TRINIDAD AND Tobago 400-metre runner Machel Cedenio has been be spurred on by the World record achievement of South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk, who copped gold in the Olympic final on Sunday night at the Olympic Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Van Niekerk set a new World and Olympic standard of 43.03 seconds, while the 20-yearold Cedenio finished fourth in a new national record time of 44.01.
In an interview on the Track Alerts website, Cedenio, the 2014 World Junior champion, mentioned, “I know (Van Niekerk) is great.
I am happy for him. He has the potential. He ran 43.48 last year. His record run has motivated me and make me want to train harder.” Reflecting on Sunday’s 400m final, Cedenio said, “it was great race and a fast race. Wayde broke the world record and I ran a personal best and a national record. Thank God enough for that. I am satisfied. My coach is happy. I know everyone home is happy.” The previous TT quarter-mile record was 44.21, set by Ian Morris in the 1992 Olympic final at Barcelona, where he also placed fourth.
Cedenio noted, “I am going to go back to the drawing board, train hard and come back for (the) Worlds (Championships) next year.” Morris, speaking to Newsday yesterday, was high in praise over Cedenio’s accomplishment and hopes that the 2015 First Citizens Sportsman of the Year will use it as a stepping stone for greater things.
“The young fella did extremely fantastic.
Knowing that a record has been there for 24 years and witnessing somebody coming and (break) it, I feel very proud that a young fella from Trinidad and Tobago can run a time like that, on a stage that was so competitive.” Cedenio, a reserve on the men’s 2012 Olympic relay team, was competing for the first time in the 400m individual.
Morris stated, “he has gained a lot of experience in making it to the final. I hope that he keeps on going. He has a lot of youth in his favour, he’ll be 21 this year and we are hoping that, with good health and strength, that he’ll be there in 2020 in Tokyo.” Looking at Cedenio’s long-term development, Morris suggested, “I think he has to get a little stronger.
I don’t know what his coach will be doing with him or how he will be dealing with him, but he has to do some more 200 (metres) to get a little more speed.” Morris, commenting on the failure of TT ’s men’s 100m sprinters, called it a “lacklustre performance” and said a lot of money has been spent preparing them but not enough returns are being derived