Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 2nd 2015 Contents A50
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Full credit to finalists
Michele Lee Ahye, Kelly
Ann Baptiste and Machel
Cedenio, as well as our
4x100 ladies and 4x400
men s team, which
brought home medals
from the World Champi-
onships in Beijing.
But we learnt one thing.
done ahead of next year's
Rio Olympics. Getting to
the finals is a step in the
right direction. It acts as a catalyst for the athlete, coach
and management team to assess what needs to be done
to turn finalists into medalists.
Cedenio, at 19, was seventh and can only improve
with proper guidance. He will recall that earlier this
year, he beat La Shawn Merritt but the American placed
second in the final in a personal best time, ensuring
that he was at his best for the Championships.
Next year will be similar but the rivalry becomes
even more significant because it is the Olympic Games.
We must hope that the National Association of Ath-
letic Administration (NAAA) works with the athletes
for the future. Everyone needs to share a common goal.
While some of these athletes will have managers with
different mindset, the NAAA and the athlete must sit
with the coaches and managers and set a clear path-
After the manager's report on the World Champi-
onships is completed and addressed, a meeting should
be called as soon as possible. If the NAAA have to travel
to meet the athlete and their team outside of T&T, this
must be a priority. I would suggest a team of three or
four from the NAAA, comprising of highly influential
and respected persons such as the president, Ephraim
Serrette, and members such as Hasely Crawford, Dr
Ian Hypolite and Dexter Voisin.
My other concern remains Keshorn Walcott, the 2012
Olympic gold medallist who failed to progress out of
the first round. The most disturbing aspect is that this
is the second World Championships where Walcott has
struggled. His conqueror Kenya's Julius Vego in 2012
finished 12th in the Olympic final.
At the press conference for the 2012 final, I recall
that the first three were on stage and a number of ques-
tions were thrown by the Kenyan contingent, asking
for tips on how to improve their thrower. This was a
novel event for the Kenyans and you could see they
were attempting to acquire as much knowledge as pos-
sible. To their credit, their athlete improved tremendously,
not only throwing in excess of 92 metres but he is also
the reigning Commonwealth Champion, where he also
Unless Walcott does something quickly, he may find
himself having to play second fiddle to the consistent
Walcott's first throw was his longest but sadly he
lost his balance and overstepped and so it was considered
a foul throw and he nevered recovered. Similarly on
Yego's first throw, he fell and it was also declared null
and void but he recovered to make the final and then
a few days later regained his composure to win.
Walcott will have to examine his training regime.
He cannot expect to gain in this country and must
travel to Europe and get match fit and ready. As good
as his local coach is, there is nothing to beat experience.
I also believe that because of early success, Walcott
needs guidance and counseling and if it is that he cannot
or will not listen to the NAAA, then another avenue
has to be sought. The Olympic Committee president
Brian Lewis is very athlete driven and focused and I
am certain he will ensure that a requisite team is put
in place to assist some of the obvious needs of Wal-
I believe that psychologist Dr Margaret Ottley should
be hired immediately and brought home for the next
ten to 12 months to work with as many athletes as pos-
sible in time for Rio.
Talent alone will not do it, we have to have
the mental and emotional strength to go with
it. Without a doubt, our men's 4x400 metres
relay team can win gold in Rio. This current
team of Renny Quow, La Londe Gordon, Deon
Lendore, Machel Cedenio and Jarrin Solomon
can reap success.
Once Jehue Gordon is fully recovered from
his latest injury and with his studies completed,
2016 should be a strong year for him. His event
was one of the few where the times were not
as good as when he won in Moscow, which
augurs well for him.
It was good to see the NAAA taking the bold
step of incorporating some of our former athletes
into their system. We have seen Niconnor
Alexander getting involved and most recently
Ato Boldon with the women's relay team. This
group can become a long term core for success
and with the leadership of Baptiste and the likes
of Lee Ahye, Hackett, Thomas, Khalifa St Fort
and Kamira Durant, there is a lot to smile about.
It looks promising, but as most men know,
looks are sometimes deceiving.
Andre E Baptiste
Still a long way to get to Rio
Trinidad and Tobago's Keshorn Walcott competes in the men's javelin throw qualification
at the World Athletics Championships at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing. AP PHOTO
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