Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 31st 2015 Contents A47
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(Ext: 2069, 2071,
T&T's 4 x 400 metres
team, led by the youthful
Machel Cedenio (photo),
which won silver medal at
the IAAF World
Championships in Beijing,
"I am determined to
get out of the starting
blocks quickly, so today
we begin a detailed
review of our existing
and use of resources to
ensure that within the
next 100 days, IAAF
Council can approve new
systems and teams."
Sebastien Coe, new
BEIJING---Sebastian Coe officially
replaced Lamine Diack as president of
the IAAF on Monday, and he got to
work right away. In a statement
released a minute after midnight, Coe
marked his "first day of office" by
promising a new era of governance. "I
am determined to get out of the
starting blocks quickly, so today we
begin a detailed review of our existing
management structures and use of
resources to ensure that within the next
100 days, IAAF Council can approve new
systems and teams which are necessary
for delivering our ambitious plans," Coe
said. Coe was elected at the IAAF
congress three days before the world
championships began in Beijing, beating
Sergei Bubka in a vote of more than
200 member federations. The two-time
Olympic 1,500-meter gold medalist, a
key organizer of the London Olympics in
2012, wants to create an independent
anti-doping tribunal among the
overhauls of the sport's governing body.
"We are committed to ensuring good
governance in everything that we do
and, as a starting point, our legal team
has been asked to conduct an in-depth
review of the IAAF Constitution and
related governance," Coe said.
BEIJING---For the world s best sprint-
ers, passing the baton in the 4x400
relay is about as easy as rolling out
of bed in the morning.
Picking a winner in that race used
to be easy, too.
An awkward exchange between US
sprinter Allyson Felix and her teammate,
Francena McCorory, played into a razor-
thin loss to Jamaica at world champi-
onships Sunday. The American women
fell by 0.31 seconds and settled for a
second straight silver at the worlds after
winning the Olympic and world cham-
pionship titles five straight times.
"It s hard, this one," Felix said. "But
it s motivation for next year."
Next year is the Olympics in Rio de
Janeiro, and from the US perspective,
the planning can t start soon enough.
Yes, the United States won the most
medals for the sixth straight time at
the worlds, dating to 2005. But it did
so with only 18. That s seven fewer than
the last worlds, 11 fewer than the Lon-
don Olympics and the lowest total at
the worlds since 2003, when the Amer-
icans won 16 --- after four were taken
away for doping.
"When you re No 1, it s always a
steeper pinnacle," USA Track and Field
president Stephanie Hightower said.
"And staying on top is always a lot
harder than when you ve got to work
your way to the top."
The US team certainly had some high
notes. Exhibit A yesterday: A come-
from-behind anchor leg by LaShawn
Merritt in the men s 4x400 that closed
out the nine-day meet. Though the
women are on a losing streak, the men
have finished first in the long relay at
every worlds since 1993; a handful of
those wins have since been vacated
because of doping.
"It was important for us to end this
right," Merritt said. "Everyone on this
team gave their best. But giving your
best doesn t always mean you re going
to end up with a gold medal."
The second-place finish a few min-
utes earlier by Felix and Co ensured
the United States would not win the
most gold medals at this meet. Thanks
to the relay upset, and a gentleman
named Usain Bolt, Jamaica tied Kenya
for the lead with seven golds, one more
than the Americans.
The Kenyans picked up their last
gold from Asbel Kiprop in the 1,500
metres. Other winners yesterday includ-
ed Ethiopia s Almaz Ayana in the 5,000
and Mare Dibaba in the marathon,
Kathrina Molitor of Germany in the
javelin and Derek Drouin of Canada in
the high jump.
Felix walked away with a gold in the
400 and a pair of silvers---one in each
relay---to push her career total to 12
medals at worlds.
There was no shame losing to
Jamaica s speedsters in the 4x100.
Losing to Jamaica in the 4x400 is a
And the fact that part of the problem
was a baton exchange is a real head-
scratcher. It s nowhere near as technical
a handoff as in the short relay, where
the timing has to be just right and
there s virtually no room for error. It s
such a non-issue in the long race that
when McCorory was asked what hap-
pened on the exchange, her response
was: "Something happened with our
When McCorory reached back with
her left hand to receive the baton from
Felix for the anchor leg, she grabbed
air. That forced McCorory to pause
ever-so-slightly to grab the stick on
the second swipe. The whole thing took
less than a second, but the race was
decided by 0.31.
"Obviously, you don t want that to
happen," Felix said. "You need every
Maybe things would have been dif-
ferent had Felix been running last,
instead of third. Second-guessing has
become a gold-medal event for the US
On Saturday, the men got disqualified
from the 4x100 for an exchange out of
the passing zone, marking the eighth
time since 1995 at the worlds or
Olympics they had either been dis-
qualified or failed to finish.
"We re not going to be perfect every
time," Hightower said. "But for the
most part, we had some spectacular
performances." Leading the way was
Ashton Eaton, who yesterday picked
up the gold medal, along with a
$100,000 world-record bonus check,
for his performance in the decathlon.
And Merritt s gold in the relay goes
with a silver in the 400 and gives him
the American men s record with 11
world championship medals.
Still, the US finished with six fewer
medals and one fewer gold than at the
last big meet in Beijing---the 2008
That performance triggered a top-
to-bottom review of the operation
called "Project 30"---a nod to the goal
of winning 30 medals at the London
Olympics. There don t appear to be
any such plans in the works after this
performance, though clearly this is a
time for looking forward, not back.
"There s a lot of intensity and a lot
of pressure and a lot of high expecta-
tions for our athletes," Hightower said.
"I m confident they ll rise to the occa-
sion when it s necessary."
Bolt spoils US pot of gold
Jamaica's women's 4x400m really team member's Shericka Jackson, left, celebrates with teammate Christine Day after
winning the gold medal at the World Athletics Championships at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Coe gets to work right away as IAAF president
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