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Mile Relay Record Progression
Track & Field Retrospect by Bernard Linley :: 23.08.2017
In August 2017 Team Trinidad & Tobago won its first ever World Championships 4x400m relay title in 2:58.12 (Solomon 46.1, Richards 43.6, Cedenio 44.4, Gordon 44.02).
Two years earlier our relay runners had won their first ever Pan American Games title (2:59.60) in Toronto, while our first Commonwealth Games gold medal had come half a century before in the mile relay (3:02.8, Kingston 1966). The latter was actually a mile relay (four times 440 yards), and this name remained in vogue even after track events changed from imperial to metric distances.
Still on the waiting list is our first ever Olympic gold medal in the mile relay, following the third place bronze medals of 1964 and 2012.
The record today is now almost half a minute faster than the time of 3:25.2 recorded in 1946 by the team comprising Leo Pierre, Georgie Lewis, PG Wilson and Wilfred Tull at the CAC Games in Barranquilla. Improvements were made by Tranton club to 3:19.8 (Basil Ince, Dusty Sealy, Cecil Puckerin, Kelvin Shaw), first under 3:20, at Southern Games 1954, by East St George AA to 3:15.6 in 1961 and by the national team to 3:12.5 (Roderick Manswell, Juan Betancourt, Wilton Jackson, Ed Roberts) when taking the 1962 CAC Games silver medal.
Then the 1964 Olympic team chopped over 10 seconds from the record with 3:01.7 (Edwin Skinner 46.0, Kent Bernard 45.3, Ed Roberts 45.4, Wendell Mottley 45.0), and this mark lasted nearly 30 years until our 1992 Olympic team ran 3:01.05 (Alvin Daniel, Patrick Delice, Neil de Silva, Ian Morris) in the Barcelona semifinals.
That record survived for 20 years until it was improved no less than three times in 2012: 3:00.45 in June, 3:00.38 in the Olympic semifinals, and 2:59.40 (Gordon 44.6, Solomon 44.6, Alleyne-Forte 45.5, Lendore 44.7) in the Olympic final, first under 3 minutes.
Since then the national team has bettered the 4x400m record three more times in precious medal crescendo:
- bronze at the 2014 World Relay Championships in 2:58.34,
- silver at the 2015 Beijing World Championships in 2:58.20 (Quow 44.9, Gordon 44.1, Lendore 44.8, Cedenio 44.4), and
- gold at the 2017 London World Championships in 2:58.12.
The next target for our quartermilers must now be TT`s first Olympic 4x400m relay title, aware that neighbours Jamaica achieved this in 1952 and Bahamas in 2012, with a sideways glance at the current world record of 2:54.29 established by the USA at the 1993 World Championships in Stuttgart.
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