Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 24th 2015 Contents A49
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of Cougars Athletics
Track and Field Club
won the youth cham-
pion - female award
at Atlantic s Youth
Excellence in Sports
(Yes) award ceremony
at the ballroom at the
Hilton Trinidad and
"We will use
these next two
games as an oppor-
tunity for some of
the fringe players to
stake a claim and to
put in some per-
formances for us."
South Africa coach
Russell Domingo on
resting key players like
Hashim Amla and
Dale Steyn for the
final two ODIs against
(Ext: 2213, 2711,
MOSCOW --- Russia's top athletics
coach resigned yesterday amid a series
of doping scandals in the country.
Valentin Maslakov, 70, had overseen
the training of all Russian national team
athletes since 2007 as part of a
coaching career spanning more than 40
years. The head of the Russian athletics
federation, Valentin Balakhnichev, said
that Maslakov took a "dignified
decision" to step down. He did not
explicitly link Maslakov's resignation to
the doping scandals.
"We spoke with him for a long time
on this topic," Balakhnichev said. "He
didn't take the decision to resign on his
own, obviously. He consulted us. But
you have to understand that in a public
organisation, everyone shares
responsibility. He took a dignified
Maslakov's departure comes as the
Russian federation faces a World Anti-
Doping Agency investigation into claims
of systematic drug use and cover-ups
and three days after five Russian race-
walkers, including three Olympic
champions, received doping bans. (AP)
Russia's top athletics coach resigns amid doping scandals
T&T Under-20 Soca Warriors captain Shannon
Gomez is still trying to pull himself together from
the disappointment of this country s failure in their
quest to qualify for the upcoming Fifa Under-20
World Cup in New Zealand.
Gomez and the rest of the team returned home on
Thursday night from Jamaica where they lost their
must-win final Group A match, 1-0 to USA, at the
Concacaf U-20 Championship at the Montego Bay
Sports Complex on Wednesday.
The result meant the Derek King-coached T&T
squad were booted out of the tournament with Panama
(maximum 15 points) qualifying for the World Cup
while USA and Guatemala advanced to the playoffs
as second and third placed teams with 10 points each.
Gomez made a call for the current bunch to be kept
in training for future outings.
"I would really like for this U-20 bunch to be kept
together and training, if not as a team right through,
at least for us to be part of a consistent programme,"
"We have the U-23 Olympic Games qualification
to look forward to as well as the Pan American Games.
This will be a good opportunity for us to continue as
a team going forward."
He noted some of the positives for the team coming
away from this tourney, crediting his teammates for
their willingness to play down to the wire.
"We had a fight in us to keep playing and not give
up. We went out in every game and gave our all for
country. We felt like we were the better team in some
of our games but we failed to take our scoring chances
and it hurt us. It was very disappointing for all of us
that we worked our socks off and the results didn t
go our way.
"We were left heartbroken and disappointed but
with some hope. What I think will do well for us is
proper all round team preparation, more financing
and support. These things will factor in our general
readiness for international competition."
Speaking after the match, King was understandably
disappointed but saw some positive points to take
away from the competition and said progress would
continue with the right approach going forward.
"Preparation is the key. We were not outplayed by
any of the teams here in this tournament but when
you look at their resources and what their preparation
looked like it could prove to be the difference. I m not
making excuses but teams like Canada and USA have
much more in their build ups to these tournaments.
And we still competed with everyone including Panama
which went on to qualify for the World Cup.
"I hope we can keep this team together because
they are the future players for our country s senior
team. Stephen Hart was impressed and other coaches
as well who witnessed the team play.
"As a team and a nation we still have to work to
get up to being comfortable playing at that level on
a consistent basis. I think the players realised the work
that has to be done mentally and physically. We also
have to keep working on our finishing and stop con-
ceding soft goals. The guys need to keep their heads
up and move on from this. The plus for us here is
that we were able to match these teams," said King.
In today s final, Panama and Mexico, which also
qualified automatically for New Zealand as Group B
winners will meet in the final, while in the winner-
take-all playoff matches, USA meets El Salvador and
Guatemala battles Honduras.
The next assignment for the team is the Pan Amer-
ican Games in Canada later this year. The U-17 men s
team meantime is continuing training at the Ato Boldon
Stadium, Couva for the Concacaf U-17 Final round
of World Cup qualifiers in Honduras next month.
MONGOMO --- Senegal came back for
a 1-1 draw with South Africa to move
top of Group C at the African Cup of
Nations yesterday in Equatorial Guinea.
Defender Serigne Mbodji equalised
with a thumping header in the 61st
minute after Senegal had fallen behind
to Oupa Manyisa s goal early in the sec-
The Senegalese also had a goal dis-
allowed three minutes before Mbodji s
header, when Sadio Mane s strike was
ruled out for offside. It was a tight call.
Group C is wide open, with favourite
Algeria and Ghana a point behind on
three points after Ghana s 1-0 win earlier
on Friday. South Africa is bottom and
has the toughest task to make the quar-
Senegal fought back for the second
time at the Cup of Nations after the
last-minute 2-1 win over Ghana in its
opener, and now needs just a draw to
emerge from a tough group and make
"Before the tournament everyone said
the three other teams were the favorites
for the group. Right now, we are in first
position," Senegal captain Bouna
Senegal needed to show fight for the
second straight game, though, after
Manyisa was played in on the left two
minutes into the second half and hit his
shot across Coundoul for South Africa s
Recovered from injury and back in
the team, midfielder Mane had a goal
disallowed, but Senegal kept attacking
and Mbodji rose to power home his
header in the 61st.
Dame N Doye made an immediate
impact for Senegal off the bench, driving
a rising shot toward goal in the last 10
minutes and forcing keeper Thapelo
Mabokgwane to dive to his right and
knock it away.
And in a frantic finish, South Africa s
Anele Ngcongca had a glimpse of goal
before being denied by a block from
defender Lamine Gassama.
While Senegal knows what it needs
to do, South Africa must beat Ghana to
make the last eight and hope Algeria
loses to Senegal.
"Of course we have a chance," South
Africa midfielder Dean Furman said.
"We always have a chance. That s how
we ve approached this tournament from
the start." (AP)
U-20 skipper Gomez stays hopeful
Senegal goes top after 1-1 draw with South Africa
T&T's Neveal Hackshaw, right, tackles USA's Ben Spencer for the ball in their Group A Concacaf Under-20
Championship match at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, Jamaica on Wednesday night. USA won 1-0 to pip
T&T for third spot in the group and reached today's playoffs.
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