media_artricles :: 2018
Nero ready for Commonwealth marathonKwame Laurence :: Trinidad Express :: 03.04.2018
Machel Cedenio is a motivated athlete as he fine-tunes his preparations ahead of the Commonwealth Games here in Gold Coast, Australia. The 22-year-old Trinidad and Tobago athlete is listed for action in the men's 400 metres and 4x400m events.
Already one of the best quartermilers in the world, Cedenio now has an additional source of motivation when he heads to the track to train. Last month, the T&T Government announced the implementation of a formal Incentives and Rewards Framework. Athletes competing at the Olympic Games and World Championship meets now know the specific rewards they will receive for podium performances.
"Athletes of all disciplines," said Cedenio, "can set realistic goals for themselves and be motivated to pursue those goals knowing that your hard work will not be valueless."
The new Incentives and Rewards Framework will be applied retroactively to the 2015-2017 period. As a result, Cedenio will be rewarded as part of the men's 4x400m teams that earned gold at the 2017 IAAF World Championships, silver at the 2015 Worlds and bronze at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships.
"I'm relieved and thankful that finally someone is getting it right…to an extent. I would have liked to see value added to all international events and prize money given for placement to persons in all finals.
"In my case," Cedenio continued, "I placed fourth in the 2016 Olympic 400 metres final, which is fourth in the world. I did not receive a medal. Does that mean my performance was not good enough to be recognised? Anyway, I hope this development would motivate more persons to get involved in sport. Not just track and field, but sports in general."
Cedenio described the Government's Incentives and Rewards Framework as "a very positive step for sports development" in T&T.
"Now, the hope is there that people would start to view sports as not just recreational, but as a way of life for the professional athlete. To the professional athlete, sport is his job, and he works not only for himself but also for his country. When one successfully completes his job, he expects to be paid by his employer."
Tonya Nero's work assignment here in Gold Coast is the women's marathon. The 29-year-old distance runner made her Commonwealth Games debut in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014. She competed in the 10,000m at the Glasgow Games, but will run more than four times that distance on Sunday, April 15.
Nero told the Express she is well prepared for the Gold Coast Marathon.
"I'm feeling nervous, but ready to go. I did the 10K last time. This is a longer race, but I've trained for it. I've done the mileage. I was training in Wichita, Kansas since the year started, so I'm pretty excited."
On March 24, Nero warmed up for the Commonwealth Games marathon with a solid run at the IAAF/Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia, Spain. The T&T athlete finished 89th in the women's race in one hour, 17 minutes, 55 seconds.
"That race was a good build-up," said Nero, "and it came at a good time. It was a windy race, but I felt pretty strong. It was a good effort."
Nero arrived in Gold Coast last Thursday, and has settled in well. Thanks to the subtropical climate, a warm reception when she worshipped with her spiritual family at the Gold Coast Church of Christ Easter Sunday Service, and comfortable accommodation at the Games Village, the Maracas Valley runner is feeling very much at home.
"The Games Village is like an athletes' dream world," Nero declared. "Wonderful. I'm sleeping well, eating well. Everything's going really good."
With yesterday's arrival of track and field's Cleopatra Borel, Ayanna Alexander and Sparkle McKnight, as well as table tennis players Dexter St Louis and Rheann Chung, all 51 T&T athletes are now housed at the Games Village.
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T&T IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Trinidad and Tobago marathon runner Tonya Nero, left, and an Australian performer, following the T&T flag-raising ceremony at the Commonwealth Games Athletes Village in Gold Coast, Australia, on Friday.