Michelle-Lee Ahye and Kelly-Ann Baptiste bolt into action tonight, Trinidad and Tobago time, at the Olympic Stadium here in Tokyo, Japan. The T&T sprinters will be on show in round one of the Tokyo 2020 Women's 100 metres dash.
Ahye is competing at the Olympic Games for the third time. She made her debut at London 2012. It was at Rio 2016, however, that the Carenage speed merchant made a huge impact, reaching the 100 and 200 finals. Ahye finished sixth in both championship races.
Baptiste is as seasoned as they come in Olympic sprinting. A 17-year-old debutante back in 2004 in Athens, Greece, the Tobago track star has been on every T&T Olympic team since, the highpoint coming at London 2012, where she was sixth in the 100m final.
is the joint record holder, with swimmer George Bovell, for the most Team TTO Olympic appearances. Both are five-time Olympians.
Baptiste was honoured for her achievement with flag-bearer duties at the Olympic Stadium, last Friday. The 34-year-old became the first T&T female to carry the "Red, White and Black" at an Olympic Games opening ceremony.
Round one in the Women's 100 gets going at 11.15 p.m. (T&T time). Preliminary heats for the slower sprinters are scheduled from eight o'clock. Ten of the 27 women listed for action will earn the right to run in round one.
T&T sailor Andrew Lewis is on the water early this morning (T&T time) in race eight of the Men's Laser Class event. Dylan Carter will be in the pool at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre at 6.49 this morning, competing in heat three of the Men's 100m butterfly. Carter was eliminated in the heats in the 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle events.
Rower Felice Aisha Chow competed in the Women's single sculls C/D semi-final round after press time, last night, and will be back in action at either 7.25 or 7.45 this evening in the D or C final. And after ten, tonight, judoka Gabriella Wood squares off against Maryna Slutskaya of Belarus in a Women's Over 78kg first round contest.
In an interview with the Express, yesterday, chef de mission Lovie Santana said that "gutsy" was the best word to describe Team TTO's performances to date at Tokyo 2020.
"They are giving their all no matter what the challenges may be. I am not singling out any particular athlete at this time. I am very proud of their effort. This is a very unusual Olympic Games. There is no template for this one."
The implementation of Covid-19 countermeasures has ensured challenges aplenty at the Games of the XXXII Olympiad.
"They have to dig deep," said Santana. "It's the same for every athlete here at Tokyo 2020. There are ongoing challenges. The only thing certain is that nothing is certain. At this point my focus is dealing with and adapting to every obstacle and adversity that presents itself so as to get our athletes to compete safely."
The chef de mission stressed the importance of trusting God, prayer and teamwork in overcoming each hurdle.
"The efforts of our Covid-19 liaison officer (CLO) Rheeza Grant, medical chief Dr Rudy Ramsawak, Dr Nailah Adams, all the physiotherapists, massage therapists, coaches, managers, and every athlete, their level of discipline, personal responsibility and strength of character, it's incredible," Santana ended. "There is no respite."
Team TTO Schedule
Thursday, 12.05 a.m.
Andrew Lewis, Sailing, Men's Laser Class, Race 8
Thursday, 6.49 a.m.
Dylan Carter, Swimming, Men's 100m Butterfly, Heat 3
Thursday, 7.25 p.m. or 7.45 p.m.
Felice Aisha Chow, Women's Single Sculls, D or C Final
Thursday, 10.00 p.m. session
Gabriella Wood, Judo, Women's +78kg, Round of 32 vs Maryna Slutskaya (Belarus)
Thursday, 11.15 p.m.
Michelle-Lee Ahye, Athletics, Women's 100m, Round 1
Thursday, 11.15 p.m.
Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Athletics, Women's 100m, Round 1
Friday, 1.35 a.m.
Andrew Lewis, Sailing, Men's Laser Class, Races 9 & 10
Friday, 6.12 a.m.
Dylan Carter, Swimming, Men's 100m Butterfly, Heat 6
Friday, 6.25 a.m.
Portious Warren, Athletics, Women's Shot Put, Qualification
Friday, 6.36 a.m.