T&T placed eighth in the men’s 4x400m final at the Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan on Saturday.
Deon Lendore, Jereem “The Dream” Richards Dwight St Hillaire and Machel Cedenio, running in this order, switching up the third and fourth legs from the round one heats, clocked three minutes and 00.85 seconds to finish last. Newly installed third-leg runner St Hillaire seemed to have felt something on the backstretch and faded to last place, ending T&T’s chance of a medal.
Racing to the gold medal was USA’s Michael Cherry, Michael Norman, Bryce Deadmon and Rai Benjamin with a season’s best time of 2:55.70, followed by The Netherlands quartet of Liemarvin Bonevacia, Terrence Agard, Tony Diepen and Ramsey Angela with a national record of 2:57.18 for silver, narrowly ahead of Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, Baboloki Thebe, Zibane Ngozi and Bayapo Ndori, bettering their own African record with 2:57.27, for the bronze medal.
Running in lane seven, Lendore was again quick out the blocks and came into the first changeover in second place to Richards. The 200m finalist got out fast and when the runners headed to the inside line, he led momentarily until coming to the straightway when he faded to fifth place for the next hand over to St Hillaire, T&T’s other 400m semifinalist.
St Hillaire sped off knowing he had some work to do to catch up to the leaders. However, he began to hobble down the backstretch and fell away to last place but he did not stop and managed to get the baton around the track, limping to Cedenio, T&T’s other 400m semifinalist.
Cedenio never had a chance and could only watch as the rest of the field finished ahead of him and his team, who also had Asa Guevara and Che Lara initially named on the team announced by the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) on July 3.
Richards was a late addition to the squad. The 2018 Commonwealth 200m men’s champion was already on the team and represented T&T in the half-lap event. He became the sixth member of the 4x400m relay squad after the National Association of Athletic Administrations of T&T (NAAATT) received permission to add another runner.
Paul, Browne still in hunt for medals in men’s keirin event
T&T’s cycling duo Nicholas Paul and Kwesi Browne are into the quarter-finals in the men’s keirin event.
In the first round early Saturday morning (T&T time) at the Izu Velodrome, Paul progressed after placing second in heat three behind Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia in the six-lap event to be the two automatic qualifiers for the next round. The first two riders qualify for the quarter-finals while the remaing riders all othe riders advance to the repechage.
Browne was one of those riders advancing to the repechage from heat one in round one after finishing third for a second chance at reaching the quarterfinals. Winner Rayan Helal of France and second-place finisher German Maximilan Levy were the auto-qualifiers.
The T&T cyclist made full use of his second chance, winning repechage heat one and was joined in the next round by Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom, who crossed second. Browne will ride in quarter-final heat three on Saturday night at 9.34 pm (T&T time).
Paul will face the starter earlier in quarter-final heat two at 9.29 pm.
The first four riders in each heat qualify for the semifinals later Saturday from 10.09 pm (T&T time).