Deon Lendore suffered a leg injury and had to sit out the men’s 4x400 metres final, and Lalonde Gordon just didn’t show up for the party, those two factors combining to keep Trinidad and Tobago out of contention for a podium finish, at the Luzhniki Stadium, here in Moscow, Russia, yesterday.
T&T finished sixth in three minutes, 01.74 seconds. United States, anchored by 400m champion LaShawn Merritt, secured gold with a 2:58.71 clocking, while silver and bronze went to Jamaica (2:59.88) and Russia (2:59.90), respectively.
Keen to follow up on Olympic bronze in London last year with precious metal at the 14th IAAF World Championships, T&T’s 4x4 men were set back when the medical team declared Lendore unfit to run in the final. Newly crowned 400 hurdles world champion Jehue Gordon was chosen as the replacement.
Renny Quow did his part on the leadoff leg for T&T, before handing the baton to Lalonde Gordon. But the Olympic 400m bronze medallist did not have the legs he needed after two rounds of the 200, yesterday, his semifinal run coming less than two hours before the 4x4 championship race.
Jehue and anchorman Jarrin Solomon produced big efforts, but there was too much work to be done, and T&T finished outside the medals.
Solomon was not a happy man after the race.
“I protested the dude from Great Britain hitting me on the home straight. He kicked my foot and then he elbowed me when he came by. I lost my balance. Therefore, I couldn’t pass the Belgium fella, and then he passed me, so I lost two spots.”
The T&T anchorman told the Express he did not think it was wise for Lalonde to compete in the individual 200m event.
“I felt a better decision could have been made, according to what we were trying to do as a team and according to medals.”
Jehue was also disappointed.
“We knew it might have been a bit of a challenge with Lalonde. He just did not bring his ‘A’ game on the day. Sometimes, it goes like that, but it was a team effort and we must all take some sort of blame for this.”
Aleesha Barber faces the starter at 10.36 this morning (T&T time) in the semi-final round of the women’s 100m hurdles. She has been drawn in lane three in the third and final heat.
In yesterday’s opening round, the T&T hurdler finished fourth in heat five in 13.33 seconds, for an automatic spot in the semis.
“I think things are falling into place at the right time. There are some things I still got to work on, but it’s coming together.”
Barber’s semi-final goal is “to keep improving my race…just get out those blocks and run the best race I can.”
Lalonde Gordon bowed out of the men’s 200m in the semi-final round. The T&T athlete finished eighth and last in the first of three heats in 21.14 seconds.
In the opening round, Lalonde copped third spot in heat seven in 20.85 to advance automatically to the semis. But, after a pedestrian bend, he had to work hard on the straight for that qualifying berth.
“Early morning, the body’s still sleeping,” Gordon told the Express, after the race. “I looked across and saw most of the guys tying up, so I went into a next gear and tried to take the spot to go to the next round.”
Reigning champion Usain Bolt, of Jamaica, topped the heat in 20.66 seconds, while second spot went to Great Britain’s Delano Williams (20.72).
In the opening heat, T&T’s Kyle Greaux had his first ever run on the global stage.
“Feeling a lot different competing at this level,” he told the Express. “It’s a blessing, but today nerves got the best of me and I didn’t execute my race properly. I slipped at the beginning, and these guys are fast, so you can’t recover from a falter like that.”
Like Gordon, Greaux was stronger on the straight…but not strong enough. He finished sixth in 20.89 seconds, and exited the event.
“Moving forward,” Greaux said afterwards, “I would be looking to up my game, so I can represent Trinidad and Tobago a lot better.”
Shawna Fermin, Sparkle McKnight, Domonique Williams and Romona Modeste combined for a 3:33.50 clocking in the second women’s 4x400m qualifying heat. The run was only good enough for fifth spot in the race, and T&T were eliminated.
McKnight, who exited in the opening round of the 400m hurdles here in Moscow, told the Express she was proud to be part of the country’s first ever World Championship women’s 4x400m team.
“Although we didn’t accomplish what we came to accomplish, I’m glad that a women’s 4x4 was able to come out here and do the best we could do. This is definitely a start.”
Fermin told the Express she is looking forward to more appearances on the global stage.
“Hopefully, in the future we can keep qualifying.”