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Calypso Spikers secure 2018 FIVB Grand Prix spot

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 23:28

Already set to make their debut at the FIVB World Grand Prix in Mexico in less than two weeks time, T&T’s senior women’s volleyball team have also secured a spot in next year’s edition of the prestigious competition.

This after the Renele Forde-led national women’s team avoided the cellar-spot in their six-team Pool B round-robin series at the 12-team 16th Movistar Women’s Pan American Volleyball Cup currently underway in Peru and will play for positions seventh to tenth.

Prior to the start of the tournament in Peru, the top six of the seven teams from NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) and the top three South American finishers were assured of places in next year’s FIVB World Grand Prix.

And at the end of the two group round-robin series, both four-time tournament winners, USA and defending champions Dominican Republic secured automatic semifinal places tomorrow (Saturday) with 5-0 records.

Puerto Rico and Cuba by virtue of reaching the quarterfinals against along with Peru and Argentina also finished among the top six NORCECA teams and were joined by T&T and Canada who will both compete in the seventh to tenth classification semifinals today.

The Mexicans, who ended with a 0-5 record in Pool A missed out on the Grand Prix spot and will battle fellow winless team, Chile for the 11th to 12th spot today from 3pm.

This will be followed by T&T versus Colombia from 5pm, and Canada and Venezuela two hours later with the winners to meet the quarterfinal losers in the fifth to eighth semifinals on Saturday, and the losers face off for ninth and tenth, also on Saturday.

T&T ended the round-robin phase with a 1-4 record after its win against Chile and defeats to Dominican Republic, Canada, Peru and Cuba while Colombia had a 2-3 record with victories over Venezuela and Mexico and losses to Puerto Rico, Argentina and USA.

Last year, both T&T and Colombia also met at the same stage of the tournament, with the latter emerging with a 25-21, 25-17, 25-17 win.

Next month, the national women’s team will head to Aguascalientes City, Mexico to contest a Grand Prix Group Three Week One Pool A-3 series against Australia, Hungary and host Mexico at the Olympic Gymnasium while, Cameroon entertains France, Venezuela and Algeria in Pool B-3 from July 7-9 at the Yaounde Multipurpose Sports Complex in Cameroon.

T&T, the six-time champions of the Caribbean, then host Pool D-3  in their Group Three series from July 14-16 against France, Cameroon and Australia at the National Cycling Centre, in Balmain, Couva while Hungary, Algeria, Mexico and host Venezuela clash in Pool C-3 at Poliedro de Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela.

Should the T&T women finish among the top teams they will advance to the third a leg of the Grand Prix in Australia followed by the Senior Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Championships in Kingston, Jamaica from July 26-31. The FIVB Grand Prix is the third highest level of competition of the sport only behind the Olympics and World Championship and for this year’s edition, the 25th in its history, 32 countries will feature from July 7 – August 6 with the Group One Final Round to be held in Nanjing, China.

NAAA to crown new sprint king

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 23:19

A new sprint champion will be crowned at this weekend’s National Gas Company (NGC)/ Sagicor/National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) Open Track & Field Championships, as defending champion Richard Thompson will not face the starter in the men’s 100 metres event.

The three-time Olympic medallist is not among the list of entries for the dash which will run off its preliminary heats later this evening at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain from 6.50 pm.

However, blazing times and tough competition are expected in the event, as some of the nation’s best sprinters battle for a chance to compete in London at the World Championships in August.

NAAA president Ephriam Serrette knows its going to be a busy weekend with many of T&T’s leading track and field stars and prospects for the future in action at the event, hoping to earn entry to Worlds by virtue of their performance.

“The Championships is mandatory for all athletes to return to try to qualify for any major event,” said Serrette. “It is also a great opportunity for them to go head-to-head, seeking one of the final three spots to compete at the World Championships and also for selection of the relay teams. However, they still have a month after the local Championships, until July 4, to qualify for Worlds.”

Two-time Olympic medallists Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender and Rondell Sorrillo, last year’s runner-up in the sprint, Olympians Kyle Greaux, Marcus Duncan and hurdler Mikel Thomas, who will also feature in the 110m hurdles, are some of the familiar faces to line up in the men’s 100m.

They will be challenged by some of the local athletes who have been competing credibly on the US collegiate circuit including Haysean Cowie-Clarke, Moriba Morain, Dan-Neil Telesford, Machael Mark and Micah Ballantyne.

There is also as much, if not more anticipation for the women’s version of the race as Michelle-Lee Ahye returns to not only try to repeat as champion but defend her double sprint title.

The likes of Olympians Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Semoy Hackett, Kamaria Durant, Reyare Thomas and Khalifa St Fort are the top contenders to disrupt Ahye’s hope of making history. College stars in Zakiya Denoon, Peli Alzola and Kayelle Clarke also bring quality to the field.

The same is expected in the women’s 200m as all are entered along with another Olympian Kai Selvon.

Jereem Richards headlines the men’s 200m event and will challenge Sorrillo, the reigning champion in the half-lap race. Richards has certainly been blazing the track on the College circuit, recently clocking of 19.97 seconds to top the 200m quarterfinal heat at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 East Preliminary meet in Kentucky, USA, to join Ato Boldon, who previously was the lone local athlete to dive under 20 seconds in the event.

The rivalry in the men’s 400m continues with leading quartermilers Olympic medallists Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon and Deon Lendore along with World Championships silver medallist Machel Cedenio and Renny Quow, the 2009 World Championships bronze medallist, facing off in the preliminary heats also this evening.

Over the next two days, spectators will also get to see former World champion Jehue Gordon compete in the 400m hurdles event while in the women’s race, local hurdlers Janeil Bellille and Sparkle McKnight will feature.

Over the field, Olympic gold medallist Keshorn Walcott will be flexing his muscles when he go for glory in the men’s javelin event. He has been thriving on the international scene, having most recently picked up a bronze at at thePaavo Nurmi Games, an IAAF World Challenge Meeting in Turku, Finland.

Propped up by his third straight Carifta javelin gold medal won earlier this year, Tyriq Horsford, will challenge the Rio Olympic bronze medallist as well as Shakiel Waithe, Walcott’s training partner.

Five-time “Sportswoman of Year”, Cleopatra Borel, will feature in women’s shot put event.

The championship will include sprints, hurdles, long-distance running, discus, shot put, javelin, long jump, high jump, pole vault and the relays, closes off on Sunday.

“BVI (British Virgin Islands), Nigeria and St Kitts and Nevis will all field a team in the 4x100m relay so T&T’s 4x100m women’s team that did not qualify at the World Relays, will get a chance to do so this weekend,” said Serrette. “The junior men’s team, the U-20s, will compete in both the 4x100m and 4x400m men’s relays.”

W Connection goes after third win

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 22:59

Led by inform striker and off-season signing Marcus Joseph, former T&T Pro League champions, W Connection, goes after its third straight win in the new 2017 season when it faces Club Sando in the second match of a double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, tonight from 8 pm.

The left-footed Joseph, former of Pt Fortin Civic and Central FC has so far netted the decisive items for W Connection in wins over St Ann’s Rangers (1-0) and Pt Fortin Civic (2-1) to lead the scorers table and will be keen to add to his tally against Club Sando, which went under to Morvant Caledonia United in its only outing so far.

