Lalonde Gordon flirted with elimination after finishing fourth in 46.29 seconds in the opening men’s 400 metres semi-final at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, yesterday.
With only the top three advancing to today’s final, the Trinidad and Tobago athlete’s campaign seemed at an end. But second-placed Edino Steele, of Jamaica, was disqualified for a lane violation, and Gordon was promoted to third.
Czech Republic quarter-miler Pavel Maslak topped the heat in 45.79 seconds, while the runner-up spot went to American champion Kyle Clemons (46.06).
Chris Brown was victorious in the second semi-final heat, the veteran Bahamian clocking 46.19 seconds. The other two qualifying berths went to Costa Rica’s reigning world indoor champion Nery Brenes (46.25) and American David Verburg (46.33).
In today’s final, Gordon will start in lane two, next to Verburg, in one, and Brenes, in three. Clemons, Maslak and Brown have been drawn in lanes four, five and six, respectively. The championship race is scheduled for 3.30 p.m. (TT time).
Gordon, the men’s 400m bronze medallist at the 2012 London Olympics, was impressive in yesterday’s opening round, winning heat one in 46.07 seconds to advance automatically to the semis. The other T&T quarter-miler, Jarrin Solomon clocked 46.86 seconds to finish third in heat two and was eliminated.
At 6.04 this morning (TT time), Michelle-Lee Ahye will face the starter in the third of six women’s 60m first round heats. The T&T sprinter has been drawn in lane six.
Ahye is ninth on the 2014 world indoor performance list at 7.13 seconds. The clocking earned her a share of the national record, with Kelly-Ann Baptiste. Among Ahye’s rivals in heat three will be Germany’s Verena Sailer, who is 12th on the 2014 list with a 7.12 run.
At 6.18 a.m., Geronne Black will represent the Red, White and Black in heat five. The T&T sprinter will run in lane seven.