SPECIAL Olympics TT’s (SOTT) medal count soared to four gold and three silver medals at the Special Olympics 2019 World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, yesterday, with Melissa Nanan, Jaleel Pierre, Aaliyah Harrigin and La Toya Charles all claiming the highest awards.
Twenty-one-year-old Nanan, swimming out of lane five, captured gold in the 50m freestyle, clocking 57.69 seconds, ahead of Pakistan’s Shanza Munir (58.33 seconds) and Carol Berclaz (59.48) of Switzerland, who rounded off the podium spots.
Also, in the pool, Jaleel Pierre copped two medals, a gold in the 25m butterfly, dominating his opponents with his win in 17.72 seconds, ahead of Algeria’s Nacer Ben Ali (22.17 seconds) and Pedro Passos of Portugal, who clocked 23.42 seconds.
Pierre earlier celebrated a silver medal in the 50m freestyle, clocking 33.48 seconds, the same as Balent Ranz of Hungary.
Harrigin, meanwhile, won her gold medal in Equestrian “Level CI - Working Trails” event. Riding Al Amro, Harrigin, scored 66 points to hold off a challenge from Anton Edinak of SO Russia (58 points) and Joseph Bradley of SO USA (57 points). Harrigin’s team-mate, Jamella Bart, riding Ajeeba, earned a silver medal, finishing her Group D5 “Level CI - Working Trails” event with 46 points, while Kellie Simmons, on Tchuss, took fourth spot in her group D6 “Level CI - Working Trails” event later in the day.
In athletics, Tershana Tempro won gold for SOTT in the 200m, clocking 34.63 seconds, with Charles, a veteran sprinter, bursting to the finish line in 30:90 seconds to capture gold in her 200m event.
Charles finished ahead of Aysha Alsubei of SO Bahrain (32:11) and Kristina Richard of SO Canada (32:32 sec)
In bocce, Bernard Singh drew 5:5 with Siosi Sebastian of SO Papua New Guinea and lost 5:12 to Jiang Hong Pan of SO Chinese Taipei, while Gary Boodoo, also competing in the bocce singles event, overcame Cecil Fevrier of SO St. Lucia 6:0 and Saurab Karki of SO Nepal 12:1.
TT will continue to compete in the same sports, and others including powerlifting over the course of the games.