It was Christmas 2012.
Single mom, Cheryl Alexander, lived with her four children in a small house in Jacob’s Hill, Wallerfield blocked around with plywood and galvanise sheets.
Sprint sensation Michelle Lee Ahye is out of tomorrow’s 100m semifinals after limping off the track, following her second place finish in heat four at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. She did not stop to take questions from the media, clearly showing some discomfort in her leg.
Ahye pulled up after recording a double win in the 100m and 200m at the International Athletics Meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland, two weeks ago, but later said it was not serious, citing cramps as the problem.
A release from the officials at the Games here said both Ahye and Darrel Brown, who did not take part in the heats were being withdrawn from competition.
Ahye was slow out the blocks but gradually picked up pace some 30 metres out and crossed the line in 10.52 behind Canadian Khamica Bingham.
Sprinters Keston Bledman, Richard Thompson, Kai Selvon and Kamaria Durant, also qualified from their respective 100m heats.
Bledman blazed the field in the ninth and final heat of the men’s 100m, running in lane five, progressing with the third fastest time 10.16 of all the qualifiers.
“I am feeling better and I’m glad that no one is talking about me so I can fly under the radar but my aim is to win gold. I am fit and ready. I am ready for a sub10 and I’m not concerned about the opposition.”
Thompson’s entry was a little more complicated as he had to endure two false starts before moving on as one of the fastest losers in 10.33. He was third in heat three. Only the top two finishers qualify automatically.
“I misjudged the race and the guys in first but I will be coming strong in the semifinals. I was not bothered by false starts,” said the two-time Olympic silver medallist. “I do not feel any pressure.”
Selvon’s and Durant’s times of 11.66 and 11.80, respectively qualified both as fastest losers.
In the women’s 400m heats, Shawna Fermin and Dominique Williams progressed to the next round with times of 54.10 and 54.43, respectively while Romona Modeste failed to get into the top 24 after clocking 55.16.
Robert Collingwood’s best effort of 17.83 earned him 13th spot, just missing out on qualifying for the final round of the shot put event.
Today, T&T quartermilers Jarrin Solomon, Renny Quow and Lalonde Gordon race in the 400m and Ayanna Alexander will be in the women’s triple jump.
T&T swimmer Dylan Carter had a full day of activities yesterday at the Tollcross Swimming Centre and when the water settled, he had produced an impressive performance to take fifth spot in the final of the men’s 100 metres freestyle final at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
The 17-year-old making his debut at the event, clocked 49.56 seconds, in a race totally dominated by Australian trio James Magnussen (48.11), who won gold, Cameron McEvoy (48.34) and Tommaso D’Orsogna (49.04), the silver and bronze medallists, respectively. Canadian Yuri Kisil (49.27) also finished ahead of the local swimmer.
“I think I was out too slow. I knew the Aussies would be quick. I went a little faster in the semifinals but still glad to reach this point in the meet,” said Carter. “It’s my first Commonwealth Games. I’m still a junior so I will get better.”
The youngster takes the experience as a learning one and has already clear indication of which strokes he will be focussing on in the future.
“My 100 free was good, my 100 fly was good…I may go to the youth Olympics and do some sprints. The 100 free this week showed me that I’m a sprinter and I hope next year, I can hit a 48 (seconds), once I hit 48 I’m going to be in Rio (Olympics) said Carter, who was relieved to finish up my first Commonwealth.
“I would say that it was very successful considering a few things didn’t go the way I would have planned…delayed preparation. I got sick a couple days out but I can say I really enjoyed the Games.
“To my friends and family, who are here and who at home, thank you for supporting me.
“I want to thank George (Bovell) so much because he really mentored me and helped me out throughout this meet. It was great to have him here as an experienced figure to guide me.”
Bovell, in the meantime, did not take the pool yesterday as he opted out of swimming the 50m backstroke final, a customary move by the Olympic bronze medallist, who at times uses this style to prepare for his pet event, the 50m freestyle that is carded for today. He will line up in heat nine in lane four 5.50 am (T&T time).
Carter competed in two other races yesterday earlier swimming in the 100m butterfly heats in the morning session clocking 54.21, which qualified him for the semifinals. He went on to place eighth in 54.45.
T&T table tennis men won the classification final after beating Ghana, 3-0. In the first match on table five Curtis Humphreys beat Emmanuel Commey, 3-1 (9-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-9), then Dexter St Louis Felix followed up with a 3-0 (11-5, 11-9, 11-7) win over Felix Lartey.
In the doubles match-up, Humphreys partnered with Aaron Wilson to complete the sweep Lartey and D Abrefa, 3-2, (12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7).
Njisane Phillip’s and Quincy Alexander’s dismal run continued in the 20th edition of the Games when neither made it to the final.
Phillip placed last in heat two and fourth in the repechage while Alexander came in sixth in heat four and went on to finish fourth in his repechage heat.
Boxer Michael Alexander continues to impress, beating Pakistani Ali Ahmed to reach the quarterfinals of the lightweight (60kg) category.
Tomorrow, he will face Cobia Breedy of Barbados, who defeated Andrique Allisop of Seychelles.
Aaron Prince returns to action today at 9 am and will meet Bahamian Godfrey Strachan
T&T rugby sevens men’s team completed its first victory of the Games, topping Malaysia 15-10 in the semifinals of the Shield competition.
It was a short celebration for the local ruggermen as they fell later on to Sri Lanka, 43-7 in the final.
T&T hockey women lost their third straight match but by a smaller margin, 4-1. Today the stickwomen will play India.
Also today, gymnastics starts will all three T&T athletes in action. They are William Albert, Marissa Dick and Khazia Hislop.
Roger Daniel and Rodney Allan go for gold in the 50m Pistol.