AFTER a lot of confusion over the selection of Khalifa St Fort for the TT Commonwealth Games, the former top junior athlete was eventually named yesterday on the 51-member TT squad for the Games in Gold Coast, Australia, from April 4 to 15.
The confusion over St Fort’s selection began when St Fort sent an email to the National Association of Athletics Administrations inquiring about the TT team for the Commonwealth Games. TT sprint legend Ato Boldon, who coaches St Fort, said his athlete was told she was not selected.
Boldon then went on Twitter to vent his frustration writing, “Take a bow, NAAA. The BEST way to secure the future of the sport is to NOT select @khalifastfort to go to the Commonwealth Games. She has won more medals for #TTO internationally than anyone else since 2015, and last year was the fastest 100m junior on earth, at 11.06. Brilliant!”
The team was released to the media yesterday afternoon with St Fort included. Prior to the team being announced, Boldon was frustrated with the lack of organisation by the NAAA.
In an interview with Newsday yesterday, Boldon said, “How can somebody send a correspondent to this girl telling her she is not selected for the Commonwealth Games then you telling me, ‘No, no, no she was always going to be picked.’ What kind of organisation are you all running?”
Boldon then continued, “I am holding off and giving them a chance to save face and do whatever it is they were doing because I have gotten several responses back from my people in Trinidad saying, ‘Ato the team is not named yet, don’t jump the gun.’ I am not jumping no gun – I have an email on my phone telling Khalifa that she is not on the team.”
Boldon, a multiple Olympic medallist, is questioning the communication within the NAAA.
“They (NAAA) have not contacted me directly (concerning St Fort’s selection) but they are saying, ‘Ato hold your hand Khalifa was always going to be selected you got bad information.’ How can I get bad information from within your organisation? Are you all in separate countries? Are you all on separate wave lengths?”
Boldon found it strange that other TT athletes were informed before St Fort that they were selected on the Commonwealth Games team.
“We have been hearing of people, who are already in Australia or already have their itinerary, we have heard nothing. There are friends of Khalifa’s who are on the team who are obviously saying, ‘I have my itinerary and this one has their itinerary.’”
Michelle Lee Ahye (100m, 4x100m), Khalifa St Fort (100m, 4x100m), Reyare Thomas (100m, 4x100m), Semoy Hackett (200m, 4x100m), Kai Selvon (200m, 4x100m), Kamaria Durant (200m, 4x100m), Sparkle Mc Knight (400m Hurdles), Alena Brooks (800m), Tonya Nero (Marathon), Ayanna Alexander (Triple Jump) Cleopatra Borel (Shot Put) Keston Bledman (100m, 4x100m), Emmanuel Callender (100m, 4x100m), Jonathan Farinha (100m, 4x100m), Jereem Richards (200m, 4x400m), Kyle Greaux (200m, 4x100m, 4x400m), Nathan Farinha (200m, 4x100m), Marc Burns (4x100m), Machel Cedenio (400m, 4x400m), Lalonde Gordon (400m, 4x400m), Renny Quow (400m, 4x400m), Deon Lendore (4x400m), Akeem Stewart (Discus Throw, Shot Put), Shakeil Waithe (Javelin)
Dylan Carter (100m Butterfly, 100m Freestyle, 200m Freestyle, 50m Butterfly)
Naim Mohammed (Singles, Doubles), Nicholas Bonkowsky (Singles, Doubles)
Daynte Stewart, Daneil Williams, Rheeza Grant, Abby Blackman
Michael Alexander (Men’s 60kg), Nigel Paul (Men’s +91kg)
Njisane Phillip (1000m Time Trial, Keirin, Sprint, Team Sprint), Nicholas Paul (1000m Time Trial, Keirin, Sprint, Team Sprint), Kwesi Browne (1000m Time Trial, Keirin, Sprint, Team Sprint), Keron Bramble (1000m Time Trial, Keirin, Sprint, Team Sprint)
Rhodney Allen (10m Air Pistol, 25m Rapid Fire, 50m Pistol), Roger Daniel (10m Air Pistol, 25m Rapid Fire, 50m Pistol), Marlon Moses (50m Rifle), Michael Perez (Queen’s Prize Individual & Pairs), Delborn Ezekiel Joseph (Queen’s Prize Individual & Pairs)
Charlotte Knaggs (Singles, Mixed Doubles), Mandela Patrick (Singles, Men’s Doubles), Kale Wilson (Singles, Men’s & Mixed Doubles)
Aaron Wilson (Singles, Doubles Team), Yuvraaj Dookram (Singles, Doubles Team), Dexter St Louis (Singles, Mixed Doubles Team), Rheann Chung (Singles, Mixed Doubles)