Govt praises sprinter
Tuesday, August 7 2012
PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, National Security Minister Jack Warner and Sports Minister, Anil Roberts all congratulated Trinidad and Tobago athlete Lalonde Gordon for winning bronze in the 400 metres final yesterday at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Warner is currently Acting Prime Minister and Sports Minister for Persad-Bissessar and Roberts who are in Jamaica and London respectively.
In a statement issued last night by the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair, Persad-Bissessar declared, “We are very proud today of Lalonde’s achievement in winning bronze, and we congratulate him! He has brought glory and pride to our country with his medal winning performance. As a small twin-island State, we have once again made our mark on the world stage with excellence in the international sporting arena.”
The Prime Minister said all athletes who are representing TT in London “have brought us pride for their great sportsmanship.”
“Their performance demonstrates how the will to succeed, and a hunger for excellence, can indeed bring rewards.“Certainly, there can be no better tribute to our nation than to have achieved Olympic glory in the year of our 50th Anniversary of Independence,” she stated.
Persad-Bissessar also observed the Caribbean as a whole has much to celebrate at the Olympics, referring to Jamaica’s Usain Bolt breaking the world record in the men’s 100 metres final and Grenada’s Kirani James’ winning that country’s first ever Olympic medal when he won yesterday’s 400 metres final
“We note with great pleasure and congratulate our Caribbean neighbours Jamaica, Grenada, the Dominican Republic and Cuba whose athletes have also brought Olympic victory home to their countries,” she said.
Persad-Bissessar expressed her hope that as small island states the performances of all Caribbean athletes at the Olympics will serve to inspire others to believe that nothing is impossible.”
Warner said he would be speaking with Persad-Bissessar and Roberts “who will advise on what tributes and welcome plans the country will offer” to Gordon and the rest of TT’s Olympic athletes.
Noting Gordon also achieved a personal best of 44.52 seconds in capturing bronze in the 400 metres final, Warner said, “I wish not only to congratulate Lalonde for distinguishing himself in his field, but to thank him for bringing honour to our country and for ensuring that London 2012 is a memorable Olympic meet for Trinbagonians everywhere.”
Warner hoped Lalonde’s accomplishment would serve as “a shining example to all that hard work and dedication has its rewards, and it is my hope that his win will be an inspiration to our youths who are in need of positive role models.”
He also congratulated cyclist Nisjane Phillip for placing fourth in the cycle sprint event; hurdler Jehue Gordon for placing sixth in his event yesterday; Richard Thompson for his fourth place finish in Sunday’s 100 metres final and Semoy Hackett and Kai Selvon for progressing to the women’s 200 metre semi-final round.
Warner said, “It is extremely important that we continue to show support and encouragement to our athletes, particularly the young ones so that they will continue to chase gold, hopefully with greater success, after London 2012 is over.”
Speaking from London, Roberts said, “Lalonde’s race was perfectly executed and he showed that one should never discount an underdog.”
He also hailed Lalonde, who is Tobagonian, as a revelation and testament to dedication and sacrifice.
“Athletics is the sport that has brought the most glory to our country at the Olympics, so it is fitting that our first medal at the 2012 Games would be earned on the track. I hope the progress Lalonde has made, improving his PB twice over three races, serves to inspire us all to better our own performances in life and in sport,” Roberts stated.
He noted Gordon has become the second TT athlete after Wendell Mottley to medal in the Olympic 400 metres final. Mottley won silver in this event at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
Roberts also praised Kirani James for becoming Grenada’s first Olympic medallist when he won yesterday’s 400 metre final.
“Grenada is the smallest country ever to win an Olympic medal and the fact that it came from a 19-year-old is no surprise. Kirani has dominated this race ever since he came on the scene as a junior.
This bodes well for track and field development in the Caribbean, continuing to make the region a force to be reckoned with,” he said.