T&T?s champion in the 62-kilogram weight division, Keron Bourne, declared that the result at the Sambo Presidents Cup Combat Sambo Grand Slam that took place on September 30 in London, England, affirms that ?hard work pays off?. Speaking at Tuesday night?s welcome reception at the VIP Lounge of the Piarco International Airport.
Bourne stated that it was sleepless nights, a burning desire to win and the ?grace of God?, which guided him to the title in London.
He is now looking to the Sambo World Championships that take place from November 10-12 and he has testified that he ?will medal once given the proper requirements to do so.?
Following T&T?s triumph at the fourth annual event, president of the T&T Sambo and Combat Sambo Federation and acting manager of the T&T Combat Sambo team Jason Fraser said, ?I am very elated with the team?s performance in the competition but is left with a bittersweet feeling about the events which preceded the competition.?
Despite the fact that T&T were not awarded the opportunity to field a full team for the competition due to a lack of funding, the three competitors who represented the nation did not disappoint.
Another veteran Martin Joseph took home a silver medal in the 100 kg weight division, and the debutant to the competition, Domingo Bickharry, rounded out the medals for team T&T, finishing joint third in the 74 kg weight division.
Fraser described the success of the athletes as the ?best feeling ever? and proclaimed, ?It was the first time we saw all the countries cheering for T&T.?
Still, even with the team?s success, Fraser believes that there is a lot of work that needs to be done to ensure the federation can continue to take the necessary steps in the right direction.
He affirmed that the team travelled to London with a mere ?50 pounds between the four of them? and had it not been for an intervention from the Commonwealth Sambo Association, the team would not have been granted the opportunity to compete at the tournament.
© Humberto José Ramírez
© Humberto José Ramírez Urdaneta