Saturday, August 11, 2012

Samuels says media needs balance in Olympics

By Andre E Baptiste

On Saturday , a nineteen year old Trinidad and Tobago citizen- Keshorn Walcott , will seek further history , when he competes in the Mens Javelin final at 2.20pm ( Trinidad and Tobago time), having already become the first man ever from this country to reach so far . In fact , of the list of twelve finalists in the Javelin, Walcott is the only one from the Pan American region ( which includes the USA and Canada).

However , Executive member of the NAAA , and former Public Relations Officer - Peter Samuel - is not happy with the media coverage from Trinidad and Tobago , citing instances where he believes the media has gone wrong ,” The media in this country , like to build up athletes and then break them down , how can they be saying Keshorn goes for Gold ....yes we all want him to get gold or any medal, but we have to be realistic in the messages we send,” stated a clearly upset Samuel

“ If one examines the field of twelve , there are two men who have thrown 91 ,one who has thrown 88 and two more who have done 86 , these are the points which need to be put in context , Keshorn just broke the national record at 83 in the World Junior Championships , about a month and a half ago when he won the World title can we then be putting all this pressure on him, and when he does not achieve a medal, people say , he has failed,” added Samuel

“ Of course , he is in the final and anything can happen and he can produce a herculean effort and be in the top three, but the media need to check their statistics and what they are saying , they should not just be looking for headlines at the expense of our young athletes....what we need to do is highlight what a great achievement this is and continue to support him, so that he and the sport can grow,” declared Samuels

Samuels drew reference to one media house , that had a headline -Semoy Hacket fails to impress -,” How can they say that , she has done her personal best in the 100 metes and 200 metres and become the first woman from this country to reach a 200 metres final , she has run over seven races so far , why are we doing this to her , it is just crazy.”

Samuels would like the media in Trinidad and Tobago to pay more attention to the achievements and not always be looking to just getting gold , silver and bronze ,” That is an ideal, but you cannot be asking our athletes , like those in Swimming - George Bovell - or those in Cycling - Njisane Phillips , - questions , like - what went wrong or what they did wrong , have we thought that our competitors are just doing a lot more things right , like better support in all areas/”

“The problem, is that many times, the public will listen to what was said and they would react to media saying this sort of  poor comments about our athletes ,” said Samuels

:: AB

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