Race for gold
By JOEL BAILEY Saturday, August 11 2012
click on pic to zoom in
TRINIDAD AND Tobago will be aiming for back-to-back relay medals at the Olympic Games in London, England today.
On the heels of the bronze medal success in the men’s 4x400-metre relay yesterday, at the Olympic Stadium, Trinidad and Tobago booked a spot in today’s final of the men’s 4x100-metre relay. The final is scheduled for 4 pm.
Richard Thompson, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender and Keston Bledman — all members of the 2008 silver medal squad at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China — finished third yesterday in the second semi-final heat in a time of 38.10 seconds, behind the United States (37.38) and Japan (38.07).
Thompson, had a decent first leg but Burns was tested by the challenge of the Americans and managed to remain in second position, but Callender faltered slightly on the third leg and was overtaken by his Japanese rival.
Bledman had a lot of ground to make up to get third place, and an automatic spot in the final, and he managed to do so, ahead of France and Australia on the line.
Dexter Voisin, manager of the TT track and field team, said yesterday, he expected the team to discuss their approach to today’s relay with their coach.
“I definitely think they would have to reconsider the order that has been working for us in recent times and definitely go out there and perform to their best,” he added. “They definitely weren’t at their best (yesterday).”
And former Olympian Alvin Daniel admitted, “we always had a very good chance of getting a medal.
The problem we encounter is the changeover. Once we could get the stick around, Trinidad always stand a very good chance of winning or getting a medal, at any major championships.
“I’m not even looking at the US quite clearly,” he added. “The US always have a problem with the baton (passing). Apart from that, they always have a sort of rumbling in their camp.
“Whenever it comes to these major meets, they never get it right. If they do, in fact, get the stick around, we would have some problems.
“Jamaica is the most balanced team, I think, in the history of putting out a team together. The only thing that can beat Jamaica on that track is if they drop the baton, or injuries.” Trinidad and Tobago has been drawn in lane nine of today’s final.
In the first semi-final, Britain, who finished second, were later disqualified due to poor change-over in the final leg.
Jamaica, the defending Olympic champions, won in 37.39 seconds, followed by Canada (38.05) and Netherlands (38.29).