Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 6th 2013 Contents A78
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, September 6, 2013
T&T s Jehue Gordon, the reigning World 400m
men s hurdles IAAF World champion will look
to end his season with another gold medal per-
formance when he lines up in a star-studded
field in the IAAF Diamond League Grand Prix
in Brussels, Belgium at the Belgacom Van Damme
At last month s
in Russia, Gordon pro-
duced a strong finish
to pip American
Michael Tinsley for the
gold medal by a hun-
dredth of a second
while Serbian Emir
Bekric was third in
Tinsley, who led into
the straight, before
being caught by Gor-
don, is also in the field.
The other finishers
were Cuban Omar Cisneros (48.12), Dominican
Republic s Olympic champion Felix Sanchez (48.22),
Puerto Rican, Javier Culson (48.38), Senegal s
Mamadou Kasse Hanne (48.68) and T&T-born
American, Kerron Clement (49.08).
Today s event will comprise almost the same
field with only Bekric and Clement the two absent
athletes and their lanes being filled by hometown
entrant Stef Vanhaeren and USA s Justin Gayman
and the ninth competitor, Great Britain s Rhys
In addition to Tinsley, other serious challenges
to Gordon today could come from Felix Sanchez
and Cisneros, who came close to securing Cuba s
first medal in the event in Moscow and Diamond
League leader, Culson with 13 points, four more
Local sprinter Keston Bledman will have a much
harder task of medalling as he will be the underdog
in the men s 100m final, which is spear-headed
by Jamaican Olympic and World champion, Usain
Bolt, who is expected to be the headline performer.
The 25-year-old Bledman will enter the race
high on confidence following back to back wins
in Europe over the last week.
First he won the men 100m final at the Flame
Games in Amsterdan, Holland in 10.11 while he
top the field at the palio Citta della Quercia Meet
in Rovereto, Italy in 10.04, a new meet record. It
was his second best time of the season, just off
his 10.02 clocking in the heats at the World Cham-
Apart from Bledman, St Kitts/Nevis veteran,
Kim Collins, France s Jimmy Vicaut, England s
James Dasaolu, USA s Justin Gatlin and Michael
Rodgers and Jamaicans, Kemar Bailey-Cole and
Nesta Carter will all be hoping to upset Bolt.
Bailey-Cole is also coming off a recent win at
the ISTAF Athletics Meeting in Berlin, Germany
in 10.04 well ahead of Collins, who crossed the
line in 10.15.
However, to date, Bolt has won four times in
Brussels and three of those victories have been
in the 100m making him the overwhelming
Two years ago he set a meeting record of 9.76,
bettering by 0.01 his own meeting record from
three years prior which was run into a -1.3m/s
This year Bolt will be up against five other 100m
finalists from Moscow, including silver medallist
Justin Gatlin (USA) and bronze medallist Nesta
Overall, no less than 59 medallists from the
recent IAAF World Championships in Moscow
will take part in Brussels and nine events will fea-
ture the gold, silver and bronze medallists from
the Russian capital.
T&T almost pulled off an amazing come-
back victory in Riyadh yesterday but the
misery of the "lottery" kicks had the final
say with the game ending in a 7-6 victory
for the United Arab Emirates in the opening
match of the 2013 OSN Cup at the King
Fahd International Stadium.
The men in the red created history by
coming from three goals down to level the
scores at 3-3 in added-on time to take the
match into penalty kicks. T&T had never
before come from three goals down in an
international tournament. But Columbus
Crew midfielder, Kevan George, a second
half substitute, making his debut for T&T,
saw his kick saved by goalkeeper Al Khaseif
Housani gifting UAE a place in Sunday s
T&T will now meet Saudi Arabia in Mon-
day s third place playoff after the hosts were
beaten 1-0 by New Zealand.
