Monday 24th August saw history being created for Team TTO at the 15th IAAF World Championships (WC) in Beijing, China, when Michelle Lee Ahye and Kelly Ann Baptiste qualified for the finals of the women’s 100m Dash. This was the first time that TTO had two women in global senior final. Ahye and Baptiste became only the second TTO pair ever to compete in the same final at the global meet. At the 2009 Championships, in Berlin, Germany, Richard “Torpedo” Thompson and Marc Burns were fifth and seventh respectively, in the men's 100m dash.
Ahye stopped the clock at 10.98 to grab fifth spot in the women's 100m finals, finishing just ahead of Baptiste, who crossed the line in 11.01 for sixth place. In the semi-final rounds, Semoy Hackett was eliminated after finishing fifth in the opening heat in her seasons best (SB) 11.13. Baptiste finished second in heat two in 10.90 seconds to advance automatically to the final, while Ahye clocked her SB 10.97 for third spot in heat three and a spot in the finals as a “fastest loser”. This wasBaptiste second WC final; she won bronze in her first final in 2011. After battling with injuries this season, Ahye put together a good series of runs, 10:98 (heats), 10:97 (semis), 10:98 (finals). This was Ahye’s first WC final.
There was more history when Machel Cedenio became the youngest TTO athlete to qualify for an IAAF WC 400m final when he clocked 44.64 for third spot in the third and final semi-final heat at the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing, China. This was good enough to get him into the finals as the second fastest loser. Cedenio became the fourth TTO athlete in history to qualify for the men's 400m finals at the WC, joining Renny Quow (bronze-2009), Ian Morris (6th-1991) and Michael Paul (8th-1983). There were a lot of other first for young Cedenio as he became the first TTO athlete and one of the few men in history to qualify for the finals of the World Youth (U-18), World Juniors [(U-20) Gold in 2014], and Senior finals.
It was the first time ever all three of TTO’s entrants reached the semi-finals of a WC. Quow missed out on making his second WC finals, when he finished fifth in Heat 1 in 44:98. Lalonde Gordon was fourth in Heat 2 with a time of 44:70, just 0.06 seconds away from advancing to the finals. Cedenio is hoping to become TTO’s second medalist in the 400m Dash after Quow won bronze in 2009. It is not going to be an easy task as he is one of four former World Junior gold medalists in Wednesday's finals. In reviewing the times and ratings (PB/SB) of the eight finalists Machel is rated seventh. Five of the other finalists have run sub 44. He would have to run the race of his life. We wish him all the best, he is very young and to have made it to these finals in itself is an achievement.