Trinidad and Tobago’s women Soca Warriors will enter a live-in training camp from tomorrow for their final week of preparations for the all-important FIFA Women’s World Cup final leg qualifying match against Ecuador at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain which takes place next Tuesday.
Head Coach Randy Waldrum will lead his team into the camp with sessions at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and the team will be reside at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Waldrum said the team is in solid shape at the moment but this week will be crucial towards its final state of readiness for the clash with Ecuador.
“We’ll have all the players together this week and we hope to have them all fit and healthy and mentally ready for the match on Tuesday. We’ve had some of the players with the exception of some of them from the US, in training over the past few days with the focus being on strength and conditioning and that went quite well for us,” Waldrum told TTFA Media.
“It’s going to be a big week ahead and I think everyone is ready for it. I know the girls and the staff are all eager and focused and the people who have to get things ready off the field of play at the TTFA and the other personnel are all doing what they have to,” he added.
T&T Swedish-based forward Ahkeela Mollon said the team would not be overawed by the run of events from now until the final whistle on Tuesday. “We’ve been training really hard for the past week and the sessions have been quite good. The mood is really good at the moment and we’re looking forward to this week with all the players assembling in camp,” Mollon said.
“We’re all really excited about the 12th Warrior and the fans coming out and giving us that support. We’re at home but the key for us is to stay focus and humbled and go out there and play as we know we can and get the result,” she added.
Dernelle Mascall says the physical sessions have been intense but worth the while. “We’ve been having two sessions a day so it’s really intense but it’s all down to ensuring we’re physically ready for the match. Hopefully by mid next week we’ll be a bit more settled and focusing on game specific preparations,” Mascall said.
“I think we’re all really excited about playing before a large home crowd. We want that 12th warrior behind us. We would have liked to have qualified out of the CONCACAF stage but this opportunity to do it at home is really a great opportunity for us,” added Mascall.
The TTFA on Friday launched an official T-Shirt campaign in support of the women’s Soca Warriors for the December 2 “Winner Takes All” encounter. The shirts are available at all Fan Club Outlets-- Movietowne Port of Spain, Trincity and Gulf City Mall, and Heritage Sports in Scarborough, Tobago. They cost $150 (adults) and $120 (children).
The Ministry of Sport and the Sportt Company of T&T are partnering with the TTFA to support all activities relating to the December 2 match and fans can purchase their tickets at Kenny’s Sports Centre outlets, Skinner Park (San Fernando), The Fan Club (Movietowne, POS), Ramsingh’s Sporting Goods (Chaguanas), All Out (Queen’s Park Oval), Econo Supermarket (Sangre Grande) and Heritage Sport (Scarborough).
Tickets cost $200 (covered) and $100 (uncovered). Children under 12 are free in the uncovered section. The match kicks off at 6 p.m. and gates open at 3 p.m.

T&T SQUAD: Maylee Attin-Johnson, Kennya Cordner, Ayanna Russell, Patrice Superville, Ahkeela Mollon, Mariah Shade, Janine Francois, Arin King, Khadisha Debessette, Khadidra Debesette, Tasha St Louis, Anique Walker, Dernelle Mascall, Jasmine Sampson, Nia Walcott, Mira Walcott, Lauryn Hutchinson, Brianna Ryce, Kimika Forbes, Saundra Baron, Karyn Forbes, Rhea Belgrave.


T&T medal tally at CAC now eight

The Trinidad and Tobago men’s hockey team took silver when Cuba defeated them 5-1 yesterday in the final at the High Performance Center in Veracruz, Mexico. T&T’s total medal tally after ten days of the two-week competition is now eight-- one gold, one silver and six bronze. Cuba’s Yoandy Blanco scored a quickfire double in the 28th minute and a third in the 62nd minute to rattle the T&T squad, coached by former national player Rafael Govia.
And when Cuba’s Adrian Molina slotted home six minutes after the resumption and Yiel Veitia added his personal touch in the 63rd, it was virtually a hill too steep to climb for the local stickmen led by captain Darren Cowie. T&T’s Mickell Pierre scored a consolation goal in the 67th minute to salvage some pride for this country. The Cuban men followed the example of their women’s team who also claimed gold on the previous day in the women’s final against Dominican Republic. There were to be no more medals on the day for T&T. In athletics, local sprinter Emmanuel Callender failed to advance to the finals when he finished fourth in heat two of three semi-final events. Bahamas’ Adrian Griffith won that semi-final in 10.41 seconds, with Barbados’ Levi Cadogan tied for second with Colombia’s Diego Palomeque (10.45), followed closely by Callender in 10.46.
Callender was not one of the fastest losers. Dominican Republic’s Yancarlos Martinez sped to 10.35 seconds to take the first semi-final heat while Honduras’ Cruz Palacios won the third ‘semi’ in 10.26.
In water polo action, the T&T men are having a tough time in Mexico as they suffered their third straight defeat yesterday, at the Ley de Reforma Aquatic Center.
After going down 16-9 and 16-4 to Puerto Rico and Cuba respectively on the two previous nights, the local water polo squad were trumped by Venezuela 11-5, yesterday. Matthew George scored a hattrick while captain John Littlepage and Christopher Forte notched one goal a piece.
In squash, T&T went down 2-0 to Caribbean rivals Jamaica in the men’s doubles competition at the round of 16 stage. In boxing, T&T’s Anthony Joseph was defeated 3-0 by Mexico’s Sergio Chirino in their quarterfinal featherweight bout.
His teammates Seanasi Charles and Pan Am bronze medallist Michael Alexander were scheduled to fight Puerto Rico’s Danielito Zorilla and Nicaragua’s José Mejias respectively in their quarterfinal bouts in the light welterweight and lightweight after press time.