Last Tuesday, Club Sando’s second match of the season against St Ann’s Rangers scheduled for the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, was postponed due to a waterlogged main field as a result of the torrential rainfall caused by Tropical Storm Bret.

In tonight’s opener, three-time defending reigning champions Central FC which has also played only one match so far this season, a 0-0 draw with Jabloteh, will entertain Pt Fortin Civic.

Tomorrow, action shifts to the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, for a 4 pm encounter between, Police FC and MIC-IT St Ann’s Rangers while the round will conclude on Tuesday with another double-header at Couva on Tuesday.

Army looks Invincible

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 22:58

Frankel on the board with Atty

Caravaggio is officially the better of two Aidan O’Brien declarations for a fascinating £400000 Commonwealth Cup over six furlongs of good to firm Royal Ascot today, based on BHA ratings, and my time-handicap!

Intelligence Cross is 12lbs inferior and I’m disappointed because we spotted this War Front colt as a rick by the handicapping system for the aged Wokingham Handicap over the same course and distance tomorrow.

Unbeaten in five races Caravaggio is a pound superior to Harry Angel, purchased by Godolphin after an unchallenged group two success at Haydock last month; prior to that Clive Cox’s charge was beaten just over a length by Blue Point over this Berkshire course.

It’s an absolutely magnificent sprint for this new race, introduced two years ago when Muharaah scored unchallenged in sensational style. Last year Quick Reflection further boosted its profile before winning another group one race, at Haydock.

Although the TH indicates Harry Angel will probably reverse early season placings with Blue Point I’m convinced Caravaggio will prove best under the mercurial Ryan Moore. As ever the programming for this five-day(s) summer festival has been superb, perfect balance throughout and the duration, though arduous, is wonderful sport.

Thankfully a desperate heatwave is over but it will still be stifling and we are more interested in two cool evening fixtures at Ayr and Newmarket, where once-raced Invincible Army justifies a support when attempting to go one better in a seven-runner two-year-old Novice Stakes over six furlongs on the picturesque July course. Invincible Army is a TH special and should be backed accordingly. All my naps will be two-year-olds for the rest of this season, whenever possible.

At the Scottish venue Liquid Gold appears to have Lamloom to beat in an aged Maiden Stakes over nine furlongs, and vica versa.

Preference is for Richard Fahey’s charge which is confidently expected to go one better and make it third time lucky. We are always happy to tip runners of the Malton-based winning machine!

Frankel hit the target at Royal Ascot yesterday as his son Atty Persse stormed home in the King George V Stakes. Check out our race report, reaction from connections and free video replay.

Atty Persse chalked up another landmark for Frankel as he became the stallion’s first Royal Ascot winner in the King George V Stakes.

The star racehorse turned super-sire was twice a winner at the Royal meeting himself and Atty Persse followed in his hoofprints under a smart ride from 3lb claimer Kieran Shoemark.

He was quick to break from stall 22 and managed to tack across to the rail, allowing Atty Persse to settle on the heels of Never Surrender.

Shoemark had the Roger Charlton-trained Atty Persse (7-1) perfectly positioned and gave the signal two furlongs out, with the colt smoothly assuming the lead before striding on to lead home a one-two for Godolphin with First Nation second.

Kieran Shoemark: “This really is what dreams are made of. To get two rides here today for Mr Charlton, my boss, is fantastic. “To get them for Her Majesty the Queen and the likes of Godolphin really is unbelievable. “This horse is all guts. He travels so well and he’s got such great character.”

Royal Ascot,

12.40 Caravaggio


3.55 Invincible Army (nap)


4.40 Liquid Gold (e.w).

Fifth defeat leaves wobbly Windies on shaky ground

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 22:54

OAKHAM, England

Opting to bat first at Lime Kilns Ground yesterday, West Indies stunningly collapsed to 63 all out off 23.5 overs, with opener Hayley Matthews top-scoring with 19 to be one of just three batsmen in double figures.

The Caribbean side were 60 for three in the 16th over but lost their last seven wickets for three runs in the space of 49 balls, in an astonishing slide.

Seamer Masabata Klaas grabbed four for 14 to be South Africa’s best bowler.

In reply, the Proteas lost four wickets en route to their target which they achieved in the 19th over with Laura Wolvaardt hitting 26.

She put on 45 for the first wicket with Lizelle Lee who made 18 but South Africa then lost four quick wickets for 11 runs, to take some shine of the victory.

Veteran off-spinner Anisa Mohammed finished with two for six.

The defeat for West Indies was their second in three days and fifth since they arrived in England nearly four weeks ago to prepare for the June 24 to July 23 showpiece.

Both captain Stafanie Taylor and batting coach Stuart Williams had underscored the importance of winning both warm-up games but their urging went unheeded as West Indies failed to show any enterprise.

There was no sign of the collapse to come when the in-form Matthews put on 35 with rookie Felicia Walters (14) for the first wicket in good conditions.

But once the 19-year-old Matthews played on to left-arm seamer Moseline Daniels in the 11th over after facing 38 balls and striking three fours, the innings fell apart spectacularly.

Walters followed in the 16th over, playing on to Klaas and three balls later in the same over, Reniece Boyce departed for 10 to a catch at extra cover.

West Indies had crawled to 60 for three when Deandra Dottin played across one from Klaas and was bowled in the 18th over for six.

Four balls later in the following over without addition to the total, Chedean Nation drove left-arm speedster Chloe Tryon to extra cover to fall for three and Shanel Daley (0) and former skipper Merissa Aguilleira (1) both perished via the run out route as the Caribbean side capitulated.

They face Australia in their opening game of the campaign in Taunton. (CMC)



South Africa vs West Indies – warm-up



H Matthews b Daniels 19

F Walters b Klaas 14

R Boyce c Luus b Klaas 10

C Nation c Luus b Tryon 3

D Dottin b Klaas 6

M Aguilleira run out 1

S Daley run out 0

A Mohammed c wkp Chetty b Klaas 0

A Peters c & b Luus 0

S Selman not out 1

S Connell run out 0

Extras (w8, nb1) 9

TOTAL (all out, 23.5 overs) 63

Did not bat: A Fletcher, Kyshona Knight, Q Joseph, S Taylor.

Fall of wickets: 1-35, 2-46, 3-51, 4-60, 5-60, 6-61, 7-62, 8-62, 9-62, 10-63)

Bowling: Ismail 4-1-11-0 (nb1), Kapp 3-1-5-0, Khaka 4-0-17-0 (w1), Daniels 4-0-13-1 (w2), Klaas 4.5-1-14-4 (w4), Tryon 2-1-2-1, Luus 2-1-1-1.



L Wolvaardt c & b Dottin 26

L Lee b Daley 18

T Chetty lbw b Mohammed 5

M du Preez not out 12

C Tryon b Mohammed 0

A Steyn not out 1

Extras (lb1, w2) 3

TOTAL (4 wkts, 19 overs) 65

Did not bat: A Khaka, D van Niekerk, M Kapp, M Klaas, M Daniels, N de Klerk, R Ntozakhe, S Ismail, S Luus

Fall of wickets: 1-45, 2-47, 3-56, 4-56

Bowling: Dottin 4-1-16-1 (w1), Selman 4-1-6-0, Connell 4-1-15-0 (w1), Daley 5-0-21-1, Mohammed 2-0-6-2.

