Trinidad and Tobago will chase a fourth IAAF World Championship men’s 4x100 metres podium finish, at the Luzhniki Stadium, here in Moscow, Russia, today.
Jamol James, Keston Bledman, Rondel Sorrillo and Richard “Torpedo” Thompson are expected to wear T&T colours in the opening heat, at 8.50 a.m. (T&T time). The top two teams in each heat will secure automatic berths in the 10.40 a.m. final.
The T&T quartet will run in lane six. Jamaica, meanwhile, have been drawn in lane two, while Great Britain will be next to the defending champions, in one.
T&T earned silver at the 2001, 2005 and 2009 editions of the World Championships.
Thompson, the anchorman in 2009, told the Express that T&T will again be targeting a medal position in Moscow.
“We feel we’re just as good as any other team. Jamaica obviously has a strong squad and USA has a strong squad. But that’s when we put things on paper…we all know how things work on a relay. It’s about good exchanges, using the zone, and getting the stick around most efficiently. If we could perfect that, then our chances of winning the gold are just as good as anybody else.”
Thompson, the 100m silver medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has struggled with a hip injury this season. He bowed out in the semi-final round of the century here in Moscow.
“I’ll be okay for the relay. I’m always a better guy in the relay. With my individual runs, my main problem is my drive phase and coming out of the blocks. It’s difficult for me to get that push out of the blocks that I need to. On a rolling start it’s a bit different, a little easier for me. I should be fine.”
Marc Burns has been a member of all three World Championship medal-winning sprint relay teams. This time, however, he misses out, injury having prevented him from competing at the National Championships.
Bledman, who exited the Moscow 100 in the semis, told the Express that he and his teammates are motivated to “go out there, represent for Marc, and the whole of Trinidad and Tobago.”
Ahead of the World Championships, T&T also looked to be contenders for precious metal in the women’s 4x100m. However, 2011 World Championship 100m bronze medallist Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Semoy Hackett both left Moscow for reasons related to doping, denting T&T’s chances of securing a top-three finish.
In the qualifying round, today, Kamaria Durant, Michelle-Lee Ahye, Reyare Thomas and Kai Selvon will do battle for T&T from lane three in the third and final qualifying heat. The race, scheduled for 8.31 a.m. (T&T time), will also feature United States and Russia.
The final takes place at 10.10 a.m.
Yesterday, Aleesha Barber was eliminated from the women’s 100m hurdles at the semi-final stage. The T&T athlete clocked 13.52 seconds to finish eighth and last in the third and final heat.
“My time was horrible,” Barber told the Express. “I hit a hurdle. I started to panic in the race. I feel like I got out good, but then they kept going…I just wasn’t ready. I gave it what I had, but that’s not the best of me.”
Barber’s training partner, Brianna Rollins struck gold in the final, the American crossing the finish line in 12.44 seconds. Australia’s Sally Pearson (12.50) and Briton Tiffany Porter (12.55) earned silver and bronze, respectively.