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Versatile Paralympian among nominees
With a day left before the First Citizens Sports Foundation Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year is announced tomorrow at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, the Trinidad Guardian presents some more of T&T’s top athletes who are up for the top awards. Here are more of the nominees:
This 20-year-old resident of the San Fernando community of St Joseph Village continues to demonstrate why he is considered to be the future of T&T golf. Rajendranath’s score of 313 at the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships at the Royal St Kitts Golf Club in St Kitts was the best of all the players on the T&T team and was in keeping with the form he demonstrated on the Future Collegians World Tour. He earned a fourth place tie at the Black Diamond Ranch tournament in Lecanto, Florida, with a score total of 149 and also enjoyed fifth and sixth place finishes at the Saddlebrook Resort Golf (149) and Jim McLean Doral 54 Hole (225) events in Tampa and Miami, respectively.
After enrolling at the University of West Florida, his focus was switched to NCAA competition with a seventh place effort at the Guy Harvey Invitational in Palm Beach Gardens, last October, being a noteworthy performance.
The 2012 Americas Federation of Netball Associations Championship was, perhaps, the biggest competition in the discipline to be held in T&T since the 1979 World Championship and it was a stage dominated by the power of the home team’s top scorer Anastascia Wilson.The goal shoot poured in 88 points during a 104-13 victory over Guyana and later managed to overcome an ankle injury suffered during a 63-28 victory over St. Lucia, against whom she scored 34 goals from 49 attempts. She returned to go 18/21 while firing her side to a 60-23 triumph over the US and was also instrumental to T&T’s victories over Canada (55-28, with Wilson 39/45), Bermuda (95-18) and Grenada (78-29). The local unit eventually finished third behind champion Jamaica and runner-up Barbados.
Wilson later helped Fire to second place in the All-Sectors Netball League’s Premiership Division behind Police, while finishing second in the league in shooting with an accuracy tally of 81.38 per cent.
It’s an exciting new era for field hockey and T&T was literally in the thick of the action. This country was privileged to host a first round tournament in the new FIH Hockey World League and under the leadership of captain Darren Cowie the national men’s team took full advantage of familiar conditions at the National Hockey Centre and made the cut for the second round of the global competition. Cowie was simply fantastic in all aspects of his game as T&T hammered Venezuela 9-2, edged out Chile 2-1 and defeated Barbados 3-1 to advance to the next phase as group winner. Cowie managed to thrive during a year of transition. He made the move from Queen’s Park CC to Notre Dame where he took on the role of player-coach and led his charges to the men’s title in the Magnolias Indoor Tournament in December thanks to a 7-5 win over Paragon in the final.
She is definitely one of T&T’s leading lights within the youth ranks. Smith earned a silver medal in the girls under-15 competition at the Pan American Schools Championships in Margarita thanks to her three victories and total of 4.5 points. This was a follow-up to her under-16 gold medal triumph at the inaugural Carifta Championships in St. Augustine and she would go on to earn an under-16 bronze medal at the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships in Puerto Rico.
Smith, now 15, was also in dominant mode at home as she won the girls under-16 national title and she finished as runner-up in both the national open and under-20 championships.
One of the pillars of local chess since the 1990s, Ryan Harper continues to extend his legend on the circuit, even with his commitments as a full-time coach. He captured the top prize at the T&T International Open, which was held at the University of the West Indies at St Augustine last April, as he finished ahead of second-placed Mario Merritt and Marcus Joseph, who placed third. Harper also triumphed at the Umada Cup tournament in Paramaribo, Suriname in October where he earned 7.5 points with a score of 2237. Jamaica’s Davy Damion (7 points, 2099) and Joseph (7 points, 2160) took the second and third positions, respectively. At home, apart from earning third spot in the men’s National Championship, Harper captured titles at the Paladins Chess Club Open and the De Verteuil Memorial and finished second in the National Blitz Championship.
For a T&T’s women’s field hockey team that has been in transition over the last four years, the first round tournament of the FIH Hockey World League at home represented a perfect opportunity to announce a return to prominence on local soil.
