Trinidad and Tobago cyclists, Njisane Phillip and Quincy Alexander were early casualties in the Commonwealth Games men’s sprint, at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, here in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday.
Phillip clocked 10.188 seconds in the flying 200 metres to qualify ninth fastest for the first round of the sprint. Alexander, however, was 16th in the 28-man field at 10.774, and was eliminated. The top 12 qualified for the opening round.
Alexander’s exit was not straightforward. He suffered a puncture, his back tyre coming off the rim. The 20-year-old wheelman had to re-ride, and was not in the best frame of mind.
“Lucky he did not fall,” said Team T&T cycling manager Gregory Dandrade. “We had about three minutes to change the wheel and bring him back on track. Quincy was intimidated. He had to steer the bike (after the puncture), and it did shake him.”
Phillip drew Peter Lewis in the first round of the sprint, and lost to the Australian. The T&T rider had a second opportunity to advance to the quarterfinals, but in his repechage ride against Englishmen Matthew Crampton and Philip Hindes, Njisane was second best, finishing behind Crampton.
“Njisane is not on par as yet,” Dandrade reasoned, “because he’s lifting his game. The season just started, and he’s on the up—from 10.4s three weeks ago, and now 10.1. He’s improving, but is not on the level right now of the Australians, the English and New Zealand. Njisane is disappointed and hungry, and will give them a good run in the keirin.”
However, here was success for T&T’s netballers yesterday in their group B showdown with Caribbean rivals Barbados. It was a close encounter at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), but T&T prevailed in the end, 38-37.
Kalifa McCollin led the way, scoring 18 goals from 21 attempts. Joelisa Cooper was also prolific, scoring 16 from 21.
T&T trailed 13-9 after the first quarter, but battled back, outscoring their opponents 12-6 in the second period of play to take a 21-19 halftime lead. T&T were ahead 28-27 after three quarters, and eventually won by a single goal.
At Scotstoun Campus, T&T squash player Colin Ramasra won his opening men’s singles match against Ravindu Laksiri. He battled past his Sri Lankan opponent 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 6-11, 11-6 to advance to the round of 32. Ramasra, though, was stopped in his bid to go further in the draw, losing 7-11, 4-11, 1-11 to Chris Simpson, of Guernsey.
The other T&T player in the men’s draw, Kale Wilson went out in the round of 64, going under at 3, 2 and 2 to Australian Cameron Pilley.
In the women’s singles, T&T’s Charlotte Knaggs prevailed in a tough duel with Sri Lanka’s Naduni Gunawardane. Knaggs won 11-9, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9. But in the round of 32, Dipikia Pallikal was too good for Knaggs, the Indian cruising to an 11-4, 11-2, 11-1 triumph.
Another T&T player, Kerrie Sample got a bye into the round of 32, where she met Tesni Evans, of Wales. Evans emerged with a comfortable 11-3, 11-2, 11-3 victory.
In table tennis, there were mixed results for the T&T women’s team at Scotstoun Campus.
Led by France-based Rheann Chung, T&T whipped Tanzania 3-0. Chung stopped Neema Mwaisyula 11-4, 11-3, 11-6. Aleena Edwards beat Agnes Ngodoki 11-5, 11-5, 11-7. And in the doubles contest, Edwards and Catherine Spicer won at 3, 9 and 5.
But in their showdown with England, T&T were outclassed 3-0. Chung gave a spirited display against Joanna Drinkhall, before losing 7-11, 10-12, 6-11 to the defensive player. Kelly Sibley got past Spicer 11-9, 11-8, 11-1. England’s doubles combination of Sibley and Tin-Tin Ho then closed off the contest with an 11-6, 11-2, 11-3 success against Chung and Ashley Quashie.
Chung described the opening day of competition as “bitter/sweet”.
“This morning we played Tanzania and we won easily, but I knew against England it would be very difficult. Concerning my performance, I’m disappointed. I think I had a good chance against Drinkhall. The second set, I had it in my hands and kind of threw it away. That kind of traumatised me in the third set, I lost concentration, and everything went wrong after that.”
The T&T men lost 3-0 to England and 3-1 against Barbados.
France-based Dexter St Louis battled back from a game down to beat fellow-southpaw Kevin Farley 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5. But that was the only success for T&T.
Barbadian Mark Dowell defeated Curtis Humphreys 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 12-10. In the doubles, Trevor Farley and Dowell stopped St Louis and Aaron Wilson at 9, 8 and 1. And Kevin Farley finished off T&T with an 11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 12-10 triumph over Wilson.
In T&T’s clash with England, Paul Drinkhall was in uncompromising mood, turning back Humphreys at 8, 3 and 3. St Louis battled hard against Liam Pitchford, before going down 10-12, 3-11, 9-11. And Daniel Reed teamed up with Drinkhall in the doubles, the England pair beating Humphreys and Wilson 11-1, 11-6, 11-8.
Dylan Carter splashed into action at the Tollcross Swimming Centre, the T&T swimmer finishing eighth in heat three and 18th overall in the men’s 400 metres freestyle in three minutes, 58.41 seconds.
At the National Hockey Centre, the T&T men went under 6-1 to England.
By the 27th minute, England were 3-0 ahead, all three items coming from penalty corners. Mickell Pierre pulled one back for T&T in the 29th.
England extended their 3-1 halftime lead in the 51st minute, and were again on target, in the 59th and then the 64th, captain Barry Middleton scoring the final item.
The going was tougher for the T&T women. They were hammered 16-0 by South Africa. Dirkie Chamberlain scored four times for the South Africans.
And at Strathclyde Park, T&T’s David Cottle dropped out of the men’s triathlon after the 1.5-kilometre swimming leg.
Team T&T Today
(All TT times)
4.30 a.m. – Table tennis, Women vs Ghana
5.44 a.m. - Swimming, Dylan Carter, Men’s 200 free, heat 4
6.10 a.m. – Table tennis, Men vs Jamaica
After 7.00 a.m. – Squash, Men’s Plate, Kale Wilson
10.00 a.m. – Netball vs South Africa
2.00 p.m. – Hockey, Women vs New Zealand