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St Fort heads T&T world relay team
Khalifa St Fort, Carifta Games double sprint champion, SportWoman of the Year Michelle-Lee Ahye and Olympic double medallist Keston Bledman will lead a 22-member T&T team for this weekend’s IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas.
St Fort, who yesterday returned home with the rest of the successful T&T team from Curacao, was key in helping T&T finish second at the Carifta Games with 22 medals, seven gold medals, five silver and 10 bronze, behind Jamaica (39 gold, 28 silver, 19 bronze). Bahamas was third with 31 (six gold, 15 silver, 10 bronze.)
Both St Fort and Ahye have been selected for the 4x100 metres and 4x200m and will be joined by fellow Olympians Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Reyare Thomas, Semoy Hacket and former World Relays bronze medallist, Kamaria Durant in the shorter race.
In the 4x200m, US College standout athlete Anika Charles replaces Baptiste. Charles has been blazing the track in the USA College circuit, most recently completing a sprint double at the Little Rock Open in Arkansas.
Charles is also part of the T&T’s 4x400m team which includes Olympians Kai Selvon, Janeil Bellille and Domonique Williams.
Bledman will be joined by another Olympic double medallist Emmanuel Callender on the both the 4x100m and 4x200m teams. In the shorter event, they will link with Moriba Morain, Dan-Neil Telesford and Olympian Kyle Greaux.
In the 4x200m, another Olympian Renny Quow, the 2012 and 2009 World Championships bronze medallist, and Jereem Richards will partner with Bledman, Callender and Telesford.
Three of the six men, who helped T&T to Olympic 4x400m bronze in 2012 have been selected, including Jarrin Solomon, Deon Lendore and Lalonde Gordon. They will be joined by 2014 World Junior champion Machel Cedenio, Quow and Richards.
The mixed 4x400m team contains Charles, Quow, Richards, Solomon and Williams.
A total prize purse of USD $1.26 million will be paid by the IAAF for the men’s and women’s races at the Relays. Team prize money for each race (all amounts are in US) is, for first place, $50,000, second $30,000, third $20,000, fourth $12,000, fifth $10,000; sixth $8,000, seventh $6,000, and eighth $4,000.
Note from IAAF - World record bonus
Any team who breaks a world record in Nassau will be awarded a US $50,000 bonus by the IAAF. The World Relays have already witnessed five world record-breaking performances. At the inaugural edition in 2014, a Jamaican quartet clocked 1:18.63 to take down the men’s world 4x200m record while Kenyan teams shattered the standards in both the men’s and women’s 4x1,500m.
In 2015, USA teams stamped their authority on the distance medley event by breaking the records in both the men’s and women’s races. All five records still stand.