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Time Marches on – Cedenio and Gardiner Sub 44.50

On the final day of Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympic Trials,MachelCedeniodominated the men’s 400m to win in 44.45 seconds. Lalonde Gordon, bronze medallist from the London 2012 was dispatched to second in 44.69,which is the kind of time most 400m runners would like to post six weeks from the Olympics, but was not enough to catch Cedenio. During the past 15 months the curve of Cedenio’s performance versus time shows a very steep gradient. The young man has come into his own in a big way.

Deon Lendore, 45.47, Jarrin Solomon, 45.49 and RennyQuow45.85, the 2009 Berlin World Championships bronze medallist, were third, fourth and fifth, respectively. At age twenty-nine Quow who has served Trinidad with distinction finds himself unable to stake a claim for a place on the 4x400m relay squad and will play the role of reserve to rest Cedenio and Gordon who are expected to reach the semis, and Cedenio for sure, maybe even Gordon the final.

A day earlier in the Bahamas, Steven Gardiner was setting the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau alight, with a 44.46 clocking with no one in sight. At the end of the race he seemed to be overcome with tiredness but it may have been loneliness. Alonzo Russell was second in 45.25 and the Fireman Chris Brown was third in 45.59.

Brown who has distinguished himself as a leader of the 2001 Edmonton World Championship 4x400m gold medal winning relay squad, a member of the 2012 London Olympics 4x400m gold medal winning relay squad and an individual 2010 Doha World Indoor Championshipgold medal winner would not have been pleased with his time. But time marches on, and in Cedenio and Gardiner we have the future while the distinguished Quow and Brown represent the past.

Sub 44.50 from both Cedenio and Gardiner and Kirani James consistently running sub 44.25 with Van Neiken, Merritt and Makwala already penciled in there could be many contenders for what are really two available spots in the 400m Olympic final. Titillating as it may be, fortunately conjecture has no value in Rio.

This weekend Rushdeen Mc Donald, Javere Bell, Edinho Steel, Peter Mathews, Demish Gaye Fitzroy Dunkley, Akeem Bloomfield and Christopher Taylor will compete for three individual 400m places and six 4x400m relay places. Will it be a case of the young men dominating as in Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas?

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