National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago

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Roach: Keshornís coach is Godís gift to TT

Jelani Beckles :: Newsday :: 22.08.2016

MANAGER of Keshorn Walcott, Sean Roach, said that Walcott's coach Ismael Lopez Mastrapa is God's gift to Trinidad and Tobago after he guided Walcott to another Olympic medal in the men's javelin event on Saturday.

Walcott, who won gold at the 2012 London Olympics, grabbed bronze in the men's javelin earning TT 's only medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Walcott's second attempt of 85.38 metres earned him the bronze medal behind German Thomas Rohler (90.30m) and Kenyan Julius Yego (88.24m).

Roach praised Mastrapa for the work he has done with Walcott since he became his coach in 2009.

Roach, in an interview yesterday, said, "we all know Keshorn is a three-time gold medallist at the Carifta Games and he has been working with Ismael Lopez Mastrapa ever since then.

Ishmael is a God bless gift to our nation. He is a very talented and knowledgeable coach, even the physiotherapist and strength coach he has been working with Abdel Murguia Miranda is another talented guy. Those guys have worked with the Cuban Olympic team and have had many successes." Roach believes Walcott did an excellent job considering he was under pressure to bring home a medal for TT .

"I feel like he did his best. As a manager and as part of the team that's all you could ask for of an athlete. I know he had a lot of pressure on his back seeing that he was the last athlete to compete (for TT ).

But he went out there and he did what he had to do." The TT public has been criticising the national athletes' performances during the Olympics and Roach believes TT has been harsh on the athletes.

He said, "in my view yes (the public has been coming down hard on the athletes). We have to take things in its stride. If we look at the performance of the athletes, for example Machel Cedenio he placed fourth in a very tough race." He added, "Michelle-Lee Ahye made it to three finals.

Her time was not a mediocre time she is running some world class times.

A lot of our athletes did very well and we have to take it in stride and really understand that and learn from that and push forward." Cedenio finished fourth in the men's 400m event while Ahye represented TT in the women's 100m, 200m and 4x100m finals.

The country is anticipating the return of Walcott to TT but Roach said they were scheduled to confirm last night if Walcott will call it a season and come home or whether he would compete in more meets abroad.


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