Result: South Africa Women won by six wickets.

Toss: West Indies Women.

Umpires: K Cross, Sharfuddoula.

Mexico dominates JITIC quarters

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 22:50

Mexican players dominated play at the JITIC Under-18 Regional Tennis Championship at the National Racquet Centre in Tacarigua yesterday, as three out of the six players that contested the Boy’s Under-18 quarterfinal play-offs booked places in today’s semifinal.

With host T&T having no survivors in the quarterfinal, Mexico’s Daniel Moreno cruised to the last round of four by beating his countryman Juan Ignacio Batalla Diez in straight sets 6-4, 6-1 on court five and another Mexican Guillermo Castaneda clobbering taking just two games to dispose of his compatriot Juan Alejandro Hernandez Serrano 6-3, 6-1.

Mexico’s Marcelo Sepulveda Garza also secured a berth into the semis at the expense of Aydan Gomez Osorio of Curacao.

After winning the opening set 6-3, the Mexican stumbled in the second 3-6 as Osorio sought a comeback. However, Marcelo made sure of a semifinal spot by whipping his opponent 6-3 in the final set.

He will be joined by Nick Hardt who broke up an all Mexican affair in the semis, when he defeated Santiago Hinojosa of Mexico on court 12 6-2, 6-2.

The Girls U-18 singles play-offs were similar to the men with Mexico’s Laura Arce and Maria Fernanda Campos confirming their places in the semis with 6-3, 6-3 and 6-0, 6-1 victories over United States Najah Dawson and Rut Galindo of Guatemala, respectively.

Laura Anzalotta Kynoch of Puerto Rico also secured a berth when she defeated Guatemala’s Pamela Richter 6-0, 6-4, along with Guatemala’s Maria Gabriela Rivera Corado who took care of Romary Cardenas Rifka of Mexico 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 to be among the last four players in the singles.


Windies go after unhappy Indians

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 22:47

The West Indies did not qualify for the Champions Trophy and India was beaten in the final by Pakistan. However, the Indian camp is not the happiest at the moment and the West Indies with nothing to lose will be going hard to create an upset in the opening match of the Seagrams five-match ODI series at the Queen’s Park Oval today.

India has lost three of their last four overseas meetings with the West Indies and the regional side will be looking at this and saying to themselves that they can pull one over this powerful Indian side. The Indians arrived in the West Indies with their own problems, as head coach Anil Kumble has decided not to continue in the role, due to an apparent rift with skipper Virat Kohli.

Middle order batsman Jason Mohammed speaking to the media ahead of the clash said:”It will take a total team effort for us to defeat India. Guys need to step up to the plate and give that special performance. India is one of the best it will be nice to put in some good performances against them.” West Indies has won just two of nine ODI matches this year and one of their losses came at the hands of minnows Afghanistan two weeks ago in St. Lucia.

Mohammed thinks that they can spring a surprise against the Indians :”We have good players and once they play well be can get over any team. What is needed is consistent performances from the boys and this can take us over the line.” West Indies go into the match without their strike bowler Shannon Gabriel and Mohammed is hoping others can make up for this loss. “Losing Shannon makes it a bit difficult but the guys coming in will do a good job and try to replace him.”

On a personal note the right hander who has returned good performances this season said: “I have been fairly consistent with the bat and leading with runs this year and looking to keep it up. Good performances against India will boost your status and I am going out there to look for big runs. Mohammed narrowly missed out on scoring a century against Pakistan in Guyana earlier this season and says he would love to correct that statistic at home. “I will love to score a century in front of my home crowd and in front of my family who has been a great support for me throughout my career.”

The pitch is expected to play much better than the slow ones that were on offer against Pakistan two months ago. The Oval authorities have hired a new groundsman in Shaker Mano and he comes into the job with a very good reputation. He was credited with the excellent strip at UWI SPEC and also at the National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Couva.


West Indies: Evin Lewis, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope (wk), Jonathan Carter, Jason Mohammed, Roston Chase, Rovman Powell, Jason Holder (capt), Ashley Nurse, Alzarri Joseph and Miguel Cummins.


India: Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli (capt), Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav.

Rowley nets nine goals

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 22:45

Chad Rowley helped himself to nine goals as T&T Under-18 boys waterpolo team swamped neighbours Barbados in their opening match of their four-team competition when the highly anticipated 2017 Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) Swimming Championships splashed off at the National Aquatic Centre in Balmain, Couva, yesterday.

However, Rowley was not the lone player to have it all his way for the locals in their red, white and black swimming caps as Joshua Welsh got things started off with a first quarter hat-trick in the 32-minutes match while Rowley got two and Jason Hackett and Jean-Luc Hinds one apiece for a 7-2 lead at the first interval.

Rowley then fired in a hat-trick of his own and Hackett added a pair for T&T to push its advantage to 12-3 at the half-time interval with Barbados getting its goals from Xavier Smith-Taylor, one each in the first two quarters, and the other from Gabriel Mayers.

The third period saw Rowley (four) and Hinds (three) combine for all seven of the locals goals while Smith-Taylor, Gabriel Mayers, and his brother, Lemar Mayers were on target for Barbados, but by then the result was never in doubt at 19-6, T&T.

And in the final period, with Rowley rested the quintet of Hackett, Hinds, Welsh, Daniel Ammon and Charles Gillette added to the host tally to cancel efforts from Barbadians, Nathan James and Mayers (L) for a 24-8 final score.

However, earlier on in the Under-15 Boys, T&T suffered a nail-biting 12-11 loss, after leading 10-8 with less than two minutes to go in the final quarter of their clash with Bahamas, which also trailed 0-2 early on.

Both teams were locked at 3-3 at the end of the first quarter before the Bahamians edged ahead 5-4 at the half-time whistle.

However, T&T roared back in the third period and dominated 6-3 for a 10-8 advantage, only to lose composure in the final quarter and go under by the slimest of margins, courtesy a late item from Alexander Turnquest.

Gabriel Sastre with six goals was the main contributor for Bahamas while Turnquest and Nicholas Wallace-Whitfield got two apiece and the pair of Jayden Seymour and Gabriel Encinar, one each while Ross Gillette led T&T with a hat-trick and Everson Latchman and Yannick Robertson chipped in with doubles.

The quartet of Nathan Hinds, Antonio Newallo, Ross Gillette and Kelvin Caesar also scored in the loss.

T&T’s Open men and women team were scheduled to come up against Cuba and Venezuela in late matches last night which competition resumes from 1pm today at the same venue until Sunday, June 28.


