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At last, the Rio Olympics are here
Some see it as the most important event in sporting history, where athletes, sports administrators, government officials, and true sport lovers eagerly await this special occasion.
Prior to this day, the world was sent on a roller coaster ride where unrelated issues such as workers in Brazil laying down their tools and seeking more money, especially if they have been promised for some time.
The startling presence of a dreaded disease called Zika sent the Brazilian medical teams into a tailspin by trying to sidestep the wide spread rejection of visitors which could take their economy into a tailspin.
The challenges spread from the athletes, mainly those who have been caught in previous drug related activities, to the ones who used the Zika outbreak to withdraw, while our golfing friends refused to participate because there was no financial gain for their efforts.
Our athletes seemed not to have had any of those problems and they are looking forward to the opening ceremony and their own events.
The chants of my friend and the T&T Olympic Committee President Brian Lewis are beginning to be heard louder and louder, and it is the hope of everyone that his optimism can enhance the efforts of the athletes.
Personally, there is predictability in the performances of people like Keshorn Walcott, Michelle Lee Ahye, Machel Cedenio, Njisane Phillip, Deon Lendore and our relay teams, while I have learnt to appreciate the efforts, the attitude, and the desire of our boxer Nigel Paul, sufficient enough for him to be among the medals.
The recent injuries to the charges of the former Olympian Ato Boldon is of concern. Richard Thompson knows how it feels to be on the medal rostrum for an Olympic medal and the feeling alone will continue to whet his appetite.
His recent times are not reflective of leaving us with similar chances as his times have not lent evidence that he will break the 10-seconds barrier in the one hundred metres.
Boldon’s young woman trainee has been exciting in the past two years where her major successes were in the World Youth Championships. However, there have also been that niggling hamstring which appear to bother her from time to time, an issue which may well retard her progress.
My biggest concern is with the young 400 metres hurdler Jehue Gordon, whose amazing run to the finish-line in the world Championships a few years ago.
His preparation has been affected by injury and there has been no proof that he could plough through the preliminaries to the final. But, because I have always viewed his training programs with professionalism and desire to be the best he can be, I hope that he will find his touch at the right time.
Our 4x400 metres team has shown immense potential and competence which will take them to the finals of that relay event, and I will be enthusiastic enough to predict that they will be in the first two places.
Andrew Lewis, to my mind, has already won the respect of the sporting world for his meteoric rise for a very bad injury which could have stopped his career. His event is as difficult as they come and it will be an effort with divine assistance. I recognise him as a winner even before he takes to the water.
The confused state of our gymnastics had all the makings of a distorted entry and if the young lady who represents this country can rise above all these unethical forms of behavior displayed by the administrators enough to win a medal, I will be surprised.
No thanks to the local gymnastic association for making such a terrible mess of the lives of two promising gymnasts where bad blood and massive court case became the arbiters of the issue.
Our field participants, especially the women, will do the best that they can do, much of which have brought decent results to them. I wish them luck, knowing fully well that every throw could be crucial.
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