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Wednesday 22 November, 2017
News
Tiny T&T With Big Olympic Impact
Aug.31.2017

Tiny T&T With Big Olympic Impact

As tiny of a nation that T&T is, it has stamped its class at the Olympics.

Today, T&T turns 55 years and over those decades and more, our athletes have represented this country with pride at the international multi-sport event that is hosted by a different city every four years, an occasion that all athletes look forward to and cherish.

As T&T celebrates another year of independence, the sportsmen who have donned the red, white and black, have a been a constant provider of joy to this nation and what better way to celebrate than to take a stroll back to some of those memorable moments displayed on the biggest sporting stage in the world.

To the time when Sprinter, Hasely Crawford, caused euphoria by becoming the first T&T athlete to win a gold medal at the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympic Games. It was in the men’s 100 metres. This meant that it was the first time the national anthem was played at the world event and the flag hoisted in celebration.

Those emotions were reignited by Javelin thrower, Keshorn Walcott, some 36 years later in winning T&T’s second gold ever and first in a throwing event at the 2012 London Games.

T&T’s third Olympic gold medal was late in coming but the history books will show that the national 4x100m team of Richard Thompson, Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender and Marc Burns are the rightful holders of the precious metal. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Jamaican Nesta Carter had tested positive for a banned substance which he took in 2008, which means the relay team will receive the Olympic gold.

T&T stands on par with the best in the world from origin and this is highlighted by T&T’s ability to churn out champions.

Pre-Independence medals
Unforgettable is weightlifter Rodney Wilkes, who made T&T’s first participation at the Olympic Games in 1948 London, most memorable in becoming the nation’s first medal winner, taking silver in the men’s featherweight division. Two years prior, Sir Lennox O’Reilly had organised T&T’s first Olympic committee.

Wilkes also went down in history as the first multiple medal winner at the Olympics by bagging the bronze at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics in Finland again in the men’s featherweight division.

Sharing in the jubilation that year was another weightlifter Lennox Kilgour, who also won a bronze medal in the men’s middle heavyweight.

At the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, T&T experienced a dry spell and the five athletes including Wilkes (Featherweight), Kilgour (middle heavyweight), Hilton Mitchell (cycling) and sprinters Mike Agostini and Joseph Goddard, returned home empty-handed.

West Indies Olympic team
In 1958, the West Indies joined together to become a Confederation. Because of this, a West Indian team was entered in the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Italy. The British West Indies won two bronze medals but none were attributed to the four athletes T&T that contributed to the team. They were Clifton Bertrand (athletics), Clyde Rimple (cycling) and sailors Richard Bennett and David Farfan.

T&T first Olympic Games
T&T competed in 14 Olympic Games as an independent nation from Tokyo Games 1964 to Rio 2016. Tokyo lived up to expectations with T&T having its most productive participation in copping three medals in those early years. Wendell Mottley won a silver in the men’s 400m and then combined with a bronze medal at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Sprinter, Ato Boldon, grabbed the attention at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (USA), capturing two bronze medals in the 100m and 200m sprints. Four year later he captured two more medals, a silver the 100m and reclaimed his bronze at the 2000 Sydney Games in Australia in 2000.

Boldon remains the athlete with the most Olympic and World Championship medals for T&T pocketed with eight in total—four from the Olympics and four from the World Championships. Boldon is also the only world champion T&T has ever had in athletics competition. He won the 1997 World Championship 200m in Athens, Greece.

At the Athens Games in 2004, it was George Bovell, making a big splash in copping T&T’s lone medal, a bronze in the men’s 200m individual medley event.

Four years later we saw the introduction of Richard Thompson. The sprinter sped into this nation’s heart and away with the silver medal in the men’s 100m.
Thompson collected his second medal of the 2008 Games, anchoring the national team to silver, returning in 2012 to again reach the podium in the men’s 4x100m with the same team-mates of Bledman, Burns and Callender, winning silver, which was another upgrade from a bronze after the USA was stripped of the gold following Tyson Gay’s positive drug test.

Another relay team sped into the spotlight that year when the quartet of Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Deon Lendore and Ade Alleyne-Forte captured bronze in the men’s 4x400m final.

Back to the most recent past, Walcott became the hero of the 2016 Rio Games in Brazil, earning his second medal and his country’s 19th, giving T&T more to celebrate.

To the medal winners and to the sportsmen and women, who have boldly represented the national colours proudly, the nation says thank you.

MORE INFO

Medal: Silver
Name: Rodney Wilkes
Games: United Kingdom 1948 London
Sport: Weightlifting
Event: Men’s featherweight

Medal: Bronze
Name: Rodney Wilkes
Games: Finland 1952 Helsinki
Sport: Weightlifting
Event: Men’s featherweight

Medal: Bronze
Name: Lennox Kilgour
Games: Finland 1952 Helsinki
Sport: Weightlifting
Event: Men’s middle-heavyweight

Medal: Silver
Name: Wendell Mottley
Games: Japan 1964 Tokyo
Sport: Athletics
Event: Men’s 400 metres

Medal: Bronze
Name: Edwin Roberts
Games: Japan 1964 Tokyo
Sport: Athletics
Event: Men’s 200 metres

Medal: Bronze
Name: Wendell Mottley, Kent Bernard, Edwin Roberts, Edwin Skinner
Games: Japan 1964 Tokyo
Sport: Athletics
Event: Men’s 4 x 400 metres relay

Medal: Gold
Name: Hasely Crawford
Games: Canada 1976 Montreal
Sport: Athletics
Event: Men’s 100 metres

Medal: Bronze
Name: Ato Boldon
Games: United States 1996 Atlanta
Sport: Athletics
Event: Men’s 100 metres

Medal: Bronze
Name: Ato Boldon
Games: United States 1996 Atlanta
Sport: Athletics
Event: Men’s 200 metres

Medal: Silver
Name: Ato Boldon
Games: Australia 2000 Sydney
Sport: Athletics
Event: Men’s 100 metres

Medal: Bronze
Name: Ato Boldon
Games: Australia 2000 Sydney
Sport: Athletics
Event: Men’s 200 metres

Medal: Bronze
Name: George Bovell
Games: Greece 2004 Athens
Sport: Swimming
Event: Men’s 200 metre individual medley

Medal: Gold
Names: Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender, Richard Thompson, Aaron Armstrong
Games: China 2008 Beijing
Sport: Athletics
Event: Men’s 4x100 metres relay

Medal: Silver
Names: Richard Thompson
Games: China 2008 Beijing
Sport: Athletics
Event: Men’s 100 metres

Medal: Gold
Name: Keshorn Walcott
Games: United Kingdom 2012 London
Sport: Athletics
Event: Men’s javelin throw

Medal: Silver
Name: Marc Burns, Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender, Richard Thompson
Games: United Kingdom 2012 London
Sport: Athletics
Event: Men’s 4x100 metres relay

Medal: Bronze
Name: Lalonde Gordon
Games: United Kingdom 2012 London
Sport: Athletics
Event: Men’s 400 metres

Medal: Bronze
Names: Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Renny Quow, Deon Lendore, Machel Cedenio, Ade Alleyne-Forte
Games: United Kingdom 2012 London
Sport: Athletics
Event: Men’s 4 x 400 metres relay

Medal: Bronze
Name: Keshorn Walcott
Games: Brazil 2016 Rio de Janeiro
Sport: Athletics
Event: Men’s javelin throw

Source: www.guardian.co.tt


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