...Tributes pour in from Govt
The Government yesterday showered praise on Olympic bronze medallist Lalonde Gordon for his bringing honour to Trinidad and Tobago.
In a statement, issued by the Office of the Prime Minster, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who is attending Jamaica's 50th anniversary celebrations, said: "We are very proud today of Lalonde's achievement in winning bronze and we congratulate him! He has brought glory and pride to our country with his medal-winning performance. As a small twin-island state, we have once again made our mark on the world stage with excellence in the international sporting arena," Persad-Bissessar said.
"All of our athletes who are representing Trinidad and Tobago at the London Olympics have brought us pride for their great sportsmanship. Their performance demonstrates how the will to succeed and a hunger for excellence can indeed bring rewards. Certainly, there can be no better tribute to our nation than to have achieved Olympic glory in the year of our 50th Anniversary of Independence."
Congratulations poured in from National Security Minister Jack Warner, who is acting as Prime Minister and Minister of Sport, as well as from current Minister of Sport Anil Roberts, who is in London, England.
Warner sent "congratulations" to Gordon for capturing the bronze in the men's 400 metres event and for clocking his personal best of 44.52 seconds at the Olympic Games in London, yesterday. It was the second time Gordon had broken his personal record in as many days.
"Lalonde's accomplishment is a shining example to all that hard work and dedication has its rewards and it is my hope that his win will be an inspiration to our youths who are in need of positive role models. Commendations are also due to our other Olympic stars who shone today. Njisane Phillip placed fourth in the cycle sprint event. It is the highest achievement of a local in the sport and indeed our young cyclist impressed the international community with his skills. I am sure we have only seen a taste of what this young man is capable of," he said.
He also praised Semoy Hackett and Kai Selvon both of whom progressed to the women's 200 metres semi-final round today.
"At this point I wish to indicate that on the issue of honours for our bronze medallist and our other distinguished athletes, I will be speaking with the Honourable Prime Minister and the Minister of Sports, the Honourable Anil Roberts, who will advise on what tributes and welcome plans the country will offer," he said.
Roberts, who is in London, issued a media release yesterday saying that the 23-year-old from Lowlands, Tobago, "blasted through the first round of the event and won his semi-final in a person best of 44.58.
"In the final, Lalonde was up against the reigning World Champion, Grenadian Kirani James and the veteran Chris Brown from the Bahamas," he said.
Roberts said Lalonde's race was "perfectly executed" and he showed that one should never discount an underdog.
"Athletics is the sport that has brought the most glory to our country at the Olympics, so it is fitting that our first medal at the 2012 Games would be earned on the track. I hope the progress Lalonde has made, improving his personal best twice over three races, serves to inspire us all to better our own performances in life and in sport," he said.
Gordon became the second Trinidad and Tobago national to medal in the Olympic 400 m. Former finance minister Wendell Mottley won silver at the 1964 Tokyo, Japan, Olympics.