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Akeem misses Paralympics

Akeem misses Paralympics

Go Back : Express : Kwame Laurence : 27.06.2021

Trinidad and Tobago will not be represented at the August 24 to September 5 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Reigning F42-44 men's javelin champion Akeem Stewart has pulled out of the Paralympics, while 2016 T43-44 women's 100 metres bronze medallist Nyoshia Cain Claxton recently gave birth and is unavailable for the Games.

T&T Paralympic Committee (TTPC) president, Sudhir Ramesar confirmed Stewart's withdrawal, on Sunday.

"We had two qualifiers for the Games," Ramesar told the Express. "Akeem and Nyoshia. Akeem will not attend the Games because he does not believe he had proper training and preparation. Everyone knows Akeem is a person who prepares properly because when he goes out there he gives his best.

"With Covid-19 challenges," the TTPC boss continued, "Akeem was unable to prepare as he is accustomed to, so he thought it best not to attend. When he made the decision, I asked him if he wants to think about it again. I spoke to him a couple days ago, and he said he will not compete. You always have to respect the decision of the athlete and provide support."

Ramesar said there were other T&T athletes whose Paralympic Games aspirations were affected by the global pandemic.

"There was wheelchair racer Jabari Knights and rower Ian Barrington, both out of London. As an athlete you can train as much as you want, but there's an edge you gain through competition. They didn't get it, and were unable to qualify."

The TTPC president said he is looking forward to the further development of para sports in T&T.

"Unfortunately, the Covid setbacks the world is experiencing also impacted us locally. We have lost about 15 months so far with our plans. We're on the back foot, but not off course.

"The goal is to get T&T into a team sport on the international para stage by 2023/24.

"Goalball for the visually impaired is in the pipeline. Our development officer, Micky Ruben also plans to introduce blind athletics, and we have two tandem bikes for visually impaired cycling," Ramesar ended.

"Something to look forward to."