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Leave Rio behind, focus on Tokyo

Friday, August 26, 2016
Njisane Phillip...unfortunate choice.

Now that the final results are well documented and the levels of performances are well established, the appropriate time for analyses, and this must be followed by getting ready to regroup and set another course for the next four years of activity.

I suppose that we could begin by asking ourselves some of the questions which were answered by official, experts attached to teams or athletes, and enthusiastic supporters of their favourite participants.

The initial comment which startled some folks, encouraged others, and shrugged off what they considered to be wishful thinking.

The promise of ten gold medals between Rio and Tokyo by the president of the TTOC Brian Lewis had certainly incited the fans and built up great optimism as to what the present squad will secure.

In my apprehensive thoughts, the prediction by some experts, “We shall medal in four races”, or “this time, we shall have the most medals”, caught me napping, especially as I have been following the times and distances performed by many of the chosen ones.

In my very laid back approach to optimistic remarks, I asked myself the question.

“On the basis of what are these guys making predictions? Have they already figured out who the opponents are and what will the times and distances will they produce?”

I conceded that those closest to the sports will have a better idea as to probable results, a thought which caused me to examine our own athletes and hope for the best.

Turning to the pre-Olympic confusion which often affect the various aspects of the games, we were unfortunate to engage in the Gymnastic callalloo which caused the society to throw tantrums or annoyance and criticise several administrators along the way.

Decisions between the National Gymnastics Association and the NOC failed the test of diplomacy and exposed two young brilliant gymnasts to be deprived from an opportunity which seemed to have provided an exciting debut into gymnastics for T&T into a moment of disappointment followed by a failed effort.

Only a court decision may bring some consolation to the young lady who was absent from the gymnasium in Rio.

Forms of uneasiness and confusion in the selection process, brought discomfort to our Njisane Phillips, our main cycling hope, despite an honest effort to correct the problem by the team manager.

However, call it a slow start to our arrival in Rio, where the adrenalin started to flow, the nervousness entered the stomachs, the continuous echoes of “we go medal at least four times.”

The opening ceremony was a resounding success where the flamboyance of the Brazilian people tended to conceal the number of minor problems which were still drawing attention to the fans and citizens alike.

Our focus was on the experienced George Bovell, and Dylan Carter, both of whom were expected to do well.

My first impression of Carter was that he had the potential to match his skill against the competitors, when he won his event handsomely and without great effort clocked 48.8 seconds to be first in his heat.

No one could have wished a better start, except of course, the lawmakers of the swimming game, whose concept of victory is not about beating the field, but clocking better times that those who have not yet performed. It sounded like a dirty joke to me, when the results board showed that the fluent swimmer was not a qualifier for the next round because his time was beaten by swimmers from the following races.

With great enjoyment in the pool with some of the world’s finest swimmers, the anxiety for Bovell’s turn in the water was our only hope left in swimming.

The demand for success seemed to have ended with this former medalist and his defeat triggered the words pertaining to retirement.

At that point, the medal route to the podium was becoming more and more difficult and when Phillips rode swiftly to become the sixth fastest wheelman before losing in a close finish combat with the world’s number one, and readily apologising for a judgmental mistake.

Everyone felt convinced that success was not far away, and his decision to call it quits was surprising and disappointing to those who saw this young man as a prospective champion. Up to that time, our results were unsuccessful while we awaited more events.

Part two will be two days away.


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