T&T's 2012 Olympic Team established our world-class brand
The historic success of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic team must be assessed against the barrenness this country experienced in four Olympics following Hasely Crawford's gold medal achievement in 1976 and before the double success of Ato Boldon at the 1996 Olympics. A 30-member contingent participated in six sporting disciplines and attained best-ever performances for the country in all except boxing.
The standard for Olympic qualification for sailing, cycling and shooting are far more rigorous than in the Olympics of the Hasely Crawfordera, when we placed 26th on the medal table with only 41 countries earning medals. All countries were allowed only one entrant per event. In some instances, they had to be top finishers in Pan American competition. Roger Daniel, Andrew Lewis and Njisane Phillip deserve significant praise for just getting to the Olympics. George Bovell's swimming success was attained in the final of the 50-metre freestyle and he emerged seventh fastest man in the pool.
But undoubtedly, the track and field team placed Trinidad and Tobago in 47th place among 200-plus nations (the majority of lower-ranked countries have larger populations).
Congrats to Keshorn Walcott-Olympic gold medallist, the only black man to win the javelin in sixty years. Congrats to Lalonde Gordon for his 400-metre bronze , Tobago's first ever Olympic medallist. Congrats to Lalonde and his teammates for winning bronze in the 4 x 400 metre relay, the first medal in 48 years in that event for this country. Congrats to our 4 x 100 metre men's team which copped bronze and our 4 x 100 metre women who unfortunately missed out on a medal placing with Tobagonians Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Semoy Hackett who both reached Olympic finals in 100 metres and 200 metres respectively. Jehue Gordon and Wayne Davis also helped to establish T&T's world class brand in athletics.
The T&T 2012 Olympic Team has embellished our sporting legacy in the year this nation heralds 50 years of Independence from Great Britain.