Last update: 05-Dec-2013 11:31 pm
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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T&T relay men 6th at Worlds
A sixth-place finish in the final of the men’s 4x400-metres relay event on Day 7 of the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, has left the local unit pondering its decisions ahead of the feature race, yesterday. The T&T quartet, which included Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Deon Lendore and 400m hurdles gold medallist Jehue Gordon crossed in a time of three minutes, 01.74 seconds. Led by LaShawn Merritt, the Americans, who also had David Verburg, Tony McQuay, Arman Hall, defended their title, winning in 2:58.71 seconds. Jamaica was second in 2:59.88 and Russia was third in 2:59.90. The T&T unit was favoured to be among the top finishers but found themselves in a dilemma before the start of the contest and never recovered.
Firstly, Deon Lendore, who had run the anchor leg at the 2012 London Olympics, when T&T won the bronze behind Bahamas and the USA in the 4x400 metres relay, had to withdraw overnight, due a hamstring injury. Then early yesterday, Olympic 400m bronze medallist Lalonde Gordon, who had looked sluggish in the 4x400m heats, when T&T placed second, decided to compete in the men’s 200m heats at 11.17 am (3.17am TT time). He finished third to Usain Bolt, to advance to the semifinals at 7.40pm (12.40 pm TT time). Lalonde went on to finish last in the next round in 21.14. When the 4x400 finals came around at 9.30 pm (1.30 pm TT time), it was Quow giving the team a fair start before handing over to Lalonde for the second leg. He did not seem able to handle the pace and by the third leg handover to Jehue, T&T had dropped from third to seventh, and despite valiant efforts from both Jehue and particularly Solomon on the final leg, the gap was too huge to close.
Solomon, according to replays of the race, believes he was impeded when he was about to make a strong challenge about 150 metres out. “The Great Britain runner obstructed me and I lost my balance and could not past the Belgium runner, so I lost two spots...he kicked me in the back and then he come by and elbowed past me so I lost my balance completely. I did lodge a protest but they had to find the team’s officials,” said Solomon. On his team’s overall race plan, he said, “I think we could have run a more strategic order but the coaches decided that.”
Questioned on if Lalonde Gordon’s decision to run the two 200m races and the 4x400 metres relay had affected the result, Solomon honestly answered: “Yes, I think so, but you know people make their own decisions, (and) sometimes these are the consequences of decisions. “This was not a team decision, it was an individual decision, as far as I am aware.
“My decision was that he should not have run as I have stated, I felt a better decision could have been made according to what we were trying to do as a team and according to medals, something like that but everybody wants to run an individual event, and that is just the way it goes sometimes, nothing more we can do about it. It is up to the officials and coaches to make those decisions, and that is just a decision, they made this time,” added an unhappy Solomon. Although not getting success, Jehue Gordon was glad for the experience saying: “This was my first major 4x400, so I knew it would be my last race at the championships, so I put everything out, I was doing this for the team.”
Earlier, T&T’s 4x400-metre women’s relay team finished fifth in their qualifying heat yesterday morning and failed to advance to the finals today. The team of Shawna Fermin, Sparkle McKnight, Domonique Williams and Romona Modeste started brightly and were in third at one stage but faded in the end to finish in a time of 3.33.50. “I feel good for a women’s 4x400 to come here and compete, but we did not accomplish what we wanted to accomplish, but at the end of the day we came out here and did our best,” Mcknight said. Aleesha Barber, running in heat five in the women’s 100m hurdles placed fourth in 13.33 to advance to today’s semifinal at 10.36 am (TT time), via being one of the fastest times outside of the top three in each preliminary heat. However, Barber will have it all to do in her semifinal, as she will start from Lane 3 against the likes of American Dawn Harper in Lane 4, with Sally Pearson in Lane 5 and Queen Harrison in Lane 6.
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