Silver ! Silver ! Silver ! Silver !
Silver was the colour yesterday on the final night of the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China. It was delivered to this country by four brave men on a damp night where clouds threatened rain. A torrential downpour sent many scampering for over three hours.
On the track, though, it was the opposition that was sent scampering as T&T’s quartet of Renny Quow, La Londe Gordon, Deon Lendore and Machel Cedenio, woke up 70,000 persons in the Bird Nest Stadium with some quick times over the four legs of the mens 4x400 metres relay final, only to lose to the more experienced USA team, anchored by 400 metres silver medallist, La Shawn Merritt.
T&T finished second in a new national record of 2.58.20 , eclipsing the old mark of 2.58.34.
Quow again ran the opening leg and gave a much improved performance after his struggles in the preliminaries.
He handed over to Gordon who ran the race of his life. This powerfully built man with the heart of a lion, roared his way forward and made up the stagger. Turning into the home straight, he ran past the American to hand the baton to Lendore in first place.
Lendore led all the way, handing over to Cedenio in first place as T&T chased gold.
Running into the home straight, Cedenio was in third, falling behind Jamaican Javon Francis and Merritt, but he did not panic. “I know that is the strongest point of my race. I was calm, I know I have enough leg speed to catch them, so I was still good.”
Although he passed Francis, he could not go past Merritt.
Lendore, who was the first man off the track after the race, said he and his teammates were very happy to give the country a silver medal on the eve of Independence.
“After the prelims, we knew we had a great chance of medalling and we came out here and delivered. Our strategy was to get to run from the front. We wanted to run free, and to see the best we could do from the lead,” Lendore said. “We started off great and we are happy. We all gave 110 per cent and we have seen the result. It made us all proud,” added Lendore.
Quow was also ecstatic about the performance, describing it as well executed. “We had a good race plan and did what we wanted to from the beginning. We wanted to hit them from the beginning so we would not have much work to do and that is what we did.”
Gordon was not happy with his start even though his finish was marvellous. “Once I cut in and messed up a little. I let the USA man (Tony McQuay) get into the lead but I just kept my focus and said I will pass him on the homestretch and that is what I did,” he added.
Cedenio belied his youthfulness. “We ran second to a guy who medalled in the 400, so that was a very good performance . Every single one of the team ran good, especially the lead off. Renny, La Londe, Deon, we all came together. We had a tough decision in picking the team but we came together finalised it and we felt this was the best team to get the medal here tonight,” noted Cedenio.
T&T ended the Championships with two medals, following the success of the women’s 4 x 100 metres team of Kelly Ann Baptiste, Michelle Lee Ahye, Reyare Thomas and Semoy Hackett, who won the bronze medal on Saturday.