Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 26th 2015 Contents A62
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, August 26, 2015
ANDRE BAPTISTE, Beijing
T&T s Machel Cedenio will race from
the inside lane (two) as he battles a high
class group in the 400 metres final here
at the 15th World Championships, in Bei-
Cedenio, 19, the youngest in the event,
tackles a field that includes six men who
have all ran faster times than him this year.
Among the major players are reigning
Olympic champion Grenada s Kirani James,
and the man from whom he took the title,
LaShawn Merrit, who won the gold medal
here at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Also in the field are Isaac Makwala of
Botswana, who has the fastest time in the
world this season, Wayde Van Niekerk of
South Africa, Great Britain s Rabah Yousif,
Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic
and Saudi Arabia s Yousef Ahmed Masrahi.
Cedenio who finished third in his semifinal
on Monday is delighted to have reached the
last eight, upstaging his more illustrious
countrymen Lalonde Gordon, Olympic
bronze medallist, and Renny Quow, who
both crashed out at the semifinal stage.
Cedenio ran a strange race on Monday,
lacking the final burst that has caught the
eyes of many in the athletics world. He
described his performance as good, noting
that he listened to his coach. "I didn t feel
like how I normally feel coming home, but
it was still a decent run," Cedenio told the
Despite the big names, the youthful
Trinidadian is not intimidated. "I am just
going into the final to have fun, so I am
taking it step by step. I thank God for bring-
ing me through the rounds and you know
it is a good step with Olympic next year. I
just thank God that I am a world finalist
right now," declared Cedenio.
Cedenio described the semifinal as tough.
"I took it step by step and held it down.
This was not the perfect race. I still have
not found that race as yet," he said.
Cedenio is hoping for that perfect race
today at 9.25am.
"The extra day s rest has helped my recov-
ery and mentally prepared me for the finals.
The plan is to take it out a little faster than
before and use my strength to come home."
The race is being talked about as the
equivalent of the Bolt vs Gatlin rivalry with
James and Merritt, favoured to take the top
"(This rivalry) always brings an interest
to the sport, which is a good thing," said
James, who is from Grenada and went to
school at Alabama.
The plot line is this: The 22-year-old
(James) taking on the savvy veteran (Merritt).
Merritt won at the worlds in 2013 as James
faded all the way to seventh. In 2011, James
used a late surge to beat Merritt.
"He s a champion. We both are," Merritt
said. "We ve won at the highest levels several
times. We ll get ready, get our minds right,
get our body s right and then get ready for
Asked what made Merritt so dangerous,
James shrugged and responded: "His expe-
rience. When you have the experience that
he has and the talent and the work ethic,
it makes him a great all-around athlete."
Merritt was equally as complimentary.
An admiration fest before their grudge
match. But James was careful to point out
that anything can happen in this full-lap
race and that there are "a lot of guys in our
event capable of doing great things."
Like Van Niekerk and Makwala of
Botswana, who has the fastest time in the
world this season.
"This is one of the best years we ve had
in the event," Merritt said. "I m feeling good.
My body is feeling good. Now, I just have
to go and execute. There are a couple of
guys in there capable of running fast times.
I can run a fast time, too. Because I train
In what is sadly becoming
the norm at this World Cham-
pionship 2015, another T&T
athlete crashed out early yes-
terday. On this occasion, it
was Kyle Greaux who had
promised so much after a
creditable performance at the
Commonwealth Games in the
However, Greaux, racing in
heat 7, could only finish 6th
and failed to progress.
"It feels disappointing. My
aim was to advance and most
importantly drop my personal
best to a more satisfactory time.
I did not achieve any of those
things," Greaux said.
"Right now, I m just trying
to last out the season. As you
would have noticed, a lot of
our athletes have injuries. For
me, it is a matter of strength
and being a strong athlete going
forward. That is one of the
things going into the Olympic
The heats were surprisingly
uneventful. All the big names
advanced easily, with the
exception of two US sprinters.
Isiah Young, who had clocked
19.93 this season, was well
beaten in the first heat, finish-
ing in sixth in 20.51.
Wallace Spearmon, the 2005
world silver medallist, did not
start at all. The fastest time of
the round came in the first
heat, where Turkey s Ramil
Guliyev clocked a 20.01 nation-
Second fastest was Alonso
Edward of Panama, the 2009
world silver medallist, who won
the second heat in 20.11, and
Britain s Zharnel Hughes was
third fastest overall, winning
the fifth heat in 20.13 with
Jamaica s Julian Forte taking
second in 20.16.
With his confidence high
after winning the 100m,
Jamaica s Usain Bolt, who has
won three consecutive titles in
this event from 2009 to 2013,
controlled his heat easily, win-
ning in 20.28. Another
favourite, USA s 100m silver
medallist Justin Gatlin, won his
heat with ease in 20.19.
