A storming finish from Machel Cedenio in Toronto, Canada, late on Saturday night, propelled Trinidad and Tobago to men's 4x400 metres gold and the country's best-ever Pan American Games performance.
Renny Quow ran the leadoff leg for Team T&T, handing the baton to Jarrin Solomon. Hurdler Emanuel Mayers performed third leg duties. The three T&T athletes battled hard, but there was still a lot to do on the anchor leg.
Cedenio, the 400m silver medallist, was equal to the task, the 19-year-old quartermiler surging past the Bahamian and Cuban anchormen to snatch gold for T&T in two minutes, 59.60 seconds. Cuba claimed silver in 2:59.84, while United States clocked 3:00.21 to grab the bronze, ahead of Bahamas (3:00.34).
Saturday's 4x400m victory handed T&T a Pan Am Games relay title for the very first time.
The incredible run from Cedenio capped off a superb showing from Team T&T at Toronto 2015. The reigning world junior 400m champion's never-say-die attitude carried the country to three gold medals, three silver and two bronze, bettering the country's previous best Pan Am performance of two gold, four silver, one bronze at the 2003 Games in Dominican Republic.
T&T ended the 2015 Games in 15th spot on the medal table, just one rung below Jamaica (three gold, four silver, two bronze). United States topped the table with 103 gold medals, 81 silver and 81 bronze. Canada (78 gold, 69 silver, 70 bronze) and Brazil (41 gold 40 silver, 60 bronze) were second and third, respectively.
“This feels real good,” said Solomon. “After all the races this week, gold and a medal bonus is a nice way to top it off.”
Quow, Solomon, Mayers and Cedenio will get a US$9,000 payout from the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee's (TTOC) 10Golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation fund.
T&T also medalled in Saturday's men's 4x100m relay, Rondel Sorrillo, Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender and Dan-Neil Telesford combining for bronze, albeit belated.
Anchorman Telesford crossed the line fourth, but a protest was filed against Canada by United States, Brazil and T&T for a lane violation. According to the information coming out of Toronto, the protest was initially thrown out, and Canada got gold.
However, about two hours after the 8.05pm race, there was news that the Canadians were in fact disqualified, and bronze was awarded to Sorrillo, Bledman, Callender and Telesford.
T&T clocked 38.69 seconds to finish just behind silver medallists Brazil (38.68). Canada's disqualification handed gold to United States in 38.27.
And in the women's 4x400m relay, Janeil Bellille, Romona Modeste, Alena Brooks and Sparkle McKnight combined for seventh spot in 3:33.31. United States struck gold with a 3:25.68 clocking, finishing ahead of Jamaica (3:27.27) and Canada (3:27.74).
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The aim of #10golds24 athlete welfare and preparation fund is to provide financial assistance to our nation’s Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games athletes to enable them to train, recover and compete. The fund aims to assist athletes in the following aspects:
- Direct support (stipend) and out of pocket expense
- Medal bonus
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