Under-15 Boys

Bahamas 12 (Gabriel Sastre 6, Alexander Turnquest 2, Jayden Seymour, Gabriel Encinar, Nicholas Wallace-Whitfield 2) vs T&T 11 (Ross Gillette 3, Everson Latchman 2, Yannick Robertson 2, Nathan Hinds, Antonio Newallo, Ross Gillette, Kelvin Caesar)


Under-18 Boys

Puerto Rico 16 (Miseal Adino 7, Jose Loubriel 3, Adrian Torres 2, Jafet Hernandez 2, Sebastien Villarini, Robert Benoit) vs Jamaica 9 (Cody Jones 4, Darren Neil-Gordon 2, Joel Parnel, Julian Shakes, Andrew Paul)


T&T 24 (Chad Rowley 9, Jean-Luc Hinds 5, Jason Hackett 4, Joshua Welsh 4, Daniel Ammon, Charles Gillette) vs Barbados 8 (Lemar Mayers 2, Gabriel Mayers 2, Xavier Smith-Taylor 3, Nathan James)


Open Women

Cuba 10 vs Mexico 6


Open Men

Pool A: Jamaica 14 vs Barbados 8


Today Matches

Under-15 Boys

T&T vs Bahamas, 1.30 pm


Under-18 Boys

Puerto Rico vs Barbados, 1 pm

T&T vs Jamaica, 2.15 pm


Open Women

Venezuela vs Puerto Rico, 2.45 pm

T&T vs Mexico, 4 pm


Open Men

Pool A: Cuba vs Venezueal, 3.30 pm

Pool B: Mexico vs Guatemala, 4.45 pm

Pool B: Dominican Republic vs Puerto Rico, 6 pm

Pool A: T&T vs Barbados, 7.15 pm

Nothing guaranteed in qualifier, says former ODI skipper

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 22:40


The Caribbean side currently look likely to miss out on automatic qualification for the 2019 tournament in England, with only the hosts and the remaining top seven nations in the ICC rankings by September 30 earning direct berths.

West Indies are ranked ninth on 77 points, 16 ratings points behind eighth-placed Sri Lanka.

But Sammy pointed out that many of the non-Test-playing sides had improved drastically over the last year and West Indies would have to play well to earn one of the last two World Cups on offer in the qualifier.

“Qualifying for the last two spots, that’s not even guaranteed,” he said here this week.

“It is difficult to beat Ireland in their conditions, we just saw Scotland beat Zimbabwe so all kind of countries are improving.

“Just like Bangladesh have improved and gone past us and we saw in the last World Cup where Ireland defeated us as well so it’s a long way to go. I think with the way we structure our cricket we are not going anywhere.”

Their devastating defeat to Afghanistan in the opening game of a three-match series earlier this month in St Lucia saw them lose more points in the ICC rankings.

West Indies face India in all-important five-match one-day series starting in Trinidad on Friday and then take on England in another five-match rubber in September, in a quest to better their rankings. (CMC)

National energy policy coming

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 11:16

Acknowledging that it had taken too long for a national energy policy to be put in place, Anita Hankey, senior planning officer, Ministry of Energy, said the policy will be coming soon. Hankey added that stakeholders were consulted and the ministry was getting ready to launch the policy.

“I have been hearing a lot about this national energy policy for years. The minister is very much interested in getting it off the ground once and for all.”

She was delivering remarks on behalf of Permanent Secretary, Selwyn Lashley, at the Clean Energy Conference which was held on June 8 and 9 at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, Mt Hope.

On the issue of clean energy, Hankey confirmed that a consultant, as well as the European Union (EU), were assisting government with developing a renewable energy and energy efficiency (REEE) roadmap.

She said the consultant, elected to provide technical support to the Ministry of Energy and the EU delegation to T&T, is developing a “REEE roadmap that defines the short-term, long-terms measures, actions and financing required to implement T&T’s nationally determined contribution and strategy for the reduction of carbon emissions in T&T.”

Hankey told stakeholders that this roadmap is intended to analyse the gaps, the barriers and the financing requirements and suggest goals that T&T can accomplish.

“The roadmap 2021-2030 would include the renewable energy and energy efficiency priorities for action and investment for the period 2017 to 2021 in the first instance. These include capacity-building requirement, establishment of an enabling framework, investment for social and economic benefits and private sector engagement.

“The consultant and the EU delegation have been providing technical support to us for us to achieve our targets.”

Substantiating her point as to why T&T should invest in solar energy projects, Hankey said T&T, among other islands in the region, is vulnerable to external shocks as a result of insularity, high dependence on the petroleum/gas sector and the impact of climate change

“While heavily subsidised, the real cost of energy severely impacts the economy, cause for savings and requires re-organisation of energy affairs by the Government,” she added.

“Despite the significant availability of domestic renewable energy resources, T&T is a source of fossil fuel which explodes into volatile oil prices and poses an additional burden to our indebtedness. The prolonged economic downturn calls for diversification and the need to boost economic growth and job creation.

“I am sure you all are aware that T&T’s industrial sector while vital to its economy is its highest energy consuming sector. Due to the age of many of these existing facilities we recognise there is a significant opportunity to optimise operational efficiency which lead to substantial energy and cost savings and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”

Comparing T&T with its regional counterparts, Hankey said Cuba, Antigua, Barbados and Nevis all have successful projects in solar parks.

“I am proud to note that as a region, steps are being taken to reduce these emissions through the use of clean energy.

“In Cuba, the first photovoltaic solar park is currently being built. The park is expected to produce power of 4.4 megawatts of solar energy, which would reduce their national consumption of by, more than 1,700 tonnes of fossil fuel.”

Giving an update on the Waste Energy Facility at Beetham she said, “This facility will contribute to the modernisation of the integrated municipal solid waste management in T&T while concurrently contributing to the attainment of the country’s sustainable energy target.

“We have already completed expressions of interest process and a consultant has already been selected whose role would be to assist us in preparing and issuing a request for proposals to design, build, operate the waste energy plant.”

Hankey confirmed that the consultant is to assume duties very shortly. This comes after Cabinet in July 2016 had agreed to the establishment of a ministerial sub-committee to provide oversight for the development of a waste energy facility in the Beetham landfill estate.

On the issue of T&T’s investment in wind energy, Hankey said T&T was exploring its opportunities in that regard. This initiative, she said, will “assist in diversifying the nation’s electricity supply from scarce and depleting natural gas fossil fuel towards renewable and sustainable resources.”

She said a feasibility study would be done as “this demonstrates the Government’s commitment to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint in line with our international commitment.”

With wind energy, she said T&T can gain by increasing revenue and more research opportunities for tertiary education institutions.

Grid integration legislation is being worked on and would be put to the Parliament very soon.

European camp for Paul ahead of World tournament

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 04:50

A camp is being planned in Europe for T&T’s Super Heavyweight boxing champion Nigel Paul, who earned a berth at the AIBA World Boxing Championship in Hamburg Germany from August 25-September 3.

Floyd Trumpet, Paul’s coach said yesterday that England will be their preferred choice for the camp since they have been producing lots of heavyweight fighters lately.

“If we do not go to England then we will be looking at Germany for the camp because Paul has been having serious problems getting sparring practice here in T&T and the Caribbean, as there is hardly any fighter in his category,” Trumpet explained to Guardian Media Sports.

Last week, Paul got a unanimous decision victory over Argentine Luis Calderon at the American Boxing Confederation Continental Championship in Tegucigalpa Honduras last weekend to secure a bronze medal and a place at the world championship.

He was the only T&T fighter to qualify after Aaron Prince was beaten by Juan Ramon Santos Solano of the Dominican Republic in the welterweight division and Brendon Dennis went down to Anthony Solano of Costa Rica in a heavyweight division clash.

Paul entered the tournament ranked third in the region, a position that propelled him among the top four fighters at the tournament where a clash with Calderon awaited him.

His victory has set a him on course for another world championship in only his two years of boxing.

