naaatt :: media_artricles :: 2019
Bledman trusting the process, but time against T&T sprintersTerrisa Mark :: Trinidad Express :: 08.08.2019
NGC NAAA National Open Championship men's 100 metres gold medallist Keston Bledman gave his all here in Lima, Peru on Wednesday, in the Pan American Games century final. The result was a 10.43 seconds clocking, and cellar position in the eight-man field.
"It was tough with the cold weather, but I remain focused. I'm not in the shape that I used to be, but I am trusting the process, and everything is happening in the right time," Bledman told the Express.
Time, though, is against Trinidad and Tobago, as the twin island nation still does not have a qualifier in the men's 100m for the September 27 to October 6 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar. The qualifying standard is 10.10 seconds. Bledman's fastest run this season is 10.20, the clocking he produced to win his fifth national 100m title, late last month.
"The talent is there but these younger guys have to sit down and say 'it's time to beat Bledman'. I don't know if they are thinking like that, but I didn't care if I was a senior or junior. I always said 'you not beating me today'."
Bledman has a personal best of 9.86 seconds, but last dived under 10 more than four years ago. The 31-year-old is joint-second on the all-time T&T performance list, alongside quadruple Olympic medallist Ato Boldon. The 2008 Olympic 100m silver medallist, Richard "Torpedo" Thompson is at the top with his 9.82 seconds national record run. The list also includes Hasely Crawford, who grabbed Olympic gold back in 1976 in a personal best 10.06.
But though T&T has such a rich sprint tradition, the country is in danger of being without representation in the men's 100m dash in Doha.
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"It's not just one reason," said Bledman. "For example, we don't have a lot of competitions in Trinidad like we used to. Some people really need funds, and then some are just not mentally prepared."
Bledman is expected back on the track today for the qualifying round of the men's 4x100m relay.
T&T SPRINT STAR: Trinidad and Tobago's Keston Bledman at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, on Tuesday. -Photo courtesy JULIO CESAR SANDOVAL