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Praise for NAAA for Olympic effort

By Mark Pouchet

Outgoing Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (T&TOC) president Larry Romany praised the contribution track and field made to this country's historic London Olympic Games performance when the National Association of Athletics Administration (NAAA) hosted their Annual Awards for 2012 at Capital Plaza, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, Saturday evening.

"Once again the NAAA and track and field in Trinidad and Tobago has flown the flag proudly for the world to see in very, very grandiose fashion and for that we are truly blessed and grateful and I want to on behalf of the Olympic committee and a grateful nation to thank the organisers of the NAAAs and all those who worked very, very hard to ensure the team got to London because it was no easy feat," Romany said.

The TTOC president said it was very easy for the public to not understand the role that managers and team support staff play.

"I want to tell you that this has been the best managed Olympic team ever. They had received as much as we could have given, and….we can see where the athletes appreciated what was done," he said.

Romany said one of the most important aspects coming out of the London games was the local athletes' increased awareness of the future their careers can give them.

"And that has to be something that we need to pay close attention to in going forward. We have reached the point where athletes will have the opportunity to really make a livelihood not necessarily from their trade but how they present themselves as a result of what they are doing," he said.

Later on in the two-and-a-quarter hour presentation, Olympic gold medallist Keshorn Walcott took home the lion's share of the awards.

Walcott, who shocked the world to win javelin gold at London 2012, reeled in another big haul following similar performances at the Ministry of Sport/Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) Spirit of Sport Awards, and the T&T Olympic Committee's (TTOC) annual awards function at the end of 2012.

This time, his arms were full again as he copped five awards, including Senior Male Athlete of the Year, Junior Male Athlete of the Year, Senior Male Field Athlete of the Year, Under-20 Field Athlete of the Year and also was named one of the Outstanding Performers of the Year.

Walcott's fellow Olympian Kelly-Ann Baptiste was named Senior Female Athlete of the Year and Senior Female Track Athlete of the Year. Other awardees included Tonya Nero who was the top Female Cross Country and top Female Road Runner of the Year, while Lalonde Gordon was honoured as the Senior Male Track Athlete of the Year.

Cougars Athletic Club did enough to be named Champion Club of the Year, while Memphis Pioneers ran away with both the Junior and Senior Champion Club awards.

Cleopatra Borel's exploits on the international stage, including a performance that saw her finish just outside the Olympic shot put final, made her the Senior Female Field Athlete of the Year.

Attending the awards ceremony, were this country's first Olympic gold medallist Hasely Crawford, T&TOC general secretary Brian Lewis, NAAA president Ephraim Serrette, and feature speaker and renowned regional storyteller Paul Keens Douglas who delivered a humorous address to the gathering.

Soca artiste Blaxx also entertained the crowd with a 30-minute set with different music genres.

2012 NAAA Annual Awards Honour Roll

List of awardees

Under 9

Girl-Vannesa Stephens (D'Abadie Progressive)

Boy-Javaughn Weston (Cougars)

Under 11

Girl-Patrice Richards (Neon Trackers)

Boy-Arielle Kerr (Cougars)

Under 13

Girl-Jenea Spinks (Neon Trackers)

Boy-Adel Colthrust (Southern Athletics)

Under 15

Track

Girl-Nikita Paual (Concorde)

Boy-Terry Fredrick (Pt. Fortin New Jets)

Field

Girl-Akidah Briggs (Toco TAFAC)

Boy-Javaugh Watson (D'Abadie Progressive)

Under 17

Track

Girl-Jeminise Parris (Memphis)

Boy-Jonathan Farinha (Abilene Wildcats)

Field

Girl-Chelsea James (Falcons)

Boy-Kenejah Williams (Falcons)

Under 20

Track

Girl-Kenesha Spann (Neon Trackers)

Boy-Machel Cedenio (Simplex)

Field

Girl-Cherisse Murray(Toco TAFAC)

Boy-Keshorn Walcott (Rebirth)

Open

Track

Female-Kelly-Ann Baptiste (Zenith)

Male-Lalonde Gordon (Tigers)

Field

Female-Cleopatra Borel (Eagles)

Male-Keshorn Walcott (Rebirth)

Combined Events

Under 18

Girl-Ayanna Glascow (Toco TAFAC)

Boy-Kevin Roberts (Pt. Fortin New Jets)

Under 20

Girl-Kechel Douglas (Toco TAFAC)

Cross Country

Female-Tonya Nero (Athletic Central)

Male-Denzil Ramirez (TTDF)

Road Running

Female-Tonya Nero (Athletic Central)

Male-Matthew Hagley (TTDF)

Outstanding Performances 2012

Keshorn Walcott-Men Javelin-84.58m

Lalonde Gordon-Men 400m-44.52

Jehue Gordon-Men 400m Hurdles-47.96

Kelly-Anna Baptiste-Women 100m-10.86

Adel Colthrust-B U 13 100m-11.28

Reubin Walters-B U18 110m Hurdles-13.49

Richard Thompson-Men 100m (seventh place Olympic finals-9.98)

Machel Cedenio-B U 18 400m-46.02

Kenejah Williams-B U17/18 Shot Put/Discus

Semoy Hackett-Women 100m

Top club

Juvenile-Cougars

Junior-Memphis

Senior-Memphis

Junior

Female-Kenesha Spann (Neon Trackers)

Male-Keshorn Walcott (Rebirth)

Senior

Female-Kelly Ann Baptiste (Zenith)

Male-Keshorn Walcott (Rebirth)

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