A news report on a rat invasion in Port-of-Spain conjured images of citizens cornered on filthy city streets by mobs of black, glistening rats.
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Walcott settles for silver
A silver and two bronze medals, a nice haul for T&T on the final day of track and field at the Commonwealth Games at the Hampden Park Stadium in Glasgow in Scotland. Keshorn Walcott came in second in the javelin event, while both men’s relay teams placed third in their respective finals. Walcott, known for coming good early, tossed the javelin 82.13 metres in his first attempt to take control after the first round.
He remained in the lead for the next round until Julius Kiplangat of Kenya heaved the spear 83.87 metres into the rainy skies, which eventually won him the gold on a wet and slippery track due to the rainy weather all day. “The conditions obviously weren’t the best so to get silver is pretty good for me, especially with last year. It’s been tough and to come back and win silver is great,” said the 2012 London Olympic champion. Walcott came close in his final attempt but it landed at a distance of 82.67. “I put a lot of pressure on myself with the last throw unfortunately I couldn’t reach him. “This is my second senior medal and obviously I always wanted better for this competition but I’m happy with the silver.” Back on the track, Jamaica dominated both the men’s and women’s 4x100m relays.
T&T team of Richard Thompson, Keston Bledman, Rondel Sorrillo and Marc Burns combined for a time of 38.10 seconds to finish third, behind a Usain Bolt led Jamaican team, who won in 37.58 in the feature race of the night. At the sound of “on your marks” from the starter, the packed house went silent and even the rain paused, awaiting the blast that sent off one of the quickest relay races in the Games 20-year history. After some neat exchanges from Jason Livermore to Kemar Bailey-Cole, to Nickel Ashmeade to Bolt, the Jamaicans set the pace of the relay and notched a Commonwealth record of 37.58. The old record (38.20) was set by England, 16 years ago at the Kuala Lumpur Games. T&T too had some precise interchanges with Bledman leading off the red, white and black, handing over to Burns then onto Sorrillo and finally to Thompson, who ran a brilliant fourth leg. Bolt had pulled ahead and it was T&T and England battling for the second place. It was the Englishmen though, finished just ahead of the local boys in second place in a time of 38.02 seconds.
“Underperforming in the 100m, I felt as though I owed T&T something. We could have won two medals there,” said a much happier Thompson, after the race. “We are still not fully satisfied with a bronze medal we felt that we could have done better but we give God thanks and praise for the medal.” “We hope we can build on this for world championship next year and Rio (Brazil Olympics) in 2016. We just have to keep pushing and hopefully we will get more medals in the future.” Bledman too, was heartbroken after failing to reach the 100m medal race. He said, “This medal is for my daughter. I felt like I disappointed her in 100m so this medal is for her.”
Earlier, Lalonde Gordon won his second medal of the Games, guiding the men’s 4x400m team that included Jarrin Solomon, Renny Quow and Zwede Hewitt to bronze also. “We came out wanting to get gold, but you can’t always win so we we’re happy with bronze,” said Solomon, who produced a great second leg, taking the lead on the straight to hand over to Quow. “The changeovers went okay. On the third to the fourth le we fell on the rail, which slowed us a little,” Quow held on to the lead into the third leg and after the final exchange to Hewitt, he slipped and fell onto the track. This hindered Hewitt somewhat but he stayed out front with both England’s Matthew Hudson-Smith and Chris Brown of the Bahamas on his heels. The duo chased him down and overtook Hewitt with under 200 metres to go.
Hudson-Smith went on to pilot England to the gold in 3:00.46 and Bahamas stayed on for the silver in 3:00.51. In the women’s 4x100 relays, T&T’s team of Deborah John, Reyare Thomas, Lisa Wickham and Kamaria Durant placed eighth in 44.78. Jamaica's team of Kerron Stewart, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Schillonie Calvert and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the gold medal bettering the Games’ record. Nigeria took silver (42.92) and England (43.10) the Bronze. Jamaica also dominated the women’s 4x400, copping gold in 3:23.82, another Games’ record. T&T’s quartet of Shawna Fermin, Domonique Williams, Janeil Bellille and Romona Modeste placed sixth in 3:33.50. Second was Nigeria in 3:24.71 and England was third in 3:27.24. T&T ends the Games with eight medals–three silver and five bronze–much of which came from track and field. Also winning medals were shot-putter Cleopatra Borel (silver), hurdler Jehue Gordon (silver), Ayanna Alexander (bronze) and boxer Michael Alexander (bronze).