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Rodney Wilkes

Biography

Trinidadian Athletes

Date of Birth (DOB): 3/11/1925
From: Trinidad and Tobago
Best Known for: The First Olympic medalist for Trinidad and Tobago

Bio: This country's most successful weightlifter, he was the first Trinidad competitor to win an Olympic medal. Lifting in the featherweight class he first drew attention in 1942 when he placed 2nd to James Cabe. During his hey-day he was never to taste defeat at the hands of anyone in local competition however his ability was unknown until 1946, when at the CAC games, Barranquilla; he captured the gold medal with record lifts of 205 lb. (press), 210 lb. (snatch) and 275 lb. (clean and Jerk).
Selected for the Olympic Games in London, 1948, he exceeded his efforts of two years earlier with a total of 317.5 Kilos (699 3/4 lb.) but went under to the Egyptian Mahmoud Fayad whose aggregate was an incredible 332.5 kg (733 lb.), a new Olympic and World record. Nevertheless Rodney had clinched Trinidad's first Olympic medal (silver) at the country's first participation in those games. Following the games he was crowned British Empire champion, he also won in the 1950 Pan Am Games at and at the following years games at in Buenos Aries.
In the Helsinki, Finland Olympics took bronze medal after placing 3rd to two Russian lifters . During the 1956 Melbourne Olympics in Australia he grossed 7271/2 lb., his best ever, but could only place fourth, as the winner; Isaac Berger (USA) increased the Games record total to 777 lb. The "mighty midget" retired from athletics in 1960 and worked as an electrician in San Fernando, Trinidad.

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