EPHRAIM SERRETTE, president of the National Association of Athletic Administrations (NAAA), is impressed by the recent form of Trinidad and Tobago athletes at the international circuit.
On Saturday, national 400-metre runners Machel Cedenio and Deon Lendore set two of the fastest times in 2015, with respective times of 44.36 seconds (at the Cayman Invitational) and 44.41 seconds (at the South Eastern Championships in Mississippi, United States.
On Sunday, sprinter Michelle-Lee Ahye ran 11.13 seconds to finish third in the women’s 100 metres at the Shanghai Diamond League in China.
And, in the first Diamond League meet for 2015, in Doha, Qatar on Friday, Keston Bledman clocked 10.01 seconds to gain bronze in the men’s 100m.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Serrette admitted that he was in Doha to witness the opening leg of the Diamond League.
“Actually I witnessed Bledman’s performance,” said Serrette. “I returned from Dubai (on Sunday). It was a credible performance. He didn’t get out but he was (focussed) on the times he have been doing.
“Michelle-Lee, on the other hand, continues to prove herself with the best of the female sprinters in the world,” continued the NAAA president. “She just needs to understand the whole (process) so that she’ll be ready for our Championships and the World Championships later in August.”
Focussing on Saturday’s displays by the quarter-mile pair of Cedenio and Lendore, Serrette said, “with Lendore (running) 44.41, and 44.36 by Cedenio, I think these performances augur well for our Championships this year.
“It’s showing that we will have some great match-ups in the case of the 400 (metres), it’s not just one person, the 100 for women (and) men, the 110 hurdles we have both Mikel Thomas and Wayne Davis performing, and also Ruben Walters. We have Emmanuel Mayers who is the defending 400-metre hurdles champion, and Jehue (Gordon). We have young Shakeil Waithe coming up in the javelin and he’ll be in competition with Keshorn (Walcott). So all these performances are assisting the Association in developing a very good product for our Championships in June.”
The National Championships will be staged at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo from June 26-28.
Serrette stressed, “the Championships is a requirement for anybody who want to represent Trinidad and Tobago. We have everyone showing that they’re prepared to wear the red, white and black.”
Commenting on Trinidad and Tobago’s disappointing showing at the IAAF World Relays on May 2-3 in Bahamas, Serrette noted “at the inaugural World Relays (last year), we had three medals, the men 4x100m, the women’s 4x100 and the (men) 4x400m. I think it’s early days yet and we have some work to do.
“The plan is for the relay team to get some more work together, which will be most likely after the (National) Championships, leading up to the World Championships in August (in Beijing, China). So we have all of July and August to (get) some sort of competition that our relay teams can get ready to get some fast times,” he ended.