Bledman, Baptiste in 30-member Olympic squad
By JOEL BAILEY Saturday, June 30 2012
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ROGER FEDERER of Switzerland returns a shot against Julien Benneteau of France during athird round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis ...
TRACK AND FIELD stars Keston Bledman and Kelly-Ann Baptiste, the national 100-metre sprint champions, are among a 30-member national squad, in six disciplines, ratified by the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC).
The announcement took place last evening during a media conference at the Olympic House, Abercromby Street, Port of Spain. The Olympic Games are carded to take place in London, England from July 27 to August 12.
Swimmer George Bovell III, the men 200m individual medley bronze medallist at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, has also been chosen, as well as 2008 Beijing Olympics 100m silver medallist Richard Thompson.
Bledman and Thompson were part of the 2008 men 4x100m relay silver medal squad, as well as Marc Burns and Emmanuel Callender — both Burns and Callender will be in action in London.
Other notable inclusions were national 200m champ Rondel Sorrillo, top 400m hurdler Jehue Gordon, CARIFTA Games javelin gold medallist Keshorn Walcott, veteran shot putter Cleopatra Borel-Brown, American-born boxer Carlos Suarez, sailor Andrew Lewis, cyclist Njisane Phillip and rifle shooter Roger Daniel.
TTOC president Larry Romany noted, “prior to going into the (Olympic) Village, there will be a pre-Games camp held in Cardiff, Wales, from July 12. Most of the athletes will attend this camp with the exception of (a few) who will be in other training camps.”
The athletes who may miss the camp are Bovell (based in Spain), Lewis (in southern England), Phillip (in Colorado, United States) and Daniel (in Mongolia). But the entire contingent is expected to relocate to the Olympic Village by July 24.
Romany admitted, “we had really projected eight sporting disciplines with two teams, and we had expected a team size of about 80 people. Unfortunately we did not realise the team sports (football and hockey) and we’ll definitely try harder for the 2016 Games (in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).
“However, the team that has finally emerged is an extremely strong team,” Romany noted. “Our expectations are high in terms of what the medals potential would be, specifically in the (sprint) relays.”
And he boasted, “we are hoping that we can break the record from the 1964 (Olympics in Tokyo, Japan) with three medals. We feel that five medals are very realistic.” Romany stated that the TTOC general council ratified all the names submitted by its executive, and he went on to state, “we will rarely get involved in an organisation selection system.
“We presented the names to the general council and it was approved unanimously.”
TTOC secretary general Brian Lewis pointed out that this Games will be symbolic for the organisation, since TT’s inaugural Olympic participation took place in 1948 in London. And he also clarified the selections of women 400m hurdlers Josanne Lucas and Janeil Bellille, who both have ‘B’ standard times. He disclosed that the duo have a deadline of July 8 to each achieve an “A” standard time. If both athletes do not reach that stipulation, then the hurdler with the fastest “B” standard time will be chosen for London.