media_artricles :: 2018
Top 10 sporting momentsTrinidad Guardian :: 03.01.2018
The term "best year in sports" has been brandished quite a few times in 2017. There is no standardised way to measure good, better or best, but to say the least, 2017 has indeed been a memorable year in sports for T&T athletes on the local, regional and international stages.
The past 12 months have certainly provided several notable achievements across almost every level from youth participation all the way up to elite accomplishments, but there have been quite a few disappointing instances which are better off forgotten (perhaps too many).
Sports have an extraordinary way of impacting societies on a broad level, influencing the lives of every man, woman, child and community.
In T&T, we have seen sport unite the nation in its most trying times, and it inspires individual to strive for excellence. There were numerous sporting highs also, but only a few had a serious lasting impact.
Guardian Media Sports have compiled our favourite memories which stood out as poignant moments that defined success and held significant transformational value during 2017 and the provide the platform as we look to greater achievements in 2018.
TOP TEN SPORTING MOMENTS
JEREEM'S DREAM RUN—On August 10, Jereem Richards raced to a bronze medal in the men's 200 metres final at the IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium in London, England.
Making his debut in the competition, the athlete from Point Fortin shocked the world after he clocked a time of 20.11 seconds, sending his community and his country into euphoria.
AWESOME FOURSOME - Three days after Richards' amazing feat, he joined relay team-mates Renny Quow, Machel Cedenio, Jarrin Solomon and Lalonde Gordon in wild celebrations as T&T won its first-ever 4x400 metres relay gold medal at the IAAF World Championships. The relay team clocked a time of 2:58.12—the fastest time recorded for the year in the event and the sixth fastest men's 4x400m outdoor relay of all time. Each member of the team received the country's second highest state decoration, Chaconia Gold, and the team was named the Americas' Best Male Athlete of the Year at the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Awards. The moment not only impacted the people of T&T, but sent shock waves throughout the world as it also marked team USA's first loss at the world championships in the men's 4x400m relay since 2003.
PARALYMPIC HEROES—On July 19, T&T's paralympic athlete, Akeem Stewart, won a gold medal in the men's F44 Javelin event at the World Para Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium in London, England. His throw of 57.61 metres set a new world record in the event, eclipsing his own previous record of 57.32 metres. Three days later, Stewart won another gold medal in the men's shot put F44 event, breaking another world record in the process. His colossal throw of 19.08 meters, far-surpassed the previous world record of 14.21 meters set 20 years ago. Stewart was awarded the country's third highest state decoration, a Hummingbird Gold. Also performing more than admirably at the Championship was Nyoshia Cain, who on July 17th, repeated as the women's 100 metres T44 Bronze medallist. Their accomplishments marked a fantastic few years for our para-athletes, who perhaps have not been given just recognition for continuing to inspire the nation.
CPL'S SUPER COOPER—T&T cricketer Kevon Cooper batted brilliantly to lead the Trinbago Knight Riders to a victory over the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the Caribbean Premier League Final at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy. Needing 28 runs from 13 balls, he closed out the 18th over with a six, before hitting two more sixes and a four in the 19th over. It was the second time the Knight Riders won the competition in the last three years, staking their dominance in the region.
VOLLEYBALL BREAKTHROUGH—T&T's women's volleyball team created history on October 14 when it became the first English-speaking Caribbean country to qualify for a Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) World Championship tournament after a 3-0 win over Costa Rica in the qualifiers at the National Cycling Centre in Couva. The historic moment symbolized a changing of the tide for T&T in the sport as all eyes will be on the "Soca Spikers" next year.
SOCA WARRIORS 2, USA 1—T&T's senior men's football team defeated USA 2-1 at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva in the final round of FIFA World Cup qualification (CONCACAF). The result meant little for the country's chances at qualification as it finished last in the group, but it served as a form of redemption after USA had previously knocked T&T out of 1990 World Cup qualifying contention in 1989.
BERLIN BOUND—On October 21, T&T's men's indoor hockey team qualified for 2018's Indoor Hockey World Cup in Berlin, Germany after beating Argentina 7-0 in the final of the Indoor Pan American Hockey Cup in Georgetown, Guyana. It signified the second time the indoor hockey team qualified for an Indoor Hockey World Cup, the first time being 2005.
4x100 GOLDEN ASCENSION—Though the race itself did not occur this year, in January, after a failed drug test by Jamaican sprinter Nesta Carter, the Jamaican team were stripped of their 2008 Olympic 4x100m gold medals and the 2008 T&T team ascended to the highest point of the podium, albeit belatedly.
CCCAN CONQUERED—On July 2, host T&T claimed its first-ever overall title at the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) Championship at the National Aquatic Centre in Couva. The 65 medals (21 golds, 26 silvers, and 18 bronzes) won by T&T marked the first time an English-speaking country had ever topped the overall points table.
DEXTER GOES PRO—T&T bodybuilder, Dexter Simon created history when he won the Caribbean's first ever gold medal at the Arnold Classic, topping the Men's Physique Masters division in Barcelona. In doing so, he attained his International Body Building Federation Pro Card.