On the waterfront in Port of Spain, not far from where many of the officials and teams for are set to stay during the Commonwealth Youth Games, which are due to open on Friday (August 4), there is a frieze which pays tribute to every Olympic medallist from Trinidad and Tobago with outsize reproductions of the medals won.

It is 75 years since they first competed at the Olympics but the sporting heritage of Trinidad can be traced back over a century.

There was also a Trinidadian runner at the 1934 British Empire Games in London.

His name was Mannie Albert Dookie and he had won the three miles at the 1933 National Championship, prompting calls for him to compete in London.

Lionel Hannington of the Trinidad Guardian sponsored his passage and he sailed on the Coronado, a ship owned by banana importers Elders and Fyffes.

He ran barefoot and competed in the mile, but was forced to retire in the three and six miles.

After the war, weightlifter Rodney Wilkes won a gold medal at the 1946 Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla.

He was chosen for the 1948 Olympics as the only weightlifter in a team of five which included three athletes and a...

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Author: Philip Barker