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Boldon to coach Saudi Arabia sprinters

20 April 2007

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Retired Trinidad and Tobago sprint star Ato Boldon will be taking over as sprint coach of the Saudi Arabia national track and field team.

The 33-year-old Boldon, who captured World Championship 200-metre gold in 1997 and four Olympic medals in a brilliant career, announced Wednesday he is quitting as an Opposition Senator in the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament representing the United National Congress (UNC).

“This morning I agreed to become the coach for the Saudi Arabian national sprint team,” Boldon said at a press conference Wednesday at Red House.

Contrary to media stories in recent weeks, Boldon’s next move is not a lucrative broadcast job with an American network.

He admitted that he is negotiating a broadcast job but denied that it involved the US sports channel ESPN, which it was reported was about to employ him.

“My Broadcast deal has not been finalised. I do need to say at this point that my broadcast deal is not with ESPN and it is not with the NBC,” said Boldon, who won double bronze at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and silver and bronze in Sydney four years later.

Boldon, sworn in as Senator in February last year, thanked Leader of the Opposition Basdeo Panday and UNC Deputy Leader Jack Warner for the opportunity and made it clear a return to politics any time soon is not likely.

“There are things right now that I have to do while I am still at this age and while I am still being given the opportunity...I feel that it is a question of striking while the iron is hot,” Boldon said about his decision.

Boldon indicated that he is seriously considering a future in coaching and is happy to make a start now.

“This is my first deal toward being a major track and field coach and the channels will be open so that any elite track and field athlete could pursue his or her Olympic dreams can now be coached by me,” added Boldon, who retired from the sport at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

In an outstanding career on the track, Boldon had two bronze and a silver at World Championships to complement his World Championship gold and four Olympic medals. He was also Commonwealth Games 100-metre champion in 1998.

Boldon is joint 10th fastest all-time in 100-metre history with his personal best 9.86 seconds, and is also 10th on the 200-metre list at 19.77 seconds.

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