A THREE-MAN national team comprising captain Martin Joseph, Keron Bourne and Kelvin Guy, along with president of the TT Sambo and Combat Sambo Federation, Jason Fraser, left TT for Romania yesterday to challenge the Sambo World Championships, which starts tomorrow and concludes Monday.
According to Fraser, in a media release, the team was hoping to leave with a larger contingent of athletes, between ten and 12, but were unable to due to a “lack of financial support.”
“Teams have already arrived in Romania to begin acclimatising to the conditions,” he said, adding, “unfortunately, our team would be only arriving a mere 12 hours before the start of the competition.”
The International Sambo Federation (FIAS) has paid for three tickets for the TT team to attend the event.
According to Fraser, this is the third international sambo event for the year for which FIAS has assisted with airfare for the TT athletes, the earlier events being the Pan American Games in Mexico in July, where the team earned two bronze medals, and the President’s Cup in Northern Ireland, where they secured two silver medals.
Last year, FIAS also covered tickets for the team to participate at the Pan American Games in Colombia, the President’s Cup in London and the World Championships in Sochi, Russia. TT earned medals in each of those competitions.
“One of the main reasons for their supper is the success rate of the local athletes in the past,” said Fraser, adding: “In the past six years, Trinidad and Tobago won 94 medals.
“I feel as though the national sambo team is a Russian sambo team as we have been supported and funded by their federation and government to compete at these international competitions.”
Fraser said the federation, however, is thankful to the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs for the support they have offered in assisting the athletes to attain time off from their respective jobs to represent the country, “as it was made clear to us that the ministry has no funding to support our team’s travels to these competition at this time as they have no funding.”
“We also wish to thank the ministry for the support rendered in April, 2018, when we were able to host a very successful first Caribbean Invitational Open Championships for 25 countries.”