Thanks to the inspired all-round performance of forward Blair Wynne, it was mission accomplished in the end.
Wynne scored a hat-trick during a 5-0 thumping of Guyana and finished as team top-scorer with six goals as T&T managed to weather defeats to both Uruguay and Canada before thrashing Venezuela 5-1 (with Wynne scoring twice) and Barbados 7-0 (featuring the other Wynne strike) to finish third in the group and advance to the second round.
The 30-year-old, who was formerly based in Belgium, was also a dominant force in the TTHB women’s league as she helped lead her current team, Notre Dame, to the ultimate prize—the Championship Division title.
• paralympic athletics
Having made his name as an amazing powerlifter, Ronald Carlos Greene successfully demonstrated his versatility in a totally different discipline: track and field athletics.
Greene, who is visually impaired, received a wild card invitation to compete in the shot put and discus competitions at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London: the first time in 24 years that T&T sent a team to this event. The Carapichaima resident threw the shot put a personal best 10.87 metres to earn eleventh-place overall in the men’s F 11-12 division. He also managed a discus throw of 26.28 metres with his successful attempt.
The 44-year-old also took home silver and bronze medals in the shot put and discus, respectively, while participating in the USA national trials last July. He had earlier achieved personal bests in both the shot put and discus throw at the Cruisers Classic in Canada prior to surpassing this shot put mark in London.
Santa Rosa Park has been the scene of many fine exploits by some of the greatest jockeys that T&T has produced and 21-year-old Brian Boodramsingh is more than making an outstanding effort at joining this esteemed list one day. For the second year running the supremely disciplined Boodramsingh took home the T&T Champion Jockey of the Year accolade after piloting his way to 44 victories on the year, ahead of legend Brian Harding (28), who retired at the end of the season. These wins included four triumphs on the January 28 card of races at Santa Rosa, along with three successful rides during the Labour Day programme last June 19. As always, Boodramsingh has managed to do it all while managing that rare feat of containing his noted humility on the one hand, and single-minded focus when on the track, on the other, in one unique and successful package.
T&T’s Nicholas Acevero showcased his outstanding kumite potential after earning a bronze medal in the men’s 18-20 over-78 kg division in last April’s Central American and Caribbean Championships in Guatemala City he finished behind Venezuelans Eduard Martins (gold) and Francisco Azocar (silver) with Belize’s Argazavad Sankey also collecting a bronze medal.
Acevero, 19, had previously received attention after taking home the silver medal in the over-18, over-78 kg section at the TTKU National Championships and he would earn another silver medal at the TTKU Invitational Championships in October.
The 26-year-old kumite specialist was simply the best, better than all the rest on this occasion as she fought her way to the gold medal in her division —one of three medals earned by the T&T team in this tournament. A member of the Trinity Almighty Karatekas team out of San Fernando, Xavier also performed well on local soil: apart from winning the women’s over-18, over-65 kg kumite title, she collected a bronze medal in the over-18 advanced kata division. Xavier’s ticket to Curacao was actually booked by her performance at the TTKU Invitational, where she took home gold and silver medals in the kata and kumite categories, respectively.
South-east Trinidad is still very much pristine country, so kayaking along the Ortoire River can seem like a tranquil traipse through refreshing and scenic wilderness. Unless, of course, you’re involved in the challenging trek that the Ortoire River Race tends to be. It just so happens that David Hackshaw has owned the 21-kilometre long course segment of this event, especially after winning it for the third time in its three-year history last August 25.
The victory was completed in one hour, 27 minutes and 31 seconds and served as follow-up to Hackshaw’s win in the 6.4 km Five Islands Race on August 12, which was done in 36.17 minutes, ahead of Michael Boccara (40.52) and Sherlon Pierre (41.20). His overall form was clearly up to mark during 2012 on the whole, especially when one also takes into account his second place finish in the Five Islands Race on July 7 in 36.15 seconds behind Ryan Mendes (36.04).
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