Beautiful bronze came T&T's way again yesterday in the men's 4x400 metres final of the 2012 Olympic Games when the quartet of Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Ade Alleyne-Forte and Deon Lendore for the second straight night broke the national record for the event.
In the feature race of the evening, T&T crossed the line in 2:59.40, to place third behind the Bahamas, which stopped the clock at 2:56.40 and also set a new national record, to claim gold after overtaking USA in the home straight. The Americans got the silver in their season's best 2:57.05. Gordon, who is making his debut at the games, is so far, the most celebrated local athlete at the 30th Olympiad, copping his second bronze medal. He was third in the men's 400m final on Monday.
The Tobagonian, always short with words said, "I feel good. Thank God. I just want to say thanks for the support from T&T. I'm just glad to make the country proud and make the flag fly high again." Gordon ran the first lap and just like in the semifinals, he gave T&T a good start, staying among the leaders who comprised Bahamian Chris Brown and USA's Bryshon Nellum, before handing off to Solomon.
Solomon completed an impressive second leg again and was right in the mix with the Joshua Mance (USA) and Demetrius Pinder (Bahamas). By the third lap, Alleyne-Forte had pushed T&T to third as American Tony McQuay and Michael Mathieu (Bahamas) began pulling away, to make it a two-country race. In the final lap, USA, through Angelo Taylor, was clearly ahead with Ramon Miller gaining with every step. Lendore, meanwhile, kept T&T a distant third.
Heading down the straight, Miller caught up with Taylor, who despite his best effort was passed some ten metres from the line with the Bahamian going on to give his country its first gold of the London games. Lendore did just enough to hold off Great Britain's Martyn Rooney, who sprinted the final 30 metres but in vain. The Britons placed fourth in a season's best 2.59.55.
"The feeling haven't kicked in 100 per cent yet but right now watching how everything turned out, just making the victory lap and hearing everybody cheering for us, it was a very excellent feeling," said Lendore after the exceptional performance. "It even made me want to cry just knowing we came out here as a team and did the best that we could and it just got us a bronze medal at the Olympics." Similar sentiments were shared by his teammates Solomon and Alleyne-Forte.
Solomon said: "This is the best feeling in the world right now. I prayed hard over the last two days. We just went out there and did our best and the best was the national record and a bronze medal so we can't ask for much more than that." Alleyne-Forte expressed some relief in improving from his previous performance in the semifinals.
"I told you I was going to get better. And I proved it. It was rough yesterday (Thursday) coming off not competing in a while, but coming out tonight, we got together and did all the necessary things and executed," said Alleyne-Forte.