Boxer Michael Alexander will return home from the Commonwealth Games with men’s lightweight bronze.
At the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), here in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday, Alexander ended up on the wrong end of a unanimous decision in his semifinal showdown with Northern Ireland’s Joe Fitzpatrick.
Alexander is the fourth Trinidad and Tobago boxer to earn Commonwealth Games precious metal, following in the footsteps of 1994 middleweight bronze medallist Mervyn Penniston, 2002 heavyweight silver medallist Kertson Manswell and 2010 super heavyweight silver medallist Tariq Abdul Haqq.
Going into T&T’s final day of competition, the country has five medals. One-lap hurdler Jehue Gordon and shot putter Cleopatra Borel earned a silver each, while bronze was bagged by quartermiler Lalonde Gordon, as well as two Alexanders—Michael and triple jumper Ayanna.
At Hampden Park, Josanne Lucas finished seventh in yesterday’s women’s 100m hurdles final, the T&T athlete getting to the line in 13.41 seconds.
Australia’s Sally Pearson struck gold in 12.67, beating England’s Tiffany Porter (12.80) and Canadian Angela Whyte (13.02) into the second and third, respectively.
After the race, Lucas told the Express she was not satisfied with her clocking.
“I was really hoping to run a faster time.
“My main emphasis,” she continued, “was all about competing and putting bodies behind me, and I visualised myself winning. That didn’t happen.”
Lucas earned 400m hurdles bronze at the 2009 IAAF World Championships, but this season decided to switch focus and become a sprint hurdler.
“It was a major accomplishment to make it to the final. I really had to put it on the line to get here. I was actually hoping to pull off another miracle tonight.”
Their exchanges were not great, but T&T still managed to win the opening men’s 4x100m qualifying heat. As a bonus, Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Rondel Sorrillo and anchorman Richard “Torpedo” Thompson had the satisfaction of producing yesterday’s fastest time—38.33 seconds.
England finished first in heat three in 38.78, while Jamaica, anchored by sprint legend Usain Bolt, clocked 38.99 to top heat two.
Though not at full strength, T&T were the class of the field in the second men’s 4x400m qualifying heat. Lalonde Gordon ran the leadoff leg, handing the baton to Jarrin Solomon. By the time Solomon handed off to Jehue Gordon, who came into the team for Renny Quow, T&T had a 10-metre advantage on their nearest challengers.
Jehue opened the gap a bit, and anchorman Zwede Hewitt put even more distance between the leaders and the rest of the field, T&T winning by some 15 metres in three minutes, 04.06 seconds to advance automatically to today’s final.
Nigeria clocked 3:06.66 to secure the other automatic berth up for grabs in heat two. Reigning Olympic champions Bahamas won the opening heat in 3:03.71, while England topped the third and final heat in 3:03.01.
T&T athletics manager George Comissiong told the Express that Quow, who had experienced muscle tightness in his legs and did not finish the individual 400 final, is expected to be in the line-up for today’s 4x400m championship race.
In the women’s 4x400m, Shawna Fermin, Domonique Williams, Janeil Bellille and Romona Modeste teamed up for a 3:33.26 run, the clocking earning T&T third spot in heat one and an automatic berth in the final.
Fermin and Williams combined to put T&T in third spot at the halfway stage. Bellille battled hard on the third leg, but slipped to fourth. Modeste stayed in touch with Australia’s Lyndsay Pekin and Scotland’s Zoey Clark. Jamaica anchor Shericka Williams, meanwhile, was way ahead of the rest.
On the home straight, Modeste moved past Clark, and went on to secure the last of three guaranteed championship race spots on offer. The other two went to heat winners Jamaica (3:28.29) and runners-up Australia (3:32.40). England (3:27.88), meanwhile, were victorious in heat two.
Deborah John, Reyare Thomas, Lisa Wickham and Kamaria Durant wore T&T colours in heat two of the women’s 4x100m. Durant made a rush for the line, anchoring T&T to third spot in 44.47 seconds. Though forced to do without the services of injured sprinters Michelle-Lee Ahye and Kai Selvon, T&T advanced automatically to the final.
At the National Hockey Centre, T&T went under 2-0 to Wales, and had to settle for cellar position in the 10-team men’s tournament. After a goalless first half, Lewis Prossper and Gareth Furlong scored in the second period of play to earn Wales ninth spot.
But though T&T finished last here in Glasgow, there was a consolation victory for the team captained by Darren Cowie. In a group B fixture earlier in the tournament, they beat Malaysia 4-2.