The notable second-placed
athlete in Gatlin s heat was the
recent double world youth
sprint champion. 16-year-old
Japanese Abdul Hakim Sani
Brown clocked 20.35, just one
hundredth from his 20.34 per-
sonal best, to qualify easily for
Greece s Likourgos-Stefanos
Tsakonas also looked relaxed
winning his heat in 20.14, just
0.05 seconds off his 20.09 per-
sonal best from earlier this sea-
Behind the Greek, 2013 world
silver medallist Warren Weir
of Jamaica also progressed in
a 20.24 season s best.
The last heat generated a
huge roar from the crowd, with
China s Xie Zhenye pushing
himself to the third straight
qualifying spot in the final
metres, finishing in a 20.33
national record. But that record
and joy were shortlived,
because he was disqualified for
a lane infraction on the bend.
BEIJING---Reigning Olympic champion Keshorn
Walcott is suggesting that an ankle injury is not to be
blamed for his elimination from the Javelin event at
the World Championships on Monday.
Walcott was eliminated after placing 26th out of 33
competitors, managing only two legal throws, 75.16
metres and 76.83, his best effort.
"I just went out there, tried to perform well but it
was just a bad competition," said the Trinidadian
athlete who set three new records for 2015.
"No other explanation, just a bad competition. Of
course, I expected better throws but I do not know
what was going on."
Walcott, 22, entered the championships as one of
the pre-event favourites with a personal and season
best of 90.16m. However he has been battling an ankle
injury which he said did not hamper his performance.
"The distances were way off and you can see the
results," he said. "There was a lack of competition for
me since my ankle injury but my ankle held up good
today and I am thanking God for that. But I would
have to say it was a bad competition because I was
really out of it". Walcott says he is considering ending
his season to allow his ankle injury to completely heal
in time for the next season.
"So I just have to go back and continue working on it
because I do not want to start back training with any
problems. I think I am going to call the season there,
and continue working on my ankle," said Walcott.
President of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC),
Brian Lewis, has expressed surprise at statements
attributed to sprinter Keston Bledman after he pulled up
during the first round of the 100 metres at the World
Championships currently being held in Beijing.
Speaking after pulling up, Bledman said: "My season
is done here. I have to pull out of all my meets. There is
now no relay team because we were already down to a
bare four, and sorry to say, this is on Trinidad. I told
them, and my coach told them it was not smart for me
to go to the Pan Am (Games). I do not know who it is,
NAAA or TTOC, but I more feel it is TTOC because it is
like we giving you guys funding, so once they call you,
you have to come but (look at) no one sent their top
athletes there, but I had to go. There is a need to listen
to the athletes sometimes. It is not always about
funding. Yes, you giving us funding but there are times
when you listen. In the end it was not in God's plans for
Clearly-astonished Lewis told the Trinidad Guardian: "I
was very surprised to read what was said and I can
understand the depth of his frustration, based on all
that I have read and the situation in China where his
aim was to do much better for all of us. At the TTOC, it
is the same, we all want our athletes to attain their
goals." He said it was always the policy of the TTOC to
ensure that an athlete's welfare, health and future is
first priority. "I can categorically without fear of
contradiction say that we will never force an athlete to
run where there are concerns over an injury. I have
spoken with both the chef de mission, Dianne
Henderson and the chief of the medical staff for the
Games in Toronto, Dr Terry Ali, and both have no
knowledge of such." Lewis, who has started a campaign
to benefit athletes under the banner '10 or more
Olympic gold medals by 2024' said that people who
know him will know that he is athlete centred and
athlete driven. "I do not know who may have told
Keston this but it was not the TTOC."
Lewis explained that while it was the TTOC's belief
that the best athletes should represent their country
and they normally will have consultation with all related
national organisations on such, there is a process if an
athlete has to miss a games.
"All the athlete needs to do is to present a medical
certificate showing the injury status and of course
certainly we will ensure he is withdrawn." Lewis called
on Bledman to contact the T&TOC. "If the TTOC can
assist him with any of his medical needs at the
moment, he should contact us and we can sit down
with him and his team and work something out because
Keston, like all our athletes is very important to this
athlete driven Olympic body."
Greaux fails to advance in 200m
Ankle injury not to be
blamed, says Walcott
shock Olympic boss
before the start
of a men's 400m
semifinal at the
at the Bird's Nest
Cedenio looks to
upset class field
This is how they line up:
2) Machel Cedenio (T&T)
3) Rabah Yousif (GBR)
4) Isaac Makwala (BOT)
5) Kirani James (GRN)
6) Wayde Van Niekerk (RSA)
7) Luguelin Santos (Dom
8) LaShawn Merrit (US)
9) Yousef Ahmed Masrahi (KSA)
Links Archive August 25th 2015 August 27th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page