My son Kyle is not a normal boy. This week he took up a teddy bear and hugged it, then brought it to me and ordered, “Hug.”
President of the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) Ephraim Serrette has revealed that his executive has no knowledge as to the whereabouts of national athlete and 2010 First Citizens Sportsman of the Year Darrel Brown.
Even though the national sporting organisation has developed a new outreach component to its operations aimed at establishing better communications with its athletes across the world, Brown is out of the loop.
“He’s in Trinidad. That’s the most I know. We have had development meets and he has not shown at any of them. Emmanuel Callender, all the athletes that are based here, have shown up. We had six development meets,” Serrette said.
Brown, a 100-metre and 200-metre specialist, has been out of the spotlight since competing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he reached the quarter-finals (of the 100m) in 10.93 seconds.
He burst onto the track and field circuit with compatriot Marc Burns in the 90s.
At the time, they were considered the dynamic duo of the sport and both delivered performances that validated that honour.
But unlike Burns, whose journey has been almost unblemished, Brown was plagued by injury.
Brown copped gold at the Central American and Caribbean Championships back in 2003, but that was not the only memorable performance he recorded that year.
At the World Championships in 2003 he won silver, while setting a junior world record of 10.01 seconds in the quarter finals stage of the event. He also won a relay silver medal that year at the Pan American Games.
In 1999 and 2000, Brown was the recipient of the Austin Sealy Trophy being the most outstanding athlete at the CARIFTA Games.
He again excited the sporting fraternity in June 2005 when he achieved a new personal best of 9.99 seconds to become one of the few athletes to run below 10 seconds. At the 2005 World Championships, he was knocked out in the semi-finals. His time then was 10.16 seconds.
Brown, however, bounced back and copped a silver medal for T&T team in a new national record of 38.10 seconds. He later finished fourth at the 2005 World Athletics Final. He also won two gold medals at the 2005 Central American and Caribbean Championships.
Serrette said, “It is a concern for an athlete to be so far removed from the federation. We try to have open communication. It is not an easy thing. There are those who communicate with us. We know what is happening; if people are injured, more so the ones in school (abroad),” he said.
He added, “We can only do what we could. There are lessons to be learnt from that. That’s all we can do right now. There are a number of things that I would not want to speak to right now. There are some findings–findings that would have led to where he is. He is not the first and he won’t be the last, but definitely, we have to try and avoid issues like that.”