media_artricles :: 2018
St Fort selected for Commonwealth teamJelani Beckles :: Newsday :: 21.03.2018
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.'"
Khalifa St Fo