T&T will carry a team of 31 athletes from six disciplines along with 23 officials to the 2012 London Olympics, which will take place from July 27 to August 12. This was revealed during a press conference at Olympic House on Abercrombie Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Of the contingent, 26 track and field athletes have been selected, including Olympic 100m silver medallist Richard Thompson, reigning national Men’s 100m champion Keston Bledman, World Junior Championships 400m Hurdles champ Jehue Gordon and World Championships Women’s 100m bronze medallist Kelly-Ann Baptiste. Thompson and Bledman will be joined by 200m national champion Rondel Sorrillo, Marc Burns and Deon Lendore in the 4x100m event, for which T&T took the silver in Beijing four years ago.
Also making the squad were Olympic Individual Medley bronze medallist George Bovell (Swimming), two-time FCB Sports Foundation Sportsman of the Year Roger Daniel (Shooting), multiple Pan American gold medallist Njisane Phillip (Cycling), American-born fighter Carlos Suarez (Boxing) and Andrew Lewis, the first local sailor in 48 years to qualify for the Games. Phillip, fresh from a record-breaking performance in Colorado last weekend, is one of just eight international cyclists to have made the shortlist for the Match Sprint. Speaking during yesterday’s conference, president of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) Larry Romany was confident the squad would go down as one of T&T’s most successful at the Olympics. “The team that has emerged is an extremely strong one. We are very excited about the potential and our expectations are high,” he said. “I think that sport in T&T is on an upward trend and we are hoping that we can break the T&T record from 1964, when we won three medals. We feel that five medals is something that’s very realistic.”
He added that behind the scenes, everything had been going according to plan. “We have had fairly smooth sailing and we don’t expect any hiccups in management so at this point in time we are ready to go.” TTOC secretary general Brian Lewis pointed out that T&T’s 50th Anniversary of Independence would provide extra motivation for the athletes. “It’s been a long road for the athletes who have come through the process but the journey really gets tough now,” he said. “Going back to London has a lot of symbolism for this country since we participated in our first Olympics there in 1948... There’s a lot to look forward to and we’re very excited by it all.” Most of the team members will participate in a pre-Games training camp in Cardiff, Wales from July 12-14. Those who have opted out in order to train at their regular venues include Bovell (Spain), Lewis (England), Phillip (Colorado, USA) and Daniel (Mongolia). The team will move into the Olympic Village on July 24, where it will make the decision as to who will carry the flag during the opening ceremony on July 27. For further information, visit ttoc.org.
Men: Richard Thompson, Keston Bledman, Rondel Sorrillo, Marc Burns, Renny Quow, Deon Lendore, Wayne Davis II,Mikel Thomas, Jehue Gordon, Keshorn Walcott, Emmanuel Callender, Jamol James, Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Machel Cedenio, Ade Alleyne-Forte
Women: Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Semoy Hackett, Kai Selvon, Michelle Lee Ahye, Josanne Lucas, Janeil Bellille, Ayanna Alexander, Cleopatra Borel-Brown, Reyare Thomas,Sparkle McKnight
Dexter Voisin (manager), Ian Hypolite (head coach)
Edwin Skinner (coach - sprints/hurdles), Gunness Persad
(coach-sprints/hurdles), Ismael Lopez Mastrapa (coach-throws)
Boxing: Carlos Suarez; Reynold Cox (manager/coach), Raulson Dopwell (coach)
Cycling: Njisane Phillip; Peter Maharaj (manager/coach)
Sailing: Andrew Lewis; Kairon Serrette (manager), Fernando Alegre (coach)
Shooting: Roger Daniel; Altansetseg Byambajav ( manager/coach)
Swimming: George Bovell III; George Robert Bovell (manager/coach)
Medical: Chief Medical Officer - Dr Terry Ali, Medical Officer - Dr Anyl Gopeesingh, Sports Psychologist - Dr Margaret Ottley, Massage Therapists - Fitzbert Alleyne, Zephyrinus Nicholas, Ian Sharpe, Oba Gulston, Karielle De Bique