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Olympic medallist Deon Lendore, 21, is expressing doubt over his ability to represent T&T at the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, this July, despite the fact that he now holds the second fastest time in world.
At Saturday’s Southern Conference Track and Field Championships, in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, Lendore, captured gold in 400m in a time of 44.36 seconds and as a consequence broke the four-and-a-half decade old stadium record.
Although he ran under the banner of his school Texas A&M, at the weekend, his polished performance had booked him a place on the national team for the Commonwealth Games.
In a G-Sport interview yesterday, he said: “The Commonwealth Games right now is a kind of iffy situation, because this season I have really been hitting it hard. I went from being number one indoor where I’ve been running some fast times back-to-back, to coming outdoor and dropping some serious time.”
Lendore added, “And I had an injury (groin and hamstring) earlier at the Texas relays like a month ago…Back from that injury and having to lead the 4x100m relay (team) which is a new race for me, I have been running a lot of races compared to everybody else. Then at the NCAA Championships, I will be running like six races. I don’t think I will be in the shape. Everybody else (is) not running the collegiate circuit. They don’t know how hard I have it right now to be running all these races.”
He said following last weekend’s Conference Championship, attention would now shift to the Regional Championships where he would be expected to compete in another three races.
“Within a month, I’m going to run like 12, 13, 14 races. Everybody else will have like two races. I will be at a disadvantage. I will be tired. I won’t be able to give it my all,” Lendore said.
He paused to reflect on his double feat at the weekend.
During the 400m event, the top national athlete, said: “I went out there and during the first 100m, I stayed focused. After I got to 200m, I started to pick up and the last 50m, I started to move and coming off the turn I started to pull away. I just kept pumping on, looking toward the line, trying to run straighter than everyone. When I crossed the line I looked at the clock. It was saying 44.4 then it ran down to 44.3. I just stood there for a while, because I was shocked. It was really a fast time. I ended up breaking the Stadium record.”
While he was not expecting to clock this time, Lendore said it was on his coach’s radar.
Running the 4x100 got him warmed for the 400m. He served as the anchor in the previous race.
He described the vibe in the 4x100m event as “nice” and declared that the atmosphere was hyped.
“It was a short race. The sprint always tends to be hyped to the max because and you have to go all out from the get go. I tried to remain calm, trying to stay focused, because the 4x100m isn’t my type of thing. Even though I am a quarter-miler, I don’t even run 100m.
“I don’t even know how fast I can run a 100m. But I had to do it for the team. I knew once I ran a good leg, it would help me with my 400m. I got the stick the same time LSU got their stick, but I put my all into it and we ended with the win,” he said.