Caribbean Games 2009 in trying times
With just about five months left before the official Opening Ceremony of the inaugural Caribbean Games the organisers are duly concerned about ensuring that all is readied in time to facilitate a level of competition that meets the requirement of the international sporting community.
To the organisers the Caribbean Games 2009 is not any village affair. It is a major international undertaking watched by the sporting nations around the world whether or not they are direct participants.
If, as the organisers are hoping, the remarkable Usain Bolt graces the competitive arena in Trinidad and Tobago, the entire world would want to feast their eyes on what could easily be another record-breaking performance.
As the host nation Trinidad and Tobago is under the microscope in respect of its ability to host the inaugural Caribbean Games.
At the time of requesting to be the first hosts the twin-island Republic was clearly smarting at the high prices of oil on the global market and the huge windfall being enjoyed by the entire society. Things have changed significantly since the latter part of 2008 when world oil prices dropped from $150.00 USD to less than $40 USD per barrel.
Original plans saw a hefty budget directed at significantly improving the sports infrastructure for athletics, boxing, netball, tennis and volleyball (beach and indoor). With the impact that global oil prices have on the global economy and the subsequent consequences for oil-dependent Trinidad and Tobago, the organisers have worked diligently to ensure that the standard of Caribbean Games 2009 is not compromised. Indeed the government of Trinidad and Tobago has given assurances that it remains fully committed to the realisation of a most successful first-time event.
Imagine yourself sitting in the stands of the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Woodbrook, eagerly awaiting the start of the 100m finals of the inaugural Caribbean Games. Imagine too, that the finalists include the likes of Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Michael Frater (Jamaica), Churandi Martina (Netherlands Antilles), Richard Thompson and Marc Burns (Trinidad and Tobago, all finalists at the historic Beijing Olympics in the same event. Add to the 100m field Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis and Darryl Browne of Trinidad and Tobago. Who in the world would want to miss such a final?
Who would not want to believe that if all are at their very best form just a few weeks prior to the IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Berlin, Germany, we could see the establishment of another world 100m record?
This is only one event at the Caribbean Games 2009. We could easily have Trinidad and Tobago versus Jamaica in the finals of the 4 x 100m relay, the gold and silver medallists in Beijing.
In netball, the third ranked team in the world, Jamaica, would be on display as the rest of the region attempt to attain similar heights in preparation for the 2011 World Championships. We may recall that in 1979 Trinidad and Tobago topped the very Jamaica and shared the world title in a three-way tie for the first time in the history of the sport, with Australia and England. However, Barbados has been improving and may well prove a spoiler in the competition.
Volleyball promises to pit the ever world ranked Cuba against the wily and ever-improving Dominican Republic. Puerto Rico will also be in attendance and the fast developing Trinidad and Tobago.
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