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Remembering Mike Agostini

Bernard Linley :: 18.05.2016

Mike Agostini who died in Sydney, Australia, on 12 May 2016 was the top Trinidad sprinter in the fifties.

He stepped on to the world athletics stage at the age of 19 when taking the 100y title at the 1954 Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada, the country`s first ever gold medal at these games.

Michael George Raymond Agostini, born in Port of Spain on 23 January 1935, attended St Marys College until he left to work with BWIA. Following some fine races against Olympic medallists at the 1952 Christmas track meet in Jamaica he received several offers to study at US universities.

He went back to school in 1953 in order to obtain the university entrance requirements. Besides achieving these, he also played on the CIC soccer team and scored the winning goal in the Intercol match against QRC!  Then in 1954 he enrolled at Villanova University, but after one semester transferred to Fresno State University where he graduated in 1958 with a degree in economics.

After his Vancouver Games gold medal, Mike also won four individual Pan American Games medals in 1955 at Mexico City, and 1959 at Chicago (two silvers at 100m, two bronzes at 200m) plus a bronze in the 4x100m relay in Chicago when he was a member of the British West Indies (BWI) team.

Mike also represented Canada at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff where he won the 100y bronze medal.

On the home scene he was BWI 100m champion in 1959 (10.4), and Trinidad champion at 100y in 1952, 1953 and 1955, 100m in 1959, 220y in 1953 and curiously 400m in 1960, when he finished second but the winner was disqualified.

In the 1956 Olympic Games held in Melbourne, Australia, Agostini was sixth at 100m and fourth at 200m, and he retired from competition following his non-selection for the 1960 Rome Olympics because he did not compete in the team trials.

In 1959 he had settled in Australia, where for the next five decades he was involved in activities as varied as journalism, teaching, television, publishing magazines, writing books, running roti shops and organizing road races.

His career best times were: 100y 9.3 (1956), 100m 10.2 (1958), 220y straight 20.1 (1956), 220y turn 21.0 (1958) and 400m (47.4).

 

See NAAATT Championships Men's 100
See NAAATT Championships Men's 200
See NAAATT Championships Men's 400

 

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