The "Soca Warriors" recovered from a
miserable start, trailing 2-0 at half time after
goals by Ismail Mohamed, a free header in
the 8th minute from a left side corner, and
a long range strike by Ali Ahmed Alhajeri
in the 40th minute left UAE comfortably
Arriving in Riyadh just over 24 hours ahead
of kick off, T&T struggled to settle in the
first half and playing in 42 degrees made it
even tougher for skipper Kenwyne Jones
and his teammates.
T&T did have its moments with right
winger Lester Peltier making some dangerous
runs on the flank and causing problems with
his quick runs. At the start of the second
half, Jones went close to pulling a goal back
but Emirates got a third goal which at that
stage appeared to have been the final nail
in T&T s coffin. Midfielder Omar Alamoudi
was clearly UAE s most dangerous player on
the pitch and he played a clever ball into the
box for Ahmed Aljunaibi to hit past Jan
Michael Williams in the 54th to push UAE
3-0 in front.
Head coach Stephen Hart introduced Viet-
nam-based forward Willis Plaza in place of
Ataullah Guerra who lined up alongside Rac-
ing Genk midfielder Khaleem Hyland and
Andre Boucaud in the middle of the park.
Plaza, last appearing for T&T in the
Caribbean Cup in December, found the target
with his first touch of the ball in the 56th,
sending a glancing header into the left of
the net from Peltier s right side cross. Plaza
brought some added zest to T&T s attack
and the visitors began taking the game to
Orlando City midfielder Kevin Molino,
arriving in Riyadh at 7 am on the day, was
thrown on by Hart and was unlucky to see
his snap effort saved by Housani.
Soon after, Jones stepped up to clinically
convert a penalty kick in the 87th after
Plaza was hacked down in the penalty box.
Molino, who had earlier replaced debutant
Marcus Joseph, then completed the late
comeback when he guided his header home
from Robert Primus left side delivery a
minute into added on time.
The game headed straight into penalty
kicks. Andre Boucaud missed his kick but
Jones, Peltier, Radanfah Abu Bakr and Molino
all converted for T&T inside the first five
kicks. Williams kept T&T in the game when
he blocked Majed Alahmadi s attempt. And
after Willams made another good stop, Plaza
had the task of scoring what would have
been the winner but his tame effort was
saved. Primus and Hoyte scored in sudden
death before George missed the final attempt.
Head coach Stephen Hart, though disap-
pointed, commended his players. "Coming
from three goals down is no easy feat and
the display by Kenwyne Jones and his team-
mates must be acknowledged," said Hart.
"I m pleased with the fact that we scored
goals and we showed a desire to come back
from 3-0 nothing. That in itself is something
we can take from this game and build on,"
"We knew the game would be difficult.
I thought we were very sloppy in the first
half both when in possession and particularly
defensively," Hart said.
"They created maybe three or four
chances. We had a much better rhythm in
the second half. Willis Plaza came on and
did very well for us. He started to run behind
and Peltier started to get behind also and
we got ourselves back in the game and maybe
could have even gone on to win it. Then of
course anything was possible when it went
to penalty kicks.
"My intention was not to play Kevin (Moli-
no) because of his late travel but he was on
the edge of his seat. And I thought he felt
he looked like he had that kind of enthusiasm
and passion to come off the bench and I
gave him 20 minutes and he rewarded us
with the tying goal."
Jones was equally pleased with the effort.
"We didn t have a good first half but we
did a lot better in the second. We showed
great fight and I don t think this has ever
happened in the history of the senior team,
at least not for the past two decades or so.
I think everyone from the staff to my team-
mates deserve credit for pulling off this kind
"Unfortunately we lost but I think this
was a performance we could feel good about
and it shows some kind of progress from
the Gold Cup and that is the most important
thing for us at this stage," Jones said.
Warriors make gritty
comeback in Riyadh
... but still lose to UAE on penalty kicks
rivalry with Tinsley
Members of the T&T team meet their opponents from the UAE before the start of yesterday's opening game in the OSN Cup in Abu Dhabi.
for repeat victory in
Belgium Grand Prix
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