media_artricles :: 2016
TT relay teams eye improvement in Rio finalsJelani Beckles :: Newsday :: 19.08.2016
THE NATIONAL men's and women's 4x100-metre relay teams will have to improve their performances to get on the podium when their respective finals run off at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil, tonight.
The TT men qualified with the sixth fastest time, while the TT women have the seventh best time heading into the finals.
The women's 4x100m final will take place from 9.15 pm, followed by the men's final at 9.35 pm.
The national women's quartet of Semoy Hackett, Michelle-Lee Ahye, Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Khalifa St Fort finished third in 42.62 seconds in the second of the two heats sealing the last spot in the final from heat two.
Germany won the heat in 42.18 and Nigeria finished second in 42.55. Running in lane one Hackett got off to a slow start running the first leg, but Ahye and Baptiste fought back for TT on the second and third legs respectively.
However the last exchange between Baptiste and St Fort was not that smooth as TT had to settle for third spot.
The heat was filled with drama as the United States was impeded by Brazil during the second baton exchange which led to USA dropping the baton.
Allyson Felix, who ran the second leg for USA, was bumped by the Brazilian runner in the adjacent lane which led to the Americans dropping the baton.
USA completed the race but finished last.
The Americans filed an appeal and was allowed to run the race over by themselves in a race against the clock last evening.
USA needed to run faster than China which clocked 42.70 to advance to the final and they delivered recording a time of 41.77 to advance to the final with the fastest time of all the qualifiers.
Jamaica won heat one in 41.79, while Great Britain (41.93) and Ukraine (42.49) also booked the automatic qualifying spots.
The other qualifier from heat one was Canada which finished fourth in 42.70.
The national men's quartet of Keston Bledman, Rondell Sorillo, Emmanuel Callender and Richard Thompson was third in heat two of the men's 4x100m relay clocking 37.96. Like the TT women, the men will have to improve to earn a podium finish in tonight's final as five teams clocked faster times in the heats. Finishing ahead of TT in heat two were Japan and Jamaica.
Japan won the heat in 37.68, while a Jamaica team, not including Usain Bolt, was second in 37.94. Great Britain booked a place in the final with a fourth place finish in 38.06 and Brazil earned the last qualifying spot ending fifth in 38.19. Booking places in the final from heat one were USA (37.65), China (37.82) and Canada (37.89).
After the race Bledman stated, "(This is the) first time we are running in this order and we will make some adjustments (today) but it was a good run." Callender also gave his thoughts on the race saying, "We just have to get the stick around safe and that is what we tried to do (yesterday).
We wanted to run fast and come out with the win but we came out with a season best.
We played it safe running the zones so in the final we just have to execute and just leave it in God's hands." The national men's 4x400m team led by Machel Cedenio will compete in round one of the event at 8.10 pm tonight hoping to qualify for the final which takes place tomorrow at 9.35 pm.
Tomorrow at 7.55 pm, Keshorn Walcott will aim to defend his title in the men's javelin.
Walcott qualified for the final with a throw of 88.68m which was the best attempt among the 37 competitors who participated in the qualification round.
Walcott won gold at the 2012 London Olympics with a top throw of 84.58m.