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Bailey’s granddaughter to carry on his legacy

Published: 
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Sport Minister Anil Roberts, centre, T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brain Lewis, right, and a mourner view the body of McDonald Bailey after his funeral service at the All Saints Anglican Church, Marli Street, Port-of-Spain yesterday.

Zo-Marie Tanker, granddaughter of athlete Emmanuel McDonald “Mac” Bailey, has promised to fulfill her grandfather’s goal of sharing his training strategies with schoolchildren.

 

Tanker said this yesterday while delivering the eulogy at Bailey’s funeral at the All Saints Anglican Church, Marli Street, Port-of-Spain.

 

Bailey, who competed for this country and Britain as a sprinter in international competitions, died last week at the age of 93.

 

Tanker said Bailey had written about athletics.

 

“He wrote a booklet called Athletic Milestones and he wanted it produced at a higher quality and I promised to work toward getting that done,” said Tanker. “He wanted schools, primary and secondary, to have access to it.”

 

Tanker said Bailey was very clear about his training philosophy, which promoted the idea of working on building blocks before starting blocks.

 

“It wasn’t just going on a track and starting to run. He spoke about what comes before that.”

 

The booklet also paid tribute to Bailey’s colleagues.

 

Tanker recalled how these philosophies helped her in her own training.

 

“He would always guide me when it came to preparing for school sports day and we took it seriously. I had a flair for running so he trained me at the Savannah.

 

“I won quite a few races and got my share of gold medals.”

 

Bailey was also remembered by fellow athlete and author Dr Basil Ince, who said Bailey paved the way for younger Caribbean athletes.

 

Bailey was the first T&T national to win an Olympic medal for a track event, though he was running for the British team.

 

“Emmanuel Mc Donald Bailey joins that illustrious band of Caribbean athletes from the late forties and early fifties who have made their transition to another world. They are Arthur Wint, Herb McKenley—both Jamaicans—and Lloyd La Beach of Panama. Still with us is that other great Jamaican, George Rhoden,” Ince said.

 

“While they ran, their feet told everyone who cared to listen or look that they were but the vanguard of great Caribbean athletes who have since taken the world by storm.

 

“McDonald Bailey’s records as a sprinter are legendary. He was the first Trinbagonian to reach an Olympic final; the first to win an Olympic medal on the track, the first to reach consecutive Olympic 100m finals; and the first to reach the finals in both short sprints at the Olympic Games,” Ince said.

 

“Up to the present, he is also the sole Trinbagonian to hold a world record in the 100m. In 1951 he was ranked first in the world in the 200m and second in the 100m; he also made the world rankings in the sprints on 11 occasions.”

 

Bailey was awarded the Chaconia Gold medal in 1977.

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