TRINIDAD and Tobago will not have a representative in the men’s 400-metre final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the trio of Machel Cedenio, Deon Lendore and Dwight St Hillaire did not get past the semifinal stage, on Monday morning (TT time).
In semifinal one, Lendore was out the blocks quickly and took the lead after 100m. However with 150m left he started to fade as the runners on the inside lanes including Grenadian Kirani James took charge of the race.
Lendore, running in lane seven, finished fourth in 44.93 seconds which saw him just miss out on a spot in the final. Eight runners earned spots in the final, but Lendore was ninth overall. Jamaican Christopher Taylor snatched the eighth and final spot after finishing second in semifinal two in 44.92.
James, the winner of the event at the 2012 London Olympics, won semifinal one in a season’s best of 43.88.
The top two in each of the three semifinals advanced automatically along with the next two fastest times.
In semifinal two, running in lane nine, Cedenio also could not maintain his speed to the end.
Before heading into the home stretch he also started to fall behind and could only muster a sixth place finish in 45.86 in the race which included seven athletes. American Michael Cherry won semifinal two in 44.44.
St Hillaire, starting in lane two in semifinal three, seemed out of contention at the halfway stage. He made a late surge in the final 50m, but it was too late to make up the ground to qualify for the final.
St Hillaire was seventh in 45.58 in the eight-man semifinal. Steven Gardiner of Bahamas won semifinal three in 44.14 in a season’s best time.