Fans shocked at Bovell’s finish
By LAUREL WILLIAMS Saturday, August 4 2012
AT ATHERLY’S By the Park restaurant and bar on Cipero Street, San Fernando, there were few patrons who eagerly awaited the start of the race.
Owner of the business place and former San Fernando Mayor Ian Atherly, speaking to Newsday following the results noted this country has always supported athletes. Atherly admitted he was still happy for Bovell.
“George was able to go out there and produced one of his better times in the earlier rounds. He had fun and that is important for athletes.
“When a country and government treat athletes with scant courtesy, it really difficult to comprehend. The sports men and women have gotten all the support from the country,” Atherly said.
He noted Bovell and other athletes have been able to bring the country together which is something politicians have failed to do.
“Yet still we do not see the importance of sport men and recognise the role that sport plays in the lives of people.
“I am happy for George despite the fact that he came 7th . As you can see people came out and were interested in what TT have to produce and we will continue doing that,” the former mayor said.
He was hopeful the athletes are having a good time during the Olympics.
Another patron at the restaurant and bar, Dawad Phillip who is the special advisor to Community Development Minister Winston “Gypsy” Peters, said, “We may have lost a battle but the war is still ahead. We sent 30 athletes so it is not as if we sent one.
“We continue to put hope and support in the remaining athletes and events.”
Although Phillip admitted he would have like a Bovell to win a medal, he added the fact that he (Bovell) made it to London in England was an achievement in itself.
Meanwhile fans in the southland were shocked and somewhat disappointed after Bovell produced a somewhat shoddy seventh place performance in the Olympic Men’s 50m freestyle finals at the Aquatic Centre in London, England, yesterday.
Bovell was previously billed one of Trinidad and Tobago’s best medal hopes at the Games.
However, all hopes sank yesterday when the three-time Olympian failed to finish among the top-three and touched the wall in a distant 21.82 seconds.
Bovell’s time in the heats and semi-finals on Thursday were faster than his final swim. In the earlier stages, he clocked 21.77s in both events.
Speaking to Newsday at the new liming spot in south, The Rig, many patrons were very disappointed with Bovell’s performance. “It wasn’t what I expected,” said one patron who gave her name as Aleema.
“I thought he would have been among the top three finishers. But honestly, I’m still proud of him and he did his best.”
Other patrons at the popular bar and restaurant shared similar sentiments as the local swimmer’s performance sent shockwaves throughout the twin island republic.
Workers at the establishment also thought Bovell III would have had a better performance and also displayed saddened signs.
“Wey, I loss my money. I bet on George to come first and he make me loss my $200. What you go do, he try,” said one employee who wished to remain anonymous.
However, the fan-support at surrounding bars seemed to be a bit dismal.
While many locals were well aware that Bovell was going to be swimming in the final today, some may have opted to stay at home and witness his seventh place finish.
Now, Trinibagonians will now turn their attention to the nation’s most promising sporting discipline, Athletics.