Jarrin Solomon, Jereem Richards, Machel Cedenio and Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago, gold, pose with their medals for the Men’s 4×400 Metres Relay final during day ten of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium on August 13, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
By NAN Sports Editor
News Americas, LONDON, England, Mon. 14, 2017: If Donald Trump could, he may indeed take credit for this year’s performance by US athletes at the IAAF World Championships which clearly could be labeled under his banner of “Make America Great Again.”
The US finished at the top of the medals table this year with a whopping 30 medals as the curtains came down on the races last night in London. By contrast, the combined Caribbean region finished with just nine medals as some of the region’s top athletes, including the Legend, Usain St. Leo Bolt, failed to live up to expectations.
Jamaica, which had its worst performance at the Championships in years, managed to end with 4 medals to lead the Caribbean region’s total. That included just one gold and three bronze medals as many of the country’s top athletes pulled up injured, including of course Bolt.
Usain Bolt of Jamaica is presented with a framed piece of the track from the London 2012 Olympics IAAF President Sebastian Coe (R) and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (L) as he said goodbye to the sport at the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships at the London Stadium on August 13, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage
Bolt, who had to limp off the track Saturday after pulling up injured in the men’s 4×100-m, returned Sunday night on the final night of the World Athletics Championships in London to say his final farewell to athletics – and perform his signature celebration– the Lightning Bolt. He ended his career with just a bronze medal.
But earlier, there was more heartbreak for Jamaicans as the men’s 4×400-m relays team failed to make the finals and the women’s team was hampered from finishing by Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby, who pulled up injured whilst in second place. This left Great Britain and Poland winning second and third behind the USA’s women’s team that included Jamaican roots runner Phyllis Francis.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO SHINES
Trinidad & Tobago ended the Championships giving their island a surprising golden moment Sunday that pushed their medal total to 2. T&T’s men’s 4×400 Metres Relay team of Jarrin Solomon, Jereem Richards, Machel Cedenio and Lalonde Gordon trounced the US men’s team into second in a time of 2:58.12, a win that left even NBC’s Ato Bolden, a Trinidad-and-Tobago Olympian, beaming with pride.
“It was a big motivation to come here and win — give it big,” Solomon, who was in the T&T team that was disqualified in their heat at the Rio Olympics, said after the win. “We knew and we made sure that we set up the team correctly. We worked so hard and it means so much to our team. It has a special sweet taste for us this year.”
“I just tried to go there and make sure we have the chance to execute well on the last leg,” Richards said.
While Cedenio, an alumnus of Team Jamaica Bickle at the Penn Relays added: “We knew the US team is always strong and we were prepared for that. I feel just grateful now. I think it was the best experience of all my career. The London crowd is always so supportive, We came third in 2012 in the national record. Now it is gold and I cannot ask for more.”
Richards added the other medal for T&T – a bronze – in the individual in the men’s 200-m race.
The Bahamas also ended the Games with 2 medals – one silver and one bronze. Steve Gardiner won the silver in the men’s 400-m while Shaunae Miller-Uibo had to settle for bronze in the women’s 200-m.
Cuba just secured one medal this year – a bronze that was won by Yarisley Silva in the Pole Vault competition.