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Sep 19, 2005

Choto brothers top the field in Lionman Triathlon

Story PictureGood evening, I’m James Adderley with a hefty dish of Sports Monday. The Lionman Triathlon–an invention of Efrain “Beeps” Philips–has certainly captured the Belizean imagination. In its seventh edition, this particular event turned out to be a monster.

And here’s a taste of the early morning sights and sounds at the Sandlighter’s Promenade here in Belize City where some forty athletes are set on grabbing the 2005 title as we go to the opening swim in the Caribbean sea. And with a signal from the starter, the point nine miles of swimming begins.

Very quickly Wolly Wolger of BATSUB, who won the sprint triathlon, establishes his dominance in the water. And here he is the British gentleman completing the first leg of his triathlon to become the man to chase.

Jim Scott, who was runner up in the sprint edition, comes out second, while Wolger’s team-mate number thirty-seven?we couldn’t get his name?swims in third.

In the meantime, sixteen-year-old Giovanni Choto of Cayo emerges out the sea in fourth place and jumps on his bicycle to begin the twenty-four miles ride. And I guess you all know the Choto brothers are full time cyclists at the highest categories.

Of course, we simply can’t forget the only female contender today, Shalini Zabaneh, who comes out the water looking very strong.

So we head to the turn around point at mile ten on the Western Highway where Wolly Wolger continues his big lead, but young Giovanni Choto of Cayo has already caught up with him.

The lead duo is being chased by Jose Choto and the Rojas brothers, Calvin and Linden. Jim Scott is there, so is Pat Palacio, and Hubert Johnson, a two-time champion.

In the meantime people, Shalini Zabaneh knows she’s competing against herself today, but nevertheless she pushes the pace.

At the end of the twenty-four mile ride, it’s Wolger and young Giovanni disembarking at the same time and they’re off to complete the final stage – a run of six point two-three miles.

Kindly note, Jose Choto and the Rojas brothers certainly remain within striking distance when they conclude their ride. The next wave of athletes to bike in finds Hubert Johnson, Pat Palacio, and Jim Scott — all of the Masters category.

Hey folks what’s this? In fact, where is Wolly Wolger we ask because halfway through the run it’s Giovanni Choto all by his lonesome self.

Not far behind is Wolly Wolger and guess what people, Jose Choto has stepped on his heels. At this very moment Shalini Zabaneh is getting off her bike to begin her three-mile run.

As we head to the finish line, gird your lions for a few surprises. First of all, it’s the Choto brothers, Giovanni and Jose, in command in this final stage. They display deep brotherly affection by holding hands as they head to the finish line. However, the camera determines that Giovanni is the overall winner and Jose happily settles for second. Both were clocked in at an overall time of two hours, twelve minutes, and fifteen seconds.

Now if you believe in miracles, here’s one — Hubert Johnson, the veteran champ, has stormed past everybody else except the Choto brothers to grab third place overall in two hours, fourteen minutes, one second… and believe me, that’s big whether you understand it or not.

Respect goes to Calvin Rojas who places fourth overall and his brother Linden who rounds out the top five. We say good show.

And ladies and gentlemen, meet the 2005 female winner, Shalini Zabaneh who completed the event in two hours, forty-two minutes and twenty-five seconds.

Meanwhile folks, the Choto brothers maintained their unity throughout the post game interview.

Jose Choto, 2nd place Overall
“Two ah we win it, because if he win dah just like if I win and if I win dah just like if he win.”

James Adderley
“I was looking at you official photograph as shown to us by the cameraman and it appears that the red shirt was ahead a bit.”

Jose Choto, 2nd place Overall
“Yeah, but I mi di give he the race and then he nevah want and then I tell ah that I push them a lot to make them workout hard, so if they win I feel good.”

James Adderley
“Which was the hardest part of this particular Lionman Triathlon for you today?”

Giovanni Choto, Overall Winner/Jr. Champion
“For me dah mi the swimming.”

James Adderley
“Tell us about that experience.”

Giovanni Choto, Overall Winner/Jr. Champion
“It mi very hard because the lee waves choke you up with the water and it burns your eyes too.”

Hubert Johnson, 3rd Overall, 1st Masters Class
“Last year I blacked out about just over a hundred and fifty yards from the finish and everybody said I was finished, I am too old for the sport, all the guys my age tell me I am too old. But just the week before prior to that race, I did a good time, so I knew it wasn’t me, just dehydration and conditions. But this year I had ran the 10K, the marathon for the B.D.F., and I almost blacked out again around by the hospital. When I went to check my blood it was eleven point two.”

James Adderley
“That’s very low.”

Hubert Johnson
“Very, very low. But I start taking iron, because I know that for the last twenty-odd years I have been a blood donor, but I have always been a borderline with by HB. It’s usually between fourteen and eighteen, but I have always been around thirteen, thirteen point eight.”

James Adderley
“Do you see today’s win as a redemption of sorts?”

Hubert Johnson
“Yes, sure it is. I proved to myself that I could do it, that it wasn’t washed up, and really that it wasn’t just dehydration.”

Now we definitely had to talk to the defending champion going in. Kenroy “Smoke” Gladden and what he had to say jolted us.

Kenroy “Smoke” Gladden, 11th Overall
“Because I was locked up two months and change, so when I come out I barely had time to deal with the swimming. I did this course one time before the actual event.”

James Adderley
“And what did you finish overall?”

