TRINIDAD AND Tobago quarter-miler Dwight St Hillaire injured his hamstring while competing in the Olympic men’s 4x400-metre (mile) relay final on Saturday.
This was confirmed by TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis following the team’s last place finish at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. They clocked three minutes 0.85 seconds.
St. Hillaire, who ran the third leg of the race, received the baton smoothly after Jereem Richards completed the second lap in fourth position.
After the exchange, St Hillaire ran a short distance but gradually faded into eighth position during his one-lap effort. Television commentators also suggested that he looked injured.
Lewis however, commended the athlete’s effort to maintain his composure over the distance and keep TT in the race although injured.
Lewis said, “Dwight pulled a hamstring. Did you see the effort of Dwight St. Hillaire today? To run on a pulled hamstring!
“So determined are you to pass that baton on, to not let down your team and still give them a fighting chance. Every day is fishing day but not every day is catching day.”
The men’s 4x400m final was contested by Deon Lendore, Richards, St Hillaire and Machel Cedenio as anchor. In the heats however, Cedenio ran the third leg while St Hillaire anchored the team.
After the race, Richards, men’s 4x400m relay anchor Machel Cedenio and unused men’s 4x100m relay sprinter Jonathan Farinha commended St Hillaire’s drive and determination to finish his leg.
Richards tweeted, “Dwight is a real fighter. He got hurt in the middle of the relay and could’ve stopped but didn’t. That is heart!!!!! A true fighter!!!!”
Cedenio also credited his compatriot for committing himself to finishing the race.
He also tweeted, “It takes heart to finish a 400m leg of a relay while sustaining an injury during the race. Dwight has heart and determination. An injury is unpredictable. We applaud you Dwight.”
Farinha also shared some words of support to his fellow countryman via Twitter saying, “Footballers (does) drop down on the field and get substituted. Athletes can’t do the same but we try to sacrifice our entire career to compete in that one race for our team and we still get criticised…smh (shakes my head) sport is unpredictable. Track is unforgiving, anything can happen.”
In the end, USA won gold in 2:55.70, Netherlands silver in 2:57.18 and Botswana third in 2:57.27.