Trumpet added that Paul’s team is in the process of completing a proposal and budget for the camp and are likely to receive the support of the Sport Company of T&T.

He, however, calls on corporate T&T to help his team arrange a trip to St Lucia from July 5-9 where the country’s top boxer can gain much needed practice at a boxing competition there.

“All we are looking for is two airline tickets and US$400 to cover the cost for accommodation and we will be fine.

“We have decided that we can sneak in a fight or two for Paul before he jets off to the world championship where the competition there will be very difficult,” Trumpet explained.

It Dont Come Easy and never will

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 04:50

It Dont Come Easy at Royal Ascot but the third stage of this fabulous five-day(s) fixture could well yield reward when Richard Fahey’s charge contests the eighteen-runner, group two Norfolk Stakes over five furlongs of a fabulous good to firm surface; on our time-handicap this Kyllachy colt is one of the very best seen out to date.

This is a favourite race and down the years and my profit margin is often boosted by the fledgling two-year-old colts which ‘fly’ home and become household names for my family!

On the TH It Dont Come Easy represents a tremendous betting each-way opportunity at around 10/1, which are the odds currently being offered because Rebel Assault was beaten again a week after losing out to our selection by a head at Musselburgh.

Following a promising debut fourth at York there was confidence behind It Dont Come Easy nineteen days ago despite the fact Rebel Asault had smashed the clock with an eight lengths success at Catterick ten days earlier; we thought the latter was nigh on a cert but, of course, unbackable at odds-on. Never back shorties!

Rebel Assault duly led approaching the final Furlong but ex-champion, Paul Hanagan, timed it absolutely right on It Dont Come Easy. The actual time-figure was colossal, good enough for Royal Ascot!

Nine Below Zero has won both races to date and is expected to complete a hat-trick for Ralph Beckett who recently split with Fran Berry, replaced on the impressive, unchallenged Windsor winner by Pat Smullen. It’s a cruel game!

Several other precocious juveniles will also be strongly-fancied but if It Dont Come Easy replicates his Scottish mark he’ll be on the premises and in the frame!

Aidan O’Brien-trained Epsom Oaks third, Alluring, is an obvious choice for the group tow Ribblesdale Stakes over a similar distanced, twelve furlongs.

No chance with Enable and subsequently-stricken stable companion, Rhododendron, but we selected Alluring, each-way, for the fourth classic and she was guaranteed placed from a long way out. There isn’t a better bet during the week than Alluring and Ryan Moore will be positive, for sure.

Unbelievably there is an all-weather fixture running in tandem, Chelmsford, where Canterbury Quad should finally gain ‘winning brackets’ if not unsuited by polytrack on a track where they still don’t have a grandstand. Good surface though!

How chess has ‘conquered’ the world

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 04:50

LEGEND has it that the game of chess was born in India. In his extensively researched book, Chess Metaphors, noted Spanish reseacher Diego Raskin-Gutman confirms the legend with what seems to be irrefutable historical evidence.

Essentially, he traces the history of chess to the ancient game called chaturanga which refers to an Indian military formation that uses elephants, horses, chariots and soldiers.

Raskin-Gutman writes: “In eastern India, chaturanga probably evolved into Korean chess and the modern Xiang Qi which is popular nowadays throughout China.

From western India, the game moved to Persia in the early centuries of the common era and became shatranj.

The Arab conquest of Persia (637 - 651) and then north Africa, southern Italy and the Iberian peninsula determined the geographic scope for chess conquest of western Europe.

“The period during which the game of shatranj developed in the Arab world became the real foundation for modern chess.

Indeed, during the blossoming of the refined, medieval culture, several books about this ancestor of chess treated the game in a systemic way and compared it to diverse mathematical structures.”

As if to provide some comic relief, Rasskin Gutman recalls an Arabic legend about the origin of chess. The philosopher Sassa invented the game to present the Indian king Balhait with a new pastime that would distract him from his royal boredom.

Pleased with his gift, the king promised to give Sassa anything he desired. The philosopher then “confessed” he was a simple and modest man and asked only for some grains of wheat.

Nevertheless he wanted the gift to be related to the chessboard.

Starting with one grain in the first square, the king had to place double the number of grains in each subsequent square.

The king ordered the request granted. But without any serious idea of mathematics he was committed to the exponential need of filling up the board with 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 grains, enough to go around the equator billions of times.

Annoyingly, Rasskin-Gutman fails to tell his readers just how this episode ended.

The Arab version of shatranj that was transmitted to Spain became ajedrez, the Spanish word for chess, and later to the rest of Europe greatly resembles the modern game.

“Chess spread toward Europe by many other routes, among them through Italy after the Arabic conquest of Sicily and Sardinia,” writes the eminent Spanish researcher.

“It also might have spread directly from Asia and Persia across the Caspian Sea toward Russia, the countries of central Europe and even as far as the Scandinavian countries.

“In this way, the magic of chess would have extended throughout almost all of Europe by the eleventh or twelfth century, laying the groundwork for an intellectual enterprise without precedent in the history of board games - passing beyond the ludic borders of a pastime into the realms of art and science and ultimately offering a setting for exploring the human intellect.”

The fly-leaf introduction to his book sums it up: “When we play the ancient and noble game of chess, we grapple with ideas about honesty, deceitfulness, bravery, fear, aggression, beauty and creativity which echo (or allow us to depart from) the attitudes we take in our daily lives.

“Chess is an activity in which we deploy almost all our available cognitive resources; therefore it makes an ideal laboratory for investigation into the workings of the mind.

Indeed research into artificial intelligence (AI) has used chess as a model for intelligent behaviour since 1950s.”

Kumble controversy overshadows India arrival for Windies series

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 04:50

Powerhouses India arrived on Tuesday for their limited overs tour against West Indies under a shadow of controversy after Anil Kumble dramatically stepped aside as head coach over a rift with captain Virat Kohli.

Kumble was set to oversee the series in the Caribbean but opted to stand down after it emerged that Kohli had informed the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) off his reservations with the outstanding former leg-spinner’s style.

While Kumble’s one-year contract was up for renewal and there were other candidates in the race for the positions, the BCCI’s cricket advisory committee had thrown their weight behind the 46-year-old to continue in the job.

But in a statement, Kumble said his relationship with Kohli had become “untenable” and the best option was to step down from the post.

“I was informed for the first time [Monday] by the BCCI that the captain had reservations with my ‘style’ and about my continuing as the head coach,” he said.

“I was surprised since I have always respected the role boundaries between captain and coach. Though the BCCI attempted to resolve the misunderstandings between the captain and me, it was apparent that the partnership was untenable, and I therefore believe it is best for me to move on.”

The BCCI said in light of the developments, Dr. MV Sridhar would “supervise the team management” on the Windies tour with batting coach Sanjay Bangar fielding coach R Sridhar continuing in their respective roles.

Amitabh Choudhary, acting secretary of the BCCI, hailed Kumble’s contribution to the national team’s development.

“We wish to place on record our sincere appreciation for the immense contribution by Anil Kumble to the team which enabled India to attain the number one Test position,” Choudhary said.

“Indian cricket needs his continued contribution in various capacities and wishes him all the best in his future endeavour.”

India open their tour with an ODI doubleheader at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain starting tomorrow.