Kenroy “Smoke” Gladden, 11th Overall

Shalini Zabaneh, 2005 Female Champion
“At first it was a little bit disappointing that I’m the only one, but I hope what I have done today inspire some girls to come on out and try it as well.”

James Adderley
“I want to go a little bit deeper, the mindset of Shalini Zabaneh competing against herself, what was it like?”

Shalini Zabaneh
“Well I was trying to catch Roger, my boyfriend, so that was the mindset, catch him down.”

James Adderley
“You were very impressive in the swim I must say, because I saw you come in, you beat about thirteen males. Tell us a bit about your training.”

Shalini Zabaneh
“Well I guess I did some secret training. Ambassador Tsai of Taiwan, he sent me to Taiwan to do some swimming training.”

In football news, week two of the RFG Insurance Cup Tournament saw Wagiya in Group A make it two wins in a row blanking Cayo Avengers 3-zip, F.C. Belize pounded Placencia Pirates 2-nil at the M.C.C., Kremandala bombed Benque Viejo United 4-1 out West, while Hankook Verdes starts the season with two stalemates after holding Juventus to a 1-1 draw inside the Norman Broaster Stadium.

Over in Group B, Mango Creek beat Boca 1-zip in a southern duel, Calcutta Bulls ran over Belmopan 3-2, while the San Pedro Seahawks moved up to five hundred ball by edging New Site Erei 3-2.

Turning to the basketball scene, the advertised international triangular was reduced to a 3-game series between the National Female Basketball Team and Cancun’s Huracan de la Salle when the Merida team, which currently leads the Mexican female league, was unable to enter Belize due to passport problems.

We have pictures of game two on Saturday inside the City Centre, and with two minutes, fifty-eight seconds to go in the second quarter, Belize is up by two points. Shelmadine Cacho then finds Enid Dakers, who plays with the visitors in the Mexican league, but she shows mercy as Belize takes a two-point lead into intermission.

The visitors came out smoking in second half – Sara Banderas hits nothing but cords; she would lead the Mexican team with twenty points.

Down court, Enid Dakers looks for Tifara Swift who strikes for the long deuce. Dakers then hooks up with Shelmadine Cacho who finishes with ease. She would tally twenty-one points along with five rebounds.

On this trip down court Tracy Garnett deals to Enid Dakers who streaks in for two. She would post two doubles of seventeen points twelve rebounds.

Now watch this move by Tracy Garnett, is this a big time move or what? Tracy would finish with eighteen points, three rebounds and three assists as Belize rolls to the 66-45 big W in game two.

For the record, the National Team took game one 66-45 then took game three 75-64 and we caught up with Tracy Garnett in the aftermath.

Tracy Garnett, Belize National Basketball Team
“Well basically it was a tight competition. Here what we did was play four quarters of ten minutes, which we don’t usually play here in Belize. To be honest, in the beginning of the game they were blowing out us, but we manage to come back in the second half. Basically, it was a very good competition, but the starting four that actually played in Cancun when Enid Dakers was on that team did not come on the team to compete against us. But it was fun; it was very competitive. They really wanted to beat us, but we happen to?we were too much for them.”

In bodybuilding news, the prestigious Mr. Belize contest was staged inside the Princess Hotel Friday night.

In the Junior B Division, Ernest Broaster’s bulk and symmetry is too much for competitors and he easily takes top honours. Michael Buckley has cuts, but obviously needs bulk and has to settle for second, while Robert Haulze’s sleek looks could only pull up to third place, at least in 2005. And we say congratulations to all.

In the Junior A class, Ernest Broaster went head to head with Allen Tsai and what you see is what you get. Ernest Broaster gets his second win of the night.

Now we head to the very competitive Masters category. From left to right it’s John Nembhard, Guy Neal, Joseph McLaren and Dillon Jones.

Feast your eyes on these world-class bodies, but get ready for controversy. The judges determine that John Nembhard is boss in this class. Guy Neal is handed third place and his physiognomy tells a tale of disbelief and disgust.

Dillon Jones is then tagged for second place, and as you can see from his facial expression, he’s not a happy trooper. John Nembhard nevertheless gets to stand at centre stage and that’s what the judges say.

By the way, we give this athlete, Joseph McLaren maximum respect. He deserves a lifetime honours for his contribution to Belizean bodybuilding.

Meanwhile, here’s a look at the four contestants in the Miss Body Figure. Believe me girls, you all look fine to me, but we confess we don’t know what the judges are looking for. When the decision comes, Kimberley Weir is third, Sherilee Green is second, and the winner is Gina Lovell. You might know her as a cyclist or a Lionman athlete, well today she is number one and we say congratulations.

Now who will be Mr. Belize 2005 from among these five candidates? The judges give Ernest Broaster third place, Roger Sutherland emerges at second place and the new Mr. Belize is none other than Deon Danderson…and we should Deon “Mr. Deserving” Danderson! We say congratulations.

Finally folks, we end on this note: Thomas Rodriguez was injured on February thirteenth. He received a tibial fracture during a semi-pro game against the Calcutta Bulls. This player needs six thousand, two hundred and sixteen dollars to undergo vital surgery at Belize Medical Associates. He needs your help and mine. Contributions can be sent to KREM Radio or you can call Thomas at 621-6720. Maybe, just maybe semi-pro players should be insured, but right now that’s not the case and Thomas Rodriguez needs your kindness… just to be normal again.

Before we go we want to give a shout-out to our boy Elvis Patten fresh from the U.S. inside Belize for the celebrations. Enjoy!

Jah over all, I’m James Adderley.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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