Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 4th 2014 Contents A51
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GLASGOW---They travelled in search
of recognition, knowing they were
unlikely to return with medals.
At the Olympics, Norfolk Islanders
must settle with being part of Australia s
vast team. But the Commonwealth
Games, which ended last night, offered
the tiny south Pacific outpost a platform
to stand proudly on the world stage, com-
peting under its own flag.
It hardly matters that the island has
now collected just one medal from eight
trips to the multisport event for former
British colonies---bronze in lawn bowls
in 1994---because their hunger for com-
peting is no less.
"It s very important for national pride,"
Norfolk Island Sports Minister Tim Sheri-
dan told The Associated Press. "It s the
pride we are doing it representing the
island instead of Australia."
Sheridan---a direct descendent of
Fletcher Christian, the ringleader of the
19th-century HMS Bounty mutineers
who settled on Norfolk---has not just been
in Glasgow as a government figurehead.
He was on the bowling green as one of
Norfolk s 23 competitors here.
The island, which is 1,900 kilometres
(1,180 miles) northeast of Sydney, was
one of 71 teams from the former British
Empire competing in the Commonwealth
Games---disparate lands united by the
link to British monarchy.
"It s a chance for the lesser territories
to show what they have," Sheridan said.
"It s great to have the opportunity to play
against the best in the world. The
Olympics might be the world but at the
Commonwealth Games we are one fam-
ily."It s a family that has presented itself
as more united in sports than at the most-
recent Commonwealth Heads of Gov-
ernment Meeting that was boycotted by
many leaders because of host Sri Lanka s
human rights record.
"The games really galvanised the strong
sense of community within the Com-
monwealth," said David Grevemberg, who
becomes chief executive of the games
movement after running the Glasgow
event. "There is a real connection."
There were stirring stories: a first-ever
games medal for Kiribati through David
Katoatau s weightlifting gold, English hus-
band-and-wife teams winning mixed
titles in table tennis (Joanna and Paul
Drinkhall) and badminton (Gabby and
Chris Adcock), and Sharon Firisua being
cheered at Hampden Park as she finally
crossed the line in the 10,000-meter final
after being lapped twice.
"My aim when I was here was to see
the queen," said Firisua, one of 12 Solomon
Islands athletes now preparing for a four-
day trip home. "I am really glad and so
privileged to have been able to have lunch
Queen Elizabeth II displayed her
appetite for merriment in Glasgow, beam-
ing into the camera as she "photobombed"
a selfie being taken by Australian hockey
But the 12-day event required a global
star to elevate not just the status of the
competition within the Commonwealth
but its relevance far beyond. And Usain
Bolt was an electrifying presence at his
first Commonwealth Games.
The world s fastest man arrived to hero
worship and brushed aside a media storm
over reported disparaging comments about
Glasgow before enchanting spectators
with theatrics and speed as Jamaica s
4x100-meter relay team was anchored
"The Commonwealth is special," Bolt
said. "Every experience is different, every
city is different, and competing is what
I love...even though it s been a little cold."
In the medals standings England fin-
ished top for the first time since 1986
with 58 golds to end Australia s 20-year
supremacy. Unlike at the Olympics, the
home nations of the United Kingdom
compete under their separate flags at the
Commonwealth Games. But by the 2016
Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Scotland could
be going it alone on the Olympic front
With Scots voting on September 18 on
whether to break off from the rest of
Britain, the referendum has dominated
the national conversation but the games
provided an escape from the political
After New Delhi was beset by building
delays and organisational chaos for the
2010 Games, Glasgow delivered trouble-
free games that leave no "white elephant"
venues while reinforcing Britain s aptitude
for staging sporting festivals two years
after the London Olympics.
"Scotland in this year of all years has
demonstrated we can host huge inter-
national events," said Scotland s pro-inde-
pendence First Minister Alex Salmond.
The games were not without contro-
versy. There were two doping cases: 16-
year-old weightlifter Chika Amalaha was
stripped of her gold medal for using
diuretics and masking agents, and former
400-metre world champion Amantle
Montsho tested positive for the banned
stimulant methylhexaneamine. Australian
weightlifter Francois Etoundi ended up
in a criminal court where he pleaded
guilty to head-butting a Welsh competi-
tor.But with good-natured spectators and
happy athletes, the 20th edition of the
so-called "Friendly Games" largely lived
up to their billing.
"It s one of the best things going for
us in that sense of being an identity in
our own right in the Commonwealth
body," said Sheridan of Norfolk Island,
which funds the trip through cake-sales
and raffles. "It s one of the best things
Usain Bolt, resplendent in a Tam o' Shanter, signs autographs for his adoring fans. PHOTO: TOM JENKINS
silver at the
Games with a
effort in the
men's javelin, on
in the 100m, I felt
as though I owed
after his team's
4x100m bronze medal
win at the
Games, on Saturday.
Call: 623 8870-9
(Ext: 2213, 2711, 2212,
Final Commonwealth Games
All 261 Medal Events Completed
1530 19 64
New Zealand 14 14 17 45
South Africa 13 10 17 40
1010 5 25
Northern Ireland 2 3 7 12
PapuaNewGuinea 2 0 0 2
Trindad&Tobago 0 3 5 8
Isle of Man
WINNIPEG---Chavion Chow led the way with a
double, as Caribbean-born jockeys landed half of the
wins on Saturday's race card at Assiniboia Downs.
The Jamaican now has 11 wins and is ninth in the
jockeys' title race which is currently headed by
Irishman Paul Nolan with 48 wins. Christopher
Husbands remained in the top-three and fellow
Barbadian reinsman Paul Leacock held down his
top-20 position by each collecting a win on the
Chow started the ball rolling with a 4 -length
victory aboard the 4-1 second favourite Under Oath
in the CAN $11,000 third race going 1,500 metres
on the dirt track. He put the five-year-old, bay
gelding in the lead in the middle of the turn, opened
up and held well for a time of 1 minute, 35 seconds
MORE RACING NEWS ON PAGE 56.
Chow leads Caribbean four-timer
COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2014
From Bolt to unknowns,
games a show of unity
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