Hours after resigning as India coach, Anil Kumble tweeted “thank you!”, and attached a statement to his tweet.

I am honoured by the confidence reposed in my by the CAC, in asking me to continue as Head Coach. The credit for the achievements of the last one year goes to the captain, the entire team, coaching and support staff.

Post this intimation, I was informed for the first time yesterday by the BCCI that the Captain had reservations with my ‘style’ and about my continuing as the Head Coach. I was surprised since I had always respected the role boundaries between Captain and Coach. Though the BCCI attempted to resolve the misunderstandings between the Captain and me, it was apparent that the partnership was untenable, and I therefore believe it is best for me to move on.

Professionalism, discipline, commitment, honesty, complementary skills and diverse views are the key traits I bring to the table. These need to be valued for the partnership to be effective. I see the Coach’s role akin to ‘holding a mirror’ to drive self-improvement in the team’s interest.

In light of these ‘reservations’, I believe it is best I hand over this responsibility to whomever the CAC and BCCI deem fit.

Let me reiterate that it has been an absolutely privilege to have served as Head Coach for the last one year. I thank the CAC, BCCI, CoA and all concerned.

I also wish to thank the innumerable followers and fans of Indian cricket for their continued support. I will remain a well-wisher of the great cricketing tradition of my country forever.

- Anil Kumble

(SOURCE: ESPNcricinfo)

T&T water polo teams start CCCAN quest

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 04:49

All four of this country’s age-group water polo teams will be in action when the highly anticipated 2017 Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) Swimming Championships splashes off today at the National Aquatic Centre in Balmain, Couva, from Thursday to June 28.

Host country will be represented in the Under-15, Under-18 and Open Men as well as the Open Women, after the Under-18 Women’s competition was cancelled due to a lack on entries, with T&T being the only team entered.

The first match for the locals is at 1.30pm this afternoon will see the Under-15 Boys come up against Bahamas in the first of their best-of-five series encounters.

Up next will be the Under-18 Boys in a clash with Barbados from 2.15pm after Jamaica squares up against Puerto Rico in the curtain raiser from 1pm.

The Under-15 Boys have been hard at training to rebound from their challenging Carifta Championship in Bahamas in April while the Under-18s skipped Carifta for the more challenging South American Swimming Confederation (CONSANAT) Tournament and performed creditably in preparation for the CCCAN Championship, a qualifier for the Under-18 teams for the 2018 Pan Am Junior Water Polo Championships in USA.

The Open Women category will take centre stage from 2.4pm with Cuba facing Mexico from 2.4pm followed by T&T and neighbours Venezuela at 4pm before the T&T Open Men’s team tangle with favourites Cuba at 8pm to close out the first night of action.

The T&T men’s Open squad is a fairly young and inexperienced one which competed at the UANA Cup in T&T in February.

However, it has been bolstered with the availability of several returning senior players while many of our age-group women have now graduated to the senior team which will see them competing for the first time at this level, a qualifier for the senior teams for the 2018 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Colombia.

Overall, 21 teams representing ten countries have registered to compete in the water polo segment of the CCCAN Championships which will conclude June 28.

Following the completion of water polo action, Olympians Dylan Carter and Sharntelle McLean will spearhead a T&T squad of 64 athletes for swimming competition from June 28 to July 2 at the same venue.

A student at the University of Southern California and coming off a triple silver swimming performance at the Irvine Novaquatics Speedo Grand Challenge, Carter last participated in CCCAN in 2011 after which he skipped the 2013 and 2015 editions.

His absence from the 2013 CCCAN was due to his participation at the FINA World Junior Championship where he picked up a silver medal while Carter who made his Olympic debut in Brazil last time out missed 2015 due to academic commitments.

He is currently preparing for the 17th FINA World Championship which comes off in Budapest, Hungary from July 14-30 and will use the CCCAN meet at home as part of his final warm-up schedule.

Two-time Olympian McLean also missed the 2015 event in Barbados, but signalled her intent to return to compete in front her home crowd to provide added firepower to the 18 and Over age-group.

Other experienced campaigners in Abraham Mc Leod, who is a 2015 CCCAN gold medallist and record-holder is also part of the T&T team as well as Cherelle Thompson, Kristin Julien, Joshua Romany, Jeron Thompson, Jada Chatoor, Jada Chai, Kael Yorke, Kadon Williams, Amira Pilgrim, Gabriella Donahue and Jahmia Harley.

T&T will also be represented by 15 swimmers in the Open Water Championships on June 24 and 26 at Turtle Beach, Tobago as well as Synchronised Swimming and Diving, both from June 29 to July 2.

It ill consists of a 10k race on the June 24, with the 5k race two days later.

For the first time a 3k race has been added to the Open Water Championships to cater for the 13 and Under athletes.

Two years ago at the last CCCAN, T&T placed fifth in Barbados in the point standings but topped the medal table with 26 gold medals.

The water polo competition carries an entrance fee of US$15/$TT100 per adult and US$5/$TT30 per child while swimming/diving/synchronised swimming comes off from June 28 to July 2, at the same price per person.

Season passes are also available at US$80/$TT500 per adult and US$30/$TT200 per child for water polo and swimming while a full event pass is priced at US$125/$TT800 per adult and US$50/$TT300 per child.

Resilient farmers mourn their losses

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 00:22

It’s ironic. On Labour Day, June 19, President of the Sheep and Goat Farmers Association Shiraz Khan was pleading with the nation to support local farmers by buying and eating local food crops and meats. He lamented that T&T had become a dumping ground for food which was subsidised and full of chemicals. But less than 24 hours later, Tropical Storm Bret ravaged many vulnerable farming and fishing communities, flooding farms, wrecking many locally grown crops, and raising concerns about the availability and prices of local vegetables in the weeks to come.

In Penal/Debe, Barrackpore and Moruga in the South, floodwaters inundated acres of crops under cultivation, such as tomatoes, pineapples, bananas, celery, chive, and patchoi almost ready for harvesting. Losses also included livestock such as goats, piglets and 20,000 chickens lost by one farmer in South Oropouche, Barrackpore.

When the Caroni River overflowed its banks, it spilled into communities like St Helena, the Centeno catchment area, Las Lomas and Cunupia. The unanticipated volume of water brought by Bret submerged rice fields and acres of sweet potatoes owned by the Akaloo brothers.

Over at Orange Grove and Aranguez, fields of hot and sweet peppers, cabbage and dasheen (both the root and its leaves) did not survive the onslaught.

The Eastern part of the country was not spared. In Brasso Seco, cocoa trees, breadfruit trees and plantain trees all felt the storm’s wrath.

In light of the flood damage across the country, Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat has requested the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) to identify borrowers affected by Bret and assist them in their recovery.

Rambarath has also arranged for the receipt of claims for flood damages to be submitted at different locations. Claims would be dealt with on a priority basis. That process is set to begin next Tuesday and the Minister has also promised to use all resources available to assist farmers and fisherfolks in the interim.

But how does one recover and move on from this kind of devastation, economically and psychologically? 

Farmers we spoke to showed a gritty resilience, counting their losses while resolving to survive somehow. They’ve been here before.

