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Swimmers, boxers keep T&T flag flying
Swimmers George Bovell and Dylan Carter will chase after the first medals after they were unstoppable yesterday at the Tollcross Swimming Centre, qualifying for the finals of their respective events, the 50 metres backstroke and 100m freetsyle at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Bovell, a fomer Olympic medallist, clocked 25.39 seconds to progress with eighth fastest time, this after he advanced to the semifinal by topping his heat in the morning session. He touched the wall in 25.50 to have the sixth fastest time of all the qualifiers. Carter’s reaction time was slower than his opponents but he did not let them get too far after they dove in heat two of the semifinals. James Magnussen took the early lead and set the pace of the race. On the turn Carter moved well and was in line with Adam Brown as they chopped away yearning for a spot in the medal race. Magnussen eased away leaving the other seven swimmers to battle for the remaining spots. Brown managed to finish just ahead of Carter in a time of 49.47. The Australian won in a time of 48.21 with Carter third in 49.50. Carter earned his spot in the semifinals after clocking 49.72 to have the fifth fastest qualifying time. He will have his work cut out for him today as he is expected to swim in the 100m butterfly heats, this morning. The final is carded for the evening session at 2.14 pm (T&T time) Bovell is expected to take the water at 3.59 pm, for his final.
Local boxers Aaron Prince and Michael Alexander dominated in the ring at SECC Hall 4A, progressing to the next round relatively easy. Alexander was up first up and downed Nigeria’s Oto Joseph in the men’s lightweight (60k). “Boxers from the African countries are strong but he was coming in wild so my aim was to score points than him and come out on top at the end of the fight,” said Alexander, who will meet Ali Ahmad of Pakistan today at 8.30 am. Prince then took on Jean Maurice Bikorimana in the men’s middleweight (75 kg) and got the judges nod over the Rwandan. “I was always confident. My aim was to get it done which I did. Control was main in thin in the match Coach Reynold Cox was proud of his boxers, praising Prince for keeping his composure throughout the bout. He said, “His control was really good. In a competition like this you have five or six fights to get to gold and you don’t want to use too much energy so early in the competition.” Prince will face off against Bahamian Godfrey Strachan at 9 am tomorrow.
T&T hockey men fell to their second defeat in as many matches, losing to New Zealand 8-0 in an early morning match at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre. They will have no time sulk as they are back on field today to face Canada at 2 pm following the women’s match against the Canadians at 9 am.
Sharp-shooter Roger Daniel was not particularly happy with his effort yesterday in the Men’s 10m Air Pistol event, finishing 12th in the qualification round where only the top eight advance to the next round. This was at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre. “Today (yesterday) was challenging. I’m heartbroken right now. This was one of the easier opportunities of medalling here as well because the scores were very low. And to know that it was so low and the standard you’re accustomed to. I am kind of dampened but I know I will have to get over it,” said Daniel. “During the match I had some changes made. Vision wise I had to adjust and certain things happened during the match that I had to adjust to but I didn’t let myself settle in properly. I had adjustments to make and I didn’t do it in time.” Rhodney Allen also suffered a similar fate, placing 19th to be eliminated. Daniel, however, does not feel all is lost as he looks ahead to his pet event, the 50m Pistol, which he won silver at the 2010 edition of the games in India. “I am more fired up to win a medal on Monday. I just need to lift my head and go stronger at it. Stick to my game plan and go at it positive.” Also yesterday, T&T shooting duo Norris Gomes and Michael Perez remained in 15th place when the Full Bore competition—Queen’s Prize Pairs Final ended, their final scores totalling 286-22 points. Winning gold was the England team with 300-43 points. Gomes and Perez will operate on their own today in Queen’s Prize Pairs individual event.
T&T netballers dropped their heads yesterday as they left the court at SECC Hall 4B after a devastating 50-31 loss to Wales. The “Calypso Girls” were guilty of too many turnovers 25 overall which the Welsh players took full advantage of unlike the local netballers, who did not punish their opponents for their 23 errors. Wesley “Pepe” Gomes used all four shooters, starting with Anastascia Wilson (goal-shooter) and Joelisa Cooper (goal-attack) then replacing them respectively with veteran Janelle Barker and Kalifa McCollin during the second quarter with T&T was trailing 18-9. That didn’t work as the local unit closed the first half behind by 16 goals (27-11). Again he reworked the combination, making changes to the defensive also but the Wales was far more aggressive and found ways to score and went on pushed further ahead in the third, 43-19. In the final session, T&T had spurts when they connected well and managed to outscore Wales 12-7 but it was too late. Youngster McCollin was the most accurate and productive for the local side, leading with 13 from 15. Wilson (12/19), Cooper (5/7 and Barker (1/2) combined for the other 18 goals.
T&T rugby sevens team had no success yesterday, falling in their three matches in Pool B. The local team lost its opening match to South Africa, 36-0 and then went under to Cook Islands 33-10, trailing 28-0 at the half. Scoring a try each for T&T were Agboola Silverthorn and James Phillip. T&T was no match for Kenya later on in the evening, conceding a 35-5 defeat. Joseph Quashie scored the lone try for the local ruggermen, who will play Canada in the Bowl quarterfinal at 5.32 am.
At Scotstoun, Dexter St Louis and his teammates Curtis Humphreys, Aaron Wilson and Yuvraaj Dookram winning run continued in the classification semifinals defeating Guyana, 3-1. Earlier, the local team topped Uganda, 3-0 and now moves on to the final to play Ghana today at 4.30 am.
Kale Wilson put a good fight in his plate quarterfinal match, taking his opponent Kenyan Hardeep Reel to five sets but unfortunately lost 3-2. Wilson lost the first set 12-10 but bounced back to take the next two sets, 10-12 and 8-11 but Reel was the more determined of the two and sealed the next two sets 11-9 and 11-1.
Qunicy Alexander was the lone cyclist in action yesterday tackling the 1000m Time Trial at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. He placed 10th in a time of 1:03.679 from 18 riders. Alexander will be in action again today and will be joined by Njisane Phillip when they line up for the Keirin event from 10.33 am. Phillip will be up first in heat two then gets his turn in heat four.
Christopher George failed to advance out of the men’s 100kg round of 16, beaten by Pakistani Shah Hussain Shah at SECC Hall 3.
Track and field
Today Track and field starts with T&T top men’s and women’s sprinter looking to advance from the heats at Hampden Park. Representing the red, white and black in the men’s 100 metres are Richard Thompson, Keston Bledman and Darrel Brown. For the women, will be Michelle Lee Ahye, Kai Selvon and Kamaria Durant. Shawna Fermin, Dominique Williams and Ramona Modeste will compete in the women’s 400m while Robert Collingwood will seek to finish as one of the best 12 in the men’s shot put event. Early in the morning though, Tonya Nero will take on the marathon on the streets of Glasgow.