media_artricles :: 2018
Lendore opens 400 title bid
Cedenio, Lalonde out NGC/Sagicor ChampsKwame Laurence :: Trinidad Express :: 22.06.2018
Deon Lendore seems set to regain his NGC/Sagicor NAAA National Open Track and Field Championship men's 400 metres title, and will open his bid for one-lap gold at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, this evening. Lendore, who will run in lane five in the fifth and final qualifying round heat, should have no problems progressing to tomorrow's championship race.
The men's 400 was expected to be the big draw at Champs this weekend. However, the four men who earned 4x4 gold for Trinidad and Tobago at the 2017 IAAF World Championships will not compete, taking some lustre out of the event.
Reigning national champion Machel Cedenio is nursing a hamstring injury. Jarrin Solomon is sitting out the 2018 season. Lalonde Gordon, the T&T anchorman in London, is not competing at the Championships. And Jereem "The Dream" Richards will be on show in Sunday's 200. Also missing from this weekend's 400 is Dwight St Hillaire, who enjoyed a successful freshman campaign for University of Kentucky on the American collegiate circuit but then sustained an injury.
Lendore has also had his challenges with injury, but is returning to his best form and would be tough to beat this weekend. Earlier this month, the 2013 national champion dived under 45 seconds for the first time in more than three years, clocking 44.81 seconds for victory at the Star Athletics Sprint Series meet in Florida, USA.
The National Championship men's 400m start list also includes Renny Quow, Jacob St Clair, Odou Hazel and 2017 100m gold medallist Emmanuel Callender. St Clair and Callender will clash in the opening heat. Hazel runs in the third heat. And Quow faces the starter in heat four.
Quow, who ran the leadoff leg for T&T in the qualifying round at Worlds last year before being replaced by Solomon for the final, is an experienced campaigner with seven national one-lap titles to his name. However, the 2009 IAAF World Championship bronze medallist has been well short of his best form this season, and is up against it in his bid for number eight.
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Keston Bledman is tipped to capture his fourth National Championship men's 100m title. Bledman was nowhere near his best at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, bowing out of the century in the semifinal round. But following a solid 10.16 seconds run in Florida on June 9, the two-time Olympic sprint relay medallist would be confident of reclaiming the title he last won in 2015.
Bledman will do battle in heat four in this evening's first round. Kyle Greaux will run in heat two in the opening race of his bid for the men's sprint double. Moriba Morain clashes with Nathan Farinha and Jalen Purcell in the third heat. Nathan's twin brother, Jonathan Farinha features in heat five. And in the first heat, Jerod Elcock and Andre Marcano match strides with on-fire junior Timothy Frederick.
In the men's 800m heats, all eyes will be on Ashton Gill and England-based Nicholas Landeau. The men's 10,000m, women's pole vault, men's hammer throw and women's hammer throw titles will be decided today. Action at the Crawford Stadium starts at 6pm.
FLASHBACK: Deon Lendore strikes gold in the men's 400 metres event at the 2013 National Track and Field Championships.