Farmer Bhagwan Benny grows pawpaws, pimentos and tomatoes. He suffered losses of some $150,000 to these crops. “You just have to eat half belly and start again,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by Monkey Town livestock farmer Nathaniel Mungal, who also suffered massive losses. “I have already counted my losses and moved on. I don’t expect any compensation.”

Vishnu Siew, who was spared this time around, explained, “We get used to that (crops being wiped out by floods). When that happens, we just try and try again, because this is the only life we know. If we lose $40,000, we might get back a $3,000 after six or more months. That cannot compensate us. Big farmers like us take the most risk, invest the most amount of money and as a consequence we feel the biggest blows. All the ADB would give is a three or six months grace period.”

Agricultural economist Omardath Maharaj said the farming community is seriously disadvantaged as he repeated his call for a holistic approach, including farmers participation in the governance of this important sector. 

He said: “We take for granted the men

and women who feed us. We don’t respect them. This is a serious setback for small farmers who do not have a pool of resources, who would have incurred debt with increasing interest, even as we speak. “

He said there must be some kind of social safety net to protect farmers; a coping mechanism or some kind of flood insurance to ensure that farmers do not fall below the minimal standing of living when something like this happens.

NAMDEVCO chairman Dennis Ramdeen said he was saddened by what he saw in photographs and videos of the damage. He pledged to lend moral support to farmers while underscoring that they do not have a role in disaster management or recovery. 

“Our farmers are good, hard-working people. They are resilient. They have been here before and they would come through it again.”

While Bret brought pain and suffering to farmers and home owners across the country, it brought joy to some residents of San Francique who capitalised on the opportunity to earn a few extra dollars. As the floodwaters descended in San Francique, the residents threw their fishing nets in the swollen rivers and streams, catching cascadoux for both recreation and sale. 

Fisherfolks in the south of the island, who are still recovering from several oil spills, also expressed gratitude that they did not have to contend with the loss of vessels or equipment. They attributed this to a proactive media which reported extensively on the impending storm. 

“Although the winds came from a different direction this time,” Kishore Boodram of the Claxton Bay Fishing Association said, “we took heed of all the media reporting, all of those bulletins that were issued by the MET office and the Agriculture Minister.”

“Because of this, we were able to understand the seriousness of the situation and secure our boats and equipment, which are very expensive. The fishing association is passing through some rough seas and to have our equipment lost or damaged by a storm would have been devastating. We are very thankful we were spared, and to our fellow fisher folks who were not spared, our thoughts are with them.”

Gopaul hopes to soar where ‘Eagles’ do

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 00:17

Youth football coach Imran Roberto Gopaul more affectionately known as ‘Gopz’ is a strong believer in using sport as an avenue toward success for the youth of T&T. With this belief, and his love for football, the 28-year-old Gopaul has set out to establish his own youth club called Goodwood/La Puerta Eagles F.C which is an under 18 boys club team.

“I was always passionate about football. My parents say I learned to walk and kick a ball before I learned to speak,” he said.

But Gopaul’s venture into coaching started well before Eagles F.C came into being in 2016. Two years earlier, he assumed the role of assistant senior team coach at his alma mater, St Anthony’s College while he also held the position as head coach of both the under 14 and under 16 teams

While he was a student at St Anthony’s College, his own football career only reached the level of the school’s under 16 team as injury ruined his dream of playing for the seniors and further injury ruled out a shot at football beyond school.

Now a Mathematics teacher at St Anthony’s, Gopaul explains that being pulled under the wing of the iconic Nigel Grosvenor was a turning point. “The coaching aspect of it came along when I was in UWI and I used to show some kids how to play in my spare time, and it really bloomed when Mr Grosvenor asked me to be part of his technical staff at St Anthony’s College.” he said.

He added, “He gave me my start, was always there to converse with me, and up until this day even on my own now he is still there for me calling, checking up, lending an ear giving advice and generally being a great support.”

Soon after joining the West Moorings Tigers’ technical staff, where Grosvenor assigned him the responsibility to bring the under 16 and under 14 players through the ranks and eventually into senior team, it became clear to Gopaul that his niche involved training and developing youth in football. That led to the formation of his Eagles F.C team which he explains follows the model of a club more than the more popular coaching schools or football academies. In Eagles’ first year, the club entered the West Penn Diego Cup under 18 division and swept the league and knock-out double, playing unbeaten throughout the season. For this year’s edition, their title defence has started off with a three match winning streak, yielding 16 goals with just one against.

Gopaul insists, however, that the organisation is more interested in the work of exposing young players than it is in winning trophies.

“I see it as more of a feeder club although we do have plans to expand and grow into an academy. But for now, it is about getting our players seen. For instance, recently we played against Russell Latapy’s national under 17 team and afterwards he asked about some of my players so that is what we aim to do. Get the players exposed and get them seen.”

Even with such noble intentions however, there are some very real challenges being faced; such as, finding forums for talented young footballers to be displayed.

Cuba stops T&T 3-0

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 00:14

The Renele Forde-captained T&T senior women’s volleyball team were brought back down to earth from their high off a first win after losing in straight sets to four-time champions Cuba in Pool B of the 16th Movistar Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup at Eduardo Dibos Coliseum, Lima, Peru, yesterday

The Cubans behind 15 points from Heidy Casanova, 13 by Rainierys Gracia, and nine from Daymara Lescay overcame the six-time Caribbean champions 25-14, 25-21, 25-21 in 75 minutes.

For T&T, Krystle Esdelle who plays in Greece topscored with 16 points, while Turkey-based duo Darlene Ramdin and Sinead Jack added eight and six respectively, and France-based Channon Thompson, four.

Despite the loss, it was great team effort from T&T which was narrowly edged out by Cuba, 34-31 on spikes, 11-8 on blocks and 7-2 on aces. T&T also committed 23 errors to Cuba’s 15.

With the loss, T&T ended with a 1-4 Pool B record, while Cuba ended 3-2 ahead of the remaining matches between Chile and Canada, and Peru and Dominican Republic

On Tuesday night, Thompson had a match-day joint 25 points as T&T defeated Chile 26-24, 25-22, 25-15 to claim their first victory.

Thompson’s tally included 20 kills and three aces while Jack and Ramdin charted 12 and ten points, respectively and Esdelle, who plies her trade in Greece, seven. Chile’s Beatriz Novoa had 13 points and Catalina Melo, eight, in the loss.

It was an all-round solid effort from T&T, which outscored the South Americans 46-27 on kills, 15-8 on blocks with four each from Forde and Jack.

However, the “Calypso Spikers” startling problems continued to be their errors, with 23 to Chile’s 12.

Speaking after Tuesday’s win, T&T Cuban-born coach Francisco Cruz, said, “Chile battled for the first and second sets and then we dominated in the third set with our physical advantage at the net. Chile plays an organized defense which creates difficulties to my team in the long rallies. We are improving and I hope we can be better next year.”

In the other matches in Pool B, defending champions Dominican Republic cruised to 25-16, 25-17, 25-20 over Cuba to keep their perfect record in four outings while Canada pulled a spectacular comeback victory 21-25, 19-25, 25-22, 25-17, 18-16 over host Peru.

In Pool A at at Lolo Fernandez Coliseum, Canete, USA stomped Mexico 25-13, 25-15, 25-13 to remain undefeated at 4-0 with 18 points while Mexico is still looking for their first win and sits at 0-4.

