The mother of national gymnast Thema Williams is concerned about her daughter's participation at the Rio Olympics, stating that the T&T Gymnastics Federation (TTGF) is not following the selection policy that was set.On Thursday, on the popular Isports programme (i95.5fm) hosted by Andre Errol Baptiste, a lot of concerns were raised by Williams' mother Helen Adams.
Adams is claiming that her daughter should be the one selected to represent T&T at the Olympic Test Event in Rio, Brazil in April 2016 as she currently has a higher ranking than fellow national gymnast Marisa Dick. Williams and Dick both competed in the artistic women's individual qualification at the World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow, with Williams finishing 59th and Dick ending 77th overall.
Adams stated the selection policy of the TTGF states, "The WAG (Women's Artistic Gymnastics) gymnast who scores the highest all-around score at the World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow 2015 will be the athlete selected by the TTGF Selection Committee to move forward to represent T&T at the Olympic Test Event in Rio, Brazil in April 2016 once her scores allow her selection by the International Federation of Gymnastics to this event."
On the radio show Adams said, "A selection policy was established by the T&T Gymnastics Federation as it relates to the Rio Olympics, and this was given to everyone, and so after the last event, the rankings read Thema (Williams) in 59th position and Marisa (Dick) in 77th position. If there is only one spot, Thema, based on this should be the automatic choice."
Adams added: "Instead, we are now being told, that the two girls (Williams and Dick) will have to compete in two more events, and then they will decide again who is representing T&T, but this is not right, it is not fair."
"At this time, Thema should be preparing for the Olympic Trials in 2016, but instead, this is happening, which cannot be good for her mind, and even though we are asking questions, as to what is causing this, we are not getting much answers from anyone in the Association."
The T&T Guardian has also learnt, that John Geddert, the coach of Thema Williams, has since sent two emails to the president of the T&T Gymnastics Federation David Marquez, and has not received a reply to date. The first email was sent on Monday and the second was sent on Thursday.
Sport Minister gets involved
Also appearing on Isports was the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Daryl Smith, who admitted, that he had heard some of this before but needed to listen to the two sides. Smith said: "We have only heard one (side), but if this is happening, we will check and get the full details. I have not seen any correspondence as yet to the Ministry of Sports, but it is something that we are going to examine as we believe in placing the athletes first and ensuring that all sporting organisations operate transparently and fairly."
Adams planned to hand deliver all the relevant documents to the Minister of Sports yesterday in the hope that this matter could be quickly resolved through the intervention of the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs.