HOPING FOR even bigger 2013: Deon Lendore

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Lendore looking to build on 'wonderful season'

By Kern De Freitas

For Trinidad and Tobago quarter-miler Deon Lendore, 2012 has proved a breakthrough season.

His steady improvement through the year culminated in Olympic glory in August, as the one-lap specialist put on a battling performance on the last leg of T&T's 4x400m relay final to bring home bronze at the London 2012 Games along with Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon and Ade Alleyne-Forte.

Now, Lendore is planning an even bigger 2013.

Having had a taste of Olympic competition and adjusted to collegiate life, the 20-year-old athlete told the Express that he is now ready to embrace a new year of "challenges".

"I definitely believe that [I can perform even better next year] because there are a lot of things that I should have done and I know that I should do, and I'm ready to [do] better with these problems and these difficulties," Lendore said during his local club, Arima-based Abilene Wildcats Athletics Club's recent Dinner and Awards Function.

The Texas A&M runner explained that he will be moving into a new NCAA conference this year in the United States, and he is ready for his "new challenges".

"I will also be looking forward to the [T&T] team going into the World Championships and see if I can get some better times there, and make it as far as I could. Maybe being a part of the national team and see if we could even better the national record in the 4x400m [event]," Lendore added.

The athlete credited his coach at Abilene, Charlie Joseph, with having the most impact on his career.

"…Even when I did not want to run, he brought me back in, he showed me the benefits of track and field and he stuck it through with me even when I was a bit stubborn and I didn't want to do certain things. He kind of pushed me through it all," Lendore said.

He also pointed out the big support system provided by his mother Chrispina Edmund, herself a former Abilene athlete, and sister Leah Johnson.

"They all helped me through getting everything done," Lendore revealed. "My sister and my mother watched the financial side, and my coach made sure that I did everything that was right."

He dedicated his Olympic bronze medal to Joseph and his mother for their contributions to his career.

Recounting his experiences in 2012, Lendore said that after adjusting to life at Texas A&M, he found his performances steadily improved with regular competition at meets.

"My times were just dropping, and as that happened, I started to look towards the bigger picture and I started looking towards the Olympics," he explained.

Despite some niggling injuries as the London Games approached, Lendore said his teammates and doctors provided him with the necessary support that made sure 2012 was "a wonderful season".

And he saved special acclaim for Abilene Wildcats.

"My club, they always back me strong," he said. "Anytime I have a meet they'll watch it online, try their best to see if they can watch my progress. My coaches call me sometimes, give me some tips if they see my races, and the club is always there for me whenever I need them."

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