics, before another meeting late last year during the 15th Summit of French-speaking nations in Dakar.

"Let me assure you that the entire Olympic Movement, just as all right-thinking people, stand shoulder to shoulder with you and France today," the letter continued.

"This was a shocking, brutal attack not just on France but on the values for which we all stand, and the values on which the Olympic Movement is also built.

"Those guns were aimed not just at journalists but at freedom of speech and the values for which France stands so strongly.

"These terrorist atrocities will only serve to unite the people of France to stand together against such mindless violence and we in the Olympic Movement stand side by side with you and with France in solidarity."

Bach's letter and support for France, in light of the attack, continues to highlight his belief that the IOC has a wider role to play in the political landscape and should use sport to help promote peace and wider development.


Boston will be the United States candidate in the race to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, it has been announced today.

The decision was made by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) at its Board meeting in Denver and saw the East coast city see off opposition from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

It is considered a major shock, as either one of the Californian cities was considered the favourite, but came after an unanimous decision by all 15 USOC Board members.

"We're excited about our plans to submit a bid for the 2024 Games and feel we have an incredibly strong partner in Boston that will work with us to present a compelling bid," said USOC chairman Larry Probst, in a statement.

"We're grateful to the leaders in each of the four cities for their partnership and interest in hosting the most exciting sports competition on earth.

"The deliberative and collaborative process that we put in place for selecting a city has resulted in a strong US bid that can truly serve the athletes and the Olympic and Paralympic movements."

The Boston bid has been financed by a group of wealthy Massachusetts business people, including Stephen Pagliuca, the managing director of Bain Capital and co-owner of the Boston Celtics, with many other prominent figures in the city having offered their support.

But the successful effort was not without opposition, with a group called "No Boston Olympics", claiming the Games would be costly for taxpayers, and insisting that a decision of this nature should not be made behind closed doors without a referendum.

A most recent survey by the Boston Globe found 47 per cent in favour of the bid and 43 per cent against.

"It is an exceptional honour for Boston to be chosen as US representative in the running for the 2024 Olympics," said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

"This selection is in recognition of our city's talent, diversity and global leadership.

"Our goal is to host an Olympic and Paralympic Games that are innovative, walkable and hospitable to all, Boston hopes to welcome the world's greatest athletes to one of the world's great cities."

In a sign of the times as far as Olympic bidding is concerned, Boston's compact bid leans heavily on existing venues, such as the TD Garden Arena, and college facilities, including Harvard Stadium, Boston College's Conte Forum and Boston University's Agganis Arena.

A removable Olympic stadium at Widett Circle, along Interstate 93 near Frontage Roadin the south of the city, is envisaged, with Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as athletics events, to take place there.

Aside from major teams in US sport -  including the Boston Red Sox baseball team, the Boston Celtics basketball side, and American Football's New England Patriots - Boston is best known in a sporting sense for the annual Boston Marathon, the world's oldest annual marathon.

The Olympic bid will be particularly symbolic following the tragedy experienced during the 2013 edition of the race, when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the race, killing three people and injuring an estimated 264 others

The city also hosted the World Cross Country Championships in 1992 when future marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe won the junior women's race.

New York City and Chicago bid unsuccessfully for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, events awarded to London and Rio de Janeiro respectively.

Rome is the only city to have officially declared so far it will bid for the 2024 Olympics but Germany is expected to put forward either Berlin or Hamburg.

Baku, Budapest Istanbul and Paris could be other European bidders, while Doha and either Pretoria or Gauteng Province in South Africa are other potential contenders.

The deadline for confirming bids is September 15 next year but a special invitation phase for the 2024 Olympic bid process will start on January 15, with the IOC keen to provide more consultation with cities in order to generate more popular support.

The USOC are due to reveal more details about their decision at a press conference at the : Boston Convention and Exhibition Center tomorrow at 8.30am Eastern Time.