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Lewis looking for new medal winners
“I am not looking to the usual and traditional medal suspects for success at this games, but from others who will grasp this opportunity to be successful and make T&T proud,” said Brian Lewis, president of the T&T Commonwealth Games Committee. The 2014 Commonwealth Games begins in Glasgow, Scotland, on Wednesday. Lewis said athletes in all disciplines must perform at levels that would boost national fervour, while providing citizens with evidence that T&T have grown as a truly dynamic sporting nation.
Team sports would face the biggest hurdles in pursuit of winning medals, but individual athletes outside of track and field, swimming, cycling and boxing could produce new champions for the nation. Judo, gymnastics, table tennis, squash and triathlon were ready to evolve from being considered minor sports locally, to becoming major disciplines, with consistent achievers on the global sporting stage. Christopher George was the lone athlete for judo, while Marissa Dick, Khazia Hislop and William Albert were representing gymnastics. Like George, David Cottle was a one-man team in triathlon, while table tennis veteran Dexter St Louis leads a group that includes Curtis Humphreys, Aaron Wilson, Yuvraj Dookram, Rheann Chung, Ashley Quashie, Aleena Edwards and Catherine Spicer.
Colin Ramasra, Kale Wilson, Kerrie Sample and Charlotte Knaggs were representing squash. “It is time for judo to rise. For the first time at Commonwealth Games we have an athlete for judo.
“He is Christopher George, who is no stranger to national duty having represented T&T at the junior and senior levels in the sport of water polo. “He has made the switch to the sport of judo and his objectives and goals are to qualify for Rio 2016 (Olympic Games) which would be a first for judo. “Most of the attention, understandably, in the context of our medal hopefuls are in track and field, swimming cycling and boxing–Michael Alexander and Aaron Prince–outside of the team sports, which will be facing some tough hurdle. “The Commonwealth Games, as much as it is good games in its own right, forms a key part to the journey to Rio 2016.
“Realistically, we will be paying close attention to newcomers to see how they compete with the higher level of competition, outside of the Caribbean. “In November, we have the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) games where we would expect the team sports to have definite medal potential. “What we would want to see in Scotland is a very competitive effort and signs of significant improvement in terms of fitness and target projection, as well look to CAC and Pan American Games and the Rio. “So I am saying that the sports such as judo, which we have not been represented in at the continental level under the Olympic Committee, we will be paying close attention to them. It would be very interesting to see how George comes along.”