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Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee

By TERENCE HILTON-CLARKE
(c)copyright

Part3

Wednesday, June 24th 1998
 
 

First for Boldon, close for Morris

The 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona came off at the beginning of a new era. The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe led to the appearance of several fledgling teams, such as Croatia, while the former Soviet Union staged its final Olympic appearance - as the Unified Team. Again, Trinidad and Tobago were represented by a small team of eight athletes. Gene Samuel returned with his reputation restored by two big performances in 1991: a gold medal in the time trial at the Pan American Games in Havana and a third place finish at the World Cycling Championships in Stuttgart. There was also Maxie Cheeseman, a man hoping to improve upon his seventh placing in the match sprint, four years earlier. This duo was joined by a six member track team: Ian Morris, Patrick Delice, Robert Guy, Alvin Daniel, Neil DeSilva and Ato Boldon. Morris had followed up his appearance in the 400m final in 1988, with a silver medal at the Pan Am Games and another final making performance at the '91 World Championships in Tokyo. Daniel was once a top 100 and 200m runner at the junior level who had developed into Morris' major rival over the 400m. The two actually had to be separated from a physical altercation, following Morris' victory at the Hampton Games in Port of Spain in May.
Delice was a team mate of Morris' from Seoul, while Guy also had a fair amount of experience, De Silva was making inroads at both the 200 and 400m and 18 year old Boldon had developed into a meteoric sensation: He recorded an impressive 200m victory at the National Championships and then copped the 100-200 double at the CAC Junior Championships in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Once again, through illness and injury, Samuel was unable to transfer his previous form onto the cycle track in Barcelona and could only place eighth in the time trial, in a time of 1:05.49. The event was won by Spain's Jose Moreno. An impulsive decision to enter into the points race event did not bring much consolation: 19th place. Meanwhile, Cheeseman had to be content with 11th spot in the match sprint. On the athletics track at the Montjuic Olympic Stadium saw an early set of eliminations. The precocious Boldon was unable to negotiate the first rounds of either the 100 or 200 metres. De Silva did reach the semi-finals of the latter, before being disqualified for running outside of his lane - after originally finishing in seventh place. Delice and Daniel went out in the first and second rounds of the 400m, but Morris made it all the way to the final. He came within inches of an Olympic medal, being edged into fourth place by Kenya's Samson Kitur. There was another final appearance, Trinidad and Tobago's sixth, in the 4x400m relay. In the end, the team of DeSilva, Delice, Daniel and Morris claimed seventh position.

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