Renaud Lavillenie had the perfect end to his "perfect year" here tonight as he received the Men's World Athlete of the Year award at the International Athletics Foundation Gala, with the International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) Women's award going to New Zealand's shot putter Valerie Adams, unbeaten now in 56 consecutive competitions.

The French pole vaulter acknowledged that his historic feat in beating Sergey Bubka's world record of 6.15 metres just short of 21 years after it was set, with a clearance of 6.16m in Donetsk on February 15, was a big reason for his latest accolade, but not the only one.

"Yes, I think it has certainly contributed but it was not the only thing," he said.

"I lost in one meeting - I was not as strong as Valerie - but 21 out of 22, this is not too bad.

"I also won a fifth Diamond Race trophy, the European title and at the Continental Cup, so it felt quite a regular winning rhythm in an event which is quite unpredictable.

"I am very, very grateful to the world of athletics.

"It is extraordinary what is happening to me this year."

Lavillenie, the reigning Olympic champion, was only the third specialist field eventer to have won the men's award since Carl Lewis took the first one in 1988, and the first since javelin thrower Jan Zelezny's success in 2000.

Adams is the first woman thrower to receive the award.

Never before have two field event athletes swept the board in a single year.

"It's really awesome to be here to represent throwers, and women in sport," said the 30-year-old Adams.

"It is difficult for us to be able to compete against the glamour events on the track, but we train just as hard as anybody else.

"We want to showcase our sport in all areas, because it is not just track, but track and field.

"I have a passion and motivation to be competing, especially when I am wearing the black singlet with the single fern.

"New Zealand has got four million people and 60 million sheep so we punch above our weight!

"To compete against the rest of the world and come out on top, we've got to be proud of that.

"This is definitely the icing on my cake for 2014, which has been a physically challenging one for me with injuries."

Asked what it took to maintain her winning run this year, she responded: "It takes a lot of guts, four operations, a lot of pain, a lot of suffering.

"But if you've still got the passion firing within it makes all the difference.

"If you love something it's not a chore, it's what you want to do, so it becomes easier for you.

"I'm not 21 any more, you have to manage these things.

"But my pain threshold is very high, and my goal is to stay unbeaten for as long as possible."

Looking ahead to next year's IAAF World Championships in Bejing, Adams commented: "Going back to the Birds Nest stadium will be amazing.

"I won my first Olympic title there in 2008 so it will be great to re-live that moment and to try and win the title for a fifth successive time, which I believe has never been done by a female athlete."

For Lavillennie, Beijing has a different resonance.

"For me it will be interesting in Beijing because I don't have the gold medal for the worlds, so that will be the only thing I want for the next year," he said.

"But for me the most important thing is to be ready for Rio 2016 - I want to be world champion to be sure to be ready for the Olympic season."


T&T finish last at CAC Games volleyball

KELLY BILLINGY was among four players who said goodbye to the competitive game when the Central American and the Caribbean (CAC) Games Women’s Volleyball Championships concluded Thursday night in Mexico.
The skipper was on the losing side of the net as Costa Rica defeated Trinidad and Tobago 25-19, 25-13, 17-25, 25-18 to avoid the cellar place in the eight-nation tournament.
T&T had failed to win a set when the two teams had met three days earlier in the round-robin group stage and the third set of this match was the only one they managed to win from their five matches.
The 28-year-old Billingy, who scored nine points, two less than T&T’s top-scorer in the match Darlene Ramdin, has been a member of the national team since she was 16 years old and was one of the most dangerous attacking players in the Caribbean for most of her career.
Teammate Jalicia Ross-Kydd, whose contribution was seven points, also threw in the towel along with the Willis sisters of Costa Rica, Angela and Verania.
Skipper Angela was the leading scorer in the 92-minute contest with 15 points, six more than her younger sibling.
The CAC Games are staged every four years and Dominican Republic captured their four successive gold medal when they whipped Puerto Rico 25-19, 25-19, 25-19 in 82 minutes. Cuba took the bronze by nosing out Mexico 24-26, 25-20, 25-17, 22-25, 15-13 and Venezuela edged out Colombia 36-34, 21-25, 25-15, 20-25, 15-13 for fifth place.
The men’s tournament will serve off on Tuesday and T&T will be among the eight participants.


