The naming and introduction of two new non-national football coaches for Trinidad and Tobago women’s and men’s senior teams respectively and the brilliant preliminary-round performance by TT’s 20-year-old Dylan Carter on what was Day Two of the 13th World Short Course Swimming Championships in Windsor, Canada appeared to have set tongues wagging but the expected block-buster finish to Carter’s Day failed to be realized.
Having to wait some ten to 12 days for the announcement of a new men’s coach to continue Trinidad and Tobago’s bid to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals – this after the TTFA and TT national Stephen Hart parted ways with TT losers of both Cup finals qualifying matches so far, the TTFA yesterday named little-known Belgian Tom Saintfieth, a 43-year-old who just completed a stint as Bangladesh head coach.
Bangladesh is ranked 183 in the world, quite a way below T&T.
Saintfieth’s first duty will be to lead T&T in a 2017 Gold Cup playoff series against Suriname on January 4, and Haiti on January 8 – both games to be played in Trinidad.
The Belgian will then preside over T&’s resumed World Cup qualifying campaign with matches against Panama on March 24 and Mexico on March 28.
TTFA President David John Williams said at the Media Conference yesterday Saintfeith’s status will be assessed by the outcomes of these two matches. Trinidad and Tobago are in home-and-away round-robin competition with Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Mexico and the USA to arrive at the three CONCACAF teams for automatic passage to the World Cup finals. The fourth-place finisher gets another World Cup qualifying chance by having to engage an Asian Confederation team in a two-match playoff.
Williams also named Carolina Morace as new TT women’s Head Coach and Women’s football Tecnichal Director. Morace picks up duty in January next year.
Meanwhile, swimmer Carter was fourth in the men’s 200m freestyle final last night in the World Short Course Championships.
Carter who has been impressive throughout his junior career winning multiple CARIFTA and Caribbean Island Nations championship medals appeared to have set the stage for a medal in the 200 after winning Heat 9 of the 11 200-metre Heats yesterday morning in a time of 1:42.90.
That time emerged the fastest of the 106 swimmers who contested the Heats including South Africa’s Olympic, Commonwealth and World championship medallist Chad le Clos.
But Korean Taehwan Park twho was second to Carter in the Heat turned the tables on the TT swimmer by winning the final in a time of 1:41.03 with defending champion LeClos second and Russian Alexsandr Krasnick third.
Krasnick had the second fastest time from the Heats .
Park’s final winning time was a championship and Asian record. Carter who scratched from the 100-metre backstroke on opening day Tuesday to be sharper for yesterday’s 200 has two more races on his log before the championships end on Sunday.