Puerto Rico scored a major surprise by defeating Argentina 15-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-21 to leave both teams tied in second place with 3-1 behind USA and Colombia won the battle against neighbors Venezuela 25-15, 25-17. 25-15 to leave both teams at 1-3.

Ato Boldon to bring fresh eyes to NASCAR

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 00:10

CHARLOTTE—Ato Boldon likes speed. And cars. NASCAR? Well, the four-time Olympic medalist is about to find out.

The retired Olympic sprinter and NBC Olympic analyst will join NBC Sports Group’s NASCAR broadcast team as a features contributor beginning next week. His NASCAR on NBC debut will be July 1 during coverage at Daytona International Speedway.

It’s going to be an eye-opening experience for Boldon, who in an interview admitted he could name “maybe 10” NASCAR drivers. When asked to list them, he came up with three: the late Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton, the retired driver and current NBC analyst.

Sam Flood, executive producer for NBC’s NASCAR telecasts, isn’t worried.

“Ato is a curious guy and I want someone who loves cars, but is also from a different sports world,” Flood said. “I want a fish out of water to show what NASCAR is all about.”

Boldon joined NBC Sports Group in 2007 and is now the network’s lead track and field analyst. He represented T&T in the Olympics and is a four-time medalist in the 100 metres and 200m.

It was during his coverage of last year’s Olympics in Rio that Boldon first expressed curiously about NASCAR to Flood. The producer had Boldon attend the November season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

At Daytona next week, Boldon will report on what makes NASCAR fans loyal to their drivers while hanging out in the track infield. He will also examine NASCAR’s earlier days of racing on Daytona Beach.

“I don’t think until you have been in a (race) car, you understand how difficult it is,” Boldon said. “People go, ‘Oh, yeah, big deal, they drive fast and they turn left. I do that every day on my commute.’ But I don’t think people get a sense of how difficult it is. I went around that track with Jeff Burton and there was so much going on, just to keep that car wheels down and to keep it off the wall. I couldn’t imagine doing that with another 30 cars, competing for space.

“It really created an appreciation, and the same thing I say about my sport, ‘The pros make it look easy,’ and it is not.”

Boldon loves cars, but has become an environmentalist and given up gasoline-fueled cars. He has made the full transition to driving electric cars, which meant turning in a Porsche for a Tesla four years ago.

The only cars he currently owns are electric, and Boldon is a little nervous that the attraction to the sights and sounds of NASCAR might lead him into a dealership to check out a $200,000 McLaren 570S he’s been eyeing.

“I feel like I am going to be around these NASCAR races, and the sound is half of the thrill, and I’m going to go out and buy something that completely does not make financial sense in any way,” Boldon said.

Boldon will also report from Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Homestead. NBC plans to use him as a hauler driver, a member of Joe Gibbs Racing’s pit crew and will give him the wheel of NBC Sports’ on-track car to experience the horsepower and track banking.

“My hope is that people who never really thought of themselves as NASCAR fans will get something from my exposure to it. I am going in there completely wide-eyes and completely open to all possibilities,” Boldon said.

NBC Sports

BASE dazzles despite rain

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 07:59

Badree’s Academy of Sport Education, BASE, was able to pull off a successful event despite the inclement weather that curtailed the main event, a North versus South windball cricket match on Saturday.

The normally quiet town of Barrackpore was buzzing with activity when international stars Dwayne and Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Lendl Simmons lined up to play against West Indian Players Jason Mohammed, Britney Cooper, Kesrick Williams and Samuel Badree, in what was expected to be an exciting encounter.

Rain came after just six overs with North galloping to 52 for 2 before play was called off. However, the huge crowd that came to witness the event was treated to a live performance by cricketer turned singer Dwayne Bravo and they seemed to enjoy that much more than the exhibition game. Badree, speaking after the event, was quite pleased with the way things went in spite of the rain. “The objective of today’s activity was for the young people to meet and greet their heroes and to see them live in our backyard. I am really thankful to all the players for making an appearance here in my home town and to assemble such a star studded cast was a tremendous effort.” Also attending the event was the Member of Parliament for Moruga/Tableland, Dr The Honourable Lovell Francis who met the players before the toss and welcomed them to his constituency. BASE would like to thank all who supported the event, SM Jaleel Limited, Nestlé Trinidad and Tobago Limited, Barrackpore Breakfast Shed, F and A Hardware Limited, TECU and everyone else who contributed to the success of the event. The night ended with a North versus South All Fours challenge and North demonstrated their superiority whipping South 31 to 25 in a very keenly contested segment. The people of Barrackpore will long remember this day and the children will be singing “Champion” for a long time.


Links, Storm share Nick’s T20 title

Links XI and Secret Storm shared the inaugural Nick’s Sport T20 crown, as rain washed out their encounter at Evergreen Ground in Pluck Road, Penal.

A good crowd braved the inclement weather to show for the game but after 10 overs, they had to run for cover, as the heavens opened and washed out the game. At that point Secret Storm was batting and had reached 54 for three. The tournament organisers then decided to share the title with both teams taking away a total of $12,000 ($8,000 for the first place and $4,000 for the second place), to be shared equally.

Organiser Vishal Ramnarine speaking to Guardian Media said: “We are disappointed that the finals would end like this because the competition was very keen leading up to the big game. However, this is the first time we are doing this tournament and next year for sure we will be looking to move it forward by about a month, so that we can get in all the cricket.

“However, having said that, I thought that the tournament did serve its purpose, which was to bring the community out for a meaningful event. We had parents and children coming out to view the matches and this to me was so important. Next year we are coming out bigger and better and will be looking to expand in terms of the number of teams taking part.”


Rain puts back Courts semis

Heavy rain Friday has forced the postponement of the 2017 Courts Inter-Club semifinal clash between Progressive Sports Club and Nazarite Sports Club at the National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Couva.

Tournament director Dudnath Ramkeesoon said that due to the consistent rainfall the game has been put back to June 21 at the same venue. The following day June 22, the fourth and final quarterfinal game between C&B of Tobago and Woodland Sports will come off at the Cyd Gray Sporting Complex, Roxborough.

The winner of this match will play Hermitage Youth Organisation (HYO) in the second semifinal at a date to be decided. This match was put back due to problems with flights to Tobago.

Meanwhile, HYO got into the semifinals after an epic 1-run win over Marchin Patriots in their quarterfinal clash. After amassing a meagre 115 for eight of their 20 overs, the HYO boys were expected to lose against the experienced Marchin Patriots team. The game came down to the last ball with Patriots needing two runs. At least a single would have pushed the game into a ‘super over’ but it was not to be as Param Rampersad the former T&T youth player and Comets batsman, got dismissed. HYO ran away winners by just one run and will be looking to go all the way after that escape. The stars of the show for HYO were their bowlers in the form of Shazard Manshoor 2/19, Brian Deosaran 2/20 and Javed Mohammed 2/25.


At the NCC: HYO 115/8 (20) (Leonardo Julien 22, Javed Mohammed 22, Teshawn Castro 3/31, Roshan Parag 2/7) vs Marchin Patriots 114 all out (2ovs) (Param Rampersad 28, Teshawn Castro 19, Shazard Manshoor 2/19, Brian Deosaran 2/20, Javed Mohammed 2/25) – HYO won by 1 run.