Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 1st 2014 Contents A52
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, September 1, 2014
As the country celebrates 52 years of Independ-
ence, it is timely to remind ourselves of some of
the outstanding contributions of our sportswomen
and sportsmen in their respective sporting disci-
plines locally, regionally and internationally.
In athletics, Hasley Crawford won the 100 metres
gold medal at the Montreal Olympics in 1976, 36
years after, Keshorn Walcott became the country s
second Olympic gold medallist when he won the
javelin event at the London Olympics in 2012. Jehue
Gordon won gold in the men s 400 metres hurdle
at the IAAF World Championship in Moscow, Russia
in 2014. Other notable track and field athletes are
Cleopatra Borrel, Michelle-Lee Ahye, Wendell Mottley,
Ato Boldon, Richard Thompson, Lalonde Gordon,
and Richard Thompson.
This country has produced four boxing world cham-
pions. Claude Noel became this country s first world
champion in 1981, when he defeated Mexican Rodolfo
Gonzalez to win the WBA World Lightweight title.
Leslie Stewart won the WBA World Light Heavyweight
title in 1987 defeating Marvin Pops Johnson at the
Jean Pierre Complex. Ria Ramnarine became the coun-
try s first female world champion when she defeated
Ana Fernandez in 2005 at the Jean Pierre Complex
to win the WIBA Mini Flyweight World title. At the
time of her shocking, untimely death in 2009, Giselle
Salandy was a multiple World champion holding the
WBA, WBC and WIBA middle weight titles.
Debra O Connor could be considered as one of the
best badminton players of all time in T&T and the
Caribbean. The four-time sportswoman of the year
won the Caribbean Regional Badminton Confederation
singles title on five occasions (1984, 1985, 1990, 1993
and 1995). She was also single and doubles champion
in 1984, 1985 and 1995. In 1990 and 1993 she was
a Triple Crown winner, being crowned singles, doubles
and mixed doubles champion.
Cycling has produced outstanding riders such as
Roger Gibbon, Gene Samuel, Maxwell Cheeseman,
Michael Phillips, Hylton "Barracuda" Mitchell, Roger
Smart, Njisane Phillip and Emile Abraham.
Brian Lara, is by far the greatest cricketer this
country has produced. The world record holder for
the highest first class score (501 not out) and highest
test score (400 not out) conquered all bowlers and
thrilled the cricketing world with superb timing and
stroke play. Other noteworthy cricketers are Sir Learie
Constantine, Jeffery Stollmeyer, Sonny Ramadhin,
Gerry Gomez, Deryck Murray, Rangy Nanan, Inshan
Ali, Ian Bishop, Ann Browne-John and Anisa
Dwight Yorke is the most celebrated footballer,
having won several championships in England and
Europe with Manchester United. Other outstanding
footballers from T&T are Alvin Corneal, Bobby
Sookram, Sedley Joseph, Lincoln Phillips, Everald
"Gally" Cummings, Richard Chinapoo, David Nahkid,
Russell Latapy, and Shaka Hislop. The "Strike Squad",
1989, "Soca Warriors". 2006, and "Soca Princess",
2014, have all given the population a lot be proud
Stephen Ames, Carlos "Sexy" Baynes and Maria
Nunes have all represented the golf with greater dis-
Hockey has provided players such as Stacey-Ann
Sui Butts, Kwandwane Browne and Dwain Quan
T&T was crowned joint World Netball Champions
with Australia and New Zealand in 1979. During the
1980s the "Calypso Queens" dominated the Caribbean
championship and were among the top five countries
in the world. Some of the outstanding netballers of
the past are Jean Pierre, Janet Bailey, Sherill Peters
and Sharon Castanada.
Road running has become a very popular sport in
recent years. Some of the outstanding road runners
have been Moses Ranghell, Bernard Mungroo, Michael
Alexander, Curtis Cox, Richard Jones, Lynette
"Granny" Luces, Richard Jones and Tonya Nero.
George Bovell III is the country s most celebrated
swimmer. His greatest accomplishment has been
winning the bronze medal in the 200IM at the
2004 Athens Olympics. Other notable swimmers
over the years are Paul Newallo, Sebastian
Paddington, Sioban Cropper and Shantol Ince.
Some of the outstanding table tennis players
are Mansingh Amarsingh, Derek DeSilva, Steve
Ragbir, Seamus Clarke, Dexter St Louis and
Rheann Chung. Tennis has provided players in
the calibre of Lystra Lewis, Allan and Lindsay
Price, Beverly Corbie and Shane Stone.
Bert Manhin and Roger Daniel have dominated
the sport of shooting, while Jason Gooding and
Ancil Greene have been outstanding triathletes.
Cheryl Sankar stood tall in Taekwondo.
Weightlifter Rodney Wilkes was the country s
first medallist at the Olympics winning the silver
medal in the featherweight category at the 1948
London Games. At the 1952 Helsinki Games,
he won bronze at the same event.
It is evident that the country s Independence
can also be measured by the contribution that
sportswomen and sportsmen have made not
only to their respective sports but also in ensuring
that the rest of the world know that T&T is a
force to be reckoned with.
As we continue to grow as a society, every
effort must be made to support our sportswomen
52 years of sporting excellence
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