Trinidad and Tobago’s top swimmer George Bovell splashed to this country’s first gold medal on the final day of the swimming competition at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games Thursday night in Veracruz, Mexico.
It was the 2004 Athens Olympic bronze medallist’s third consecutive gold medal in the Men’s 50m freestyle at the regional Games, dating back to his first at the 2006 CAC in Cartagenas, Colombia and the 2010 CAC event in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
Bovell who swam out of lane one, splashed to a 22.30 second clocking for the one-lap blue riband event to easily defeat the rest of the field including Suriname’s Tjon-a-Joe Rezo (22.63) and Hansir Garcia of Cuba (22.69).
Bovell added to his bronze medal he won on the previous night in the Men’s 50m backstroke.
Elsewhere, the Trinidad and Tobago women’s hockey team can only hope for bronze after they lost their semi-final match against Cuba 4-2.
Blair Wynne scored a double for this country but it proved insufficient, especially against Cuba Marisel Sierra’s game-winning hat-trick effort.
There was better news for the female basketballers in their group B preliminary match against Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago emerging 59-50 winners at the Benito Juarez Auditorium.
T&T’s Patrice Edwards sank a game-high 24 points to lead T&T to their first victory of the campaign. Edwards shot 60 per cent from the field (nine of 16) and 83 per cent from the free throw line (5/6).
Teammates Afeisha Noel and Rhea Cordio both scored 11 to assist Edwards as they pulled away from their Caribbean rivals in the third quarter to lead 45-38 after both teams were locked at 24-24 at the halftime interval. A 21-14 run in the third quarter proved crucial and T&T ended with a 14-12 last quarter to ensure the win.
At the University of Hugo Sanchez, the T&T women were hammered 7-0 by Colombia in the Women’s football competition.
In the female 10km Open Water competition at Regata Beach, Shania David placed 16th of 18 swimmers in two hours 23 minutes, 35.40 seconds, while her sister Syriah David did not finish the race which was won by Mexico’s Montserrat Ortuno in one hour, 59 minutes,18.9 seconds
In Men’s Judo in the 80kg division T&T’s Jelanie Boyce lost outright to Haiti’s Jackly Joy to finish seventh, while his countryman Sean Lawrence bowed out of the competition at the preliminary stage to El Salvador’s Gustavo Lopez.
In the Men’s 25m Standard Pistol, T&T’s Roger Daniel finished seventh, Rhodney Allen 22nd and Clement Marshall 29th.
Meanwhile, archer George Vire bowed out at the round of 16 stage in the Men’s compound individual competition. Vire beat his teammate Hasmath Ali 143-140 in their round of 32 matchup but would eventually fall to Mexico’s Julio Fierro, 149-141 to miss out on a quarter-final berth.
Amrit Siew faced Jose Reyes of Puerto Rico but scores were unavailable up to press time, while in ladies’ action, Neela Cezair lost out to Guatemala’s Diana Martinez by a 140-137 scoreline.
In competition in the individual recurve, Jean-Luc Espinet was beaten 7-3 by Ricardo Vasquez of Venezuela. Vasquez captured the two points available on sets one, two and five by posting 24-22, 26-24 and 25-24 victory margins, while Espinet won the third set 27-23 to collect two points. The points were shared one apiece in the fourth set after it ended 28-28.
And Sonia Thompson lost 6-0 to Venezuela’s Mayra Mendez. The Venezuelan took the two points on all three sets for 28-17, 29-23 and 27-16 wins.
Today, the Men’s hockey team has a semi-final encounter against hosts Mexico, while Christian Marsden and Sachin Sankar represent T&T in the Men’s 10k Open Water.


After a persistent struggle for three years the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees have finally scored a major victory for and on behalf of its members who do not yet have a National Olympic Committee and are not members of the International Olympic Committee.

On Wednesday 12 November 2014 while meeting in Vera Cruz, Mexico, the Executive Committee of the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organisation (CACSO) the proprietor of the quadrennial Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, endorsed changes to the organisation’s constitution to facilitate the inclusion of a category of Associate Members. On Thursday 13, one day before the commencement of the 22nd CAC Games, the CACSO General Assembly, meeting in the Fiesta Americana Hotel, Vera Cruz, voted unanimously voted in support of the amendments.

The constitutional changes open the way for Martinique, Guadeloupe, Curacao, St Maarten, Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat and Anguilla to become Associate Members if CACSO upon application. They would then be eligible to participate in the quadrennial CAC Games and other activities organised under the CACSO brand.

Chairman of CANOC, Steve Stoute, in making the case over the years insisted that his organisation ‘understands the spirit of Olympism to promote inclusion and not exclusion of the youths of the world in sport for the overall celebration and benefit of humanity’.

The next celebration of the CAC Games is in Barranquilla, Colombia in 2018.