Home / Rio 2016 / Raucous in Rio: Machel motors but Wayde and Bolt leave Rio bazodee 

Raucous in Rio: Machel motors but Wayde and Bolt leave Rio bazodee 

Twenty-year-old Trinidad and Tobago rising star Machel Cedenio broke a national 400 metre record last night that was set, four years before he was born, by Ian Morris at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games.

But it was not enough to get him on the podium after an extraordinary race in which 24-year-old South Africa sprinter Wayde Van Niekerk not only won gold but smashed Michael Johnson’s 17-year world record and made a phenomenal athlete like Grenada’s Kirani James look as though he was running in quicksand.

Photo: South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk (far left) pulls away from the pack in the Men’s 400m Final at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on 14 August 2016.  (Copyright Fabrice Coffrini/AFP 2016/Wired868)
Photo: South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk (far left) pulls away from the pack in the Men’s 400m Final at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on 14 August 2016. 
(Copyright Fabrice Coffrini/AFP 2016/Wired868)

Forget the drug testers, somebody should check for wheels below Van Niekerk’s running shoes!

The South African wonder boy had to share the spotlight with Jamaican living legend Usain Bolt, as the charismatic man-mountain also created history by being the first sprinter ever to win three 100 metre gold medals.

His compatriot, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, could have beat him to that distinction but finished behind another Jamaican, Elaine Thompson, in the women’s 100 metre final on Saturday.

No doubt, American Justin Gatlin, a former drug cheat who is about as popular as Zika in Rio, hoped to spoil Bolt’s moment. And, for about 80 metres, Gatlin looked like spoiling a wonderful tale—like that annoying pop-up ad offering male enhancement drugs.

But Bolt was not to be distracted, as he went up a gear in thrilling fashion. And, in the end, Gatlin did well to hang on to silver as nashy Canadian Andre De Grasse appeared to be running in the Jamaican’s slipstream.

Mr Live Wire is assuming that De Grasse paid taxi fare for his short drop on the way to that bronze. Incidentally, De Grasse is part-Caribbean himself. His mother, Beverley De Grasse, was a sprinter at secondary school level in Trinidad and Tobago before she moved to Canada at 26 while his father, Alex Waithe, moved from Barbados to Canada as a teenager.

Photo: Jamaica’s Usain Bolt celebrates after the Men’s 100m Final at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on 14 August 2016.  (Copyright Olivier Morin/AFP 2016/Wired868)
Photo: Jamaica’s Usain Bolt celebrates after the Men’s 100m Final at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on 14 August 2016. 
(Copyright Olivier Morin/AFP 2016/Wired868)

So far, Bolt, Thompson and bronze medalist Fraser-Pryce are Jamaica’s only medalists in Rio. And if one needed any more proof that Jamaica’s presence has not quite been synonymous with irreproachable excellence at this Olympics, look no further than ESPN commentator and former Olympic silver medalist, Grace Jackson.

Jackson’s commentary—which threw up pearls like “Kim Collins got there on merit” and “I can assure you that these competitors will be trying their best”—was such a meaningless mishmash of empty words that if she said “my esteemed and wonderful leader, Kamla” she would be a dead ringer for MP Suruj Rambachan.

In contrast, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee’s (TTOC) insightful chef de Mission, Dr Ian Hypolite, was such an unqualified success in the studio that ex-football star Shaka Hislop—another accomplished analyst—better hope ESPN is willing to pay for more than one Trinidad and Tobago accent when the next athletic championships comes around.

Of course, the TTOC’s affairs must be running very smoothly indeed for Hypolite to have so much free time away from whatever it is that chef de Missions are supposed to do at major tournaments.

But Mr Live Wire won’t look a gift horse in the mouth at a tournament in which the two island republic has so far struggled to match previous glories.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago's Machel Cedenio (second from left) beats (from left) Grenada's Bralon Taplin, Bahrain's Ali Khamis and Botswana's Karabo Sibanda to the finish line in the Rio Olympics' 400 metre final on 14 August 2016. Cedenio finished fourth behind South Africa's Wayde Van Niekerk, Grenada's Kirani James and the United States' LaShawn Merritt. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s Machel Cedenio (second from left) beats (from left) Grenada’s Bralon Taplin, Bahrain’s Ali Khamis and Botswana’s Karabo Sibanda to the finish line in the Rio Olympics’ 400 metre final on 14 August 2016.
Cedenio finished fourth behind South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk, Grenada’s Kirani James and the United States’ LaShawn Merritt.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

In Cedenio, we have a reason to get excited about Tokyo 2020, though.

The Trini’s upright running style is reminiscent of that great American, Johnson, and he offered up another wonderful cocktail of power, athleticism and timing last night.

The problem is there is a kid now capable of—gulp!—putting even Michael Johnson in the shade.

Van Niekerk probably didn’t realise that he shared the track with reigning Olympic champion, James, and former World Championships gold medalist LaShawn Merritt until after he crossed the finish line.

The boy from Cape Town—and there is probably a ‘S’ on that cape—was only really competing with the clock. And time wasn’t the only thing that was flying in Rio.

Van Niekerk is the first athlete to ever run 100m in under 10 seconds, the 200m in under 20 seconds and the 400m under 44 seconds. But he will not have a 200 metre showdown with Bolt, as he is not registered to run.

Photo: South Africa 200 metre and 400 metre sprint star Wayde Van Niekerk. (Copyright News.com.au)
Photo: South Africa 200 metre and 400 metre sprint star Wayde Van Niekerk.
(Copyright News.com.au)

Bolt’s best time in the 200 metre event is 19.19 while Van Niekerk has never gone faster than 19.94. So the Jamaican probably would not have been too worried about completing his double anyway. But, at this rate, it will be the South African—rather than Bolt’s teammate and declared successor, Yohan Blake—who will become the new face of track after the great Jamaican’s expected retirement.

Much has been said of Gatlin’s tainted past as a drug cheat. But Cedenio was also denied a medal last night by a former dope boy.

Merritt, who finished third in the 400 metre final, tested positive for an anabolic steroid twice in 2009 and once in 2010. The American received a 21-month ban but managed to avoid the maximum penalty after he claimed to have unwittingly taken the substance while using an over-the-counter penis enlargement product.

“I hope my sponsors, family, friends and the sport itself will forgive me for making such a foolish, immature and egotistical mistake. Any penalty that I may receive for my action will not overshadow the embarrassment and humiliation that I feel inside.”

Photo: USA 400 metre runner and the face of penile dissatisfaction, LaShawn Merritt.
Photo: USA 400 metre runner and the face of penile dissatisfaction, LaShawn Merritt.

The relevant authorities probably listened to a muscular young Afro-American male claiming to be embarrassed by the size of his cookalooks and said: “Okay, we will let you go on account of originality, willingness to drastically narrow your chances of scoring with the opposite sex and, at the same time, making us old white men feel better about ourselves.”

Machel boi, a bronze medal ent worth that nah.

Trinidad and Tobago’s 2016 Olympic campaign continues today with action in the women’s 200 metre and 400 metre hurdle events and the men’s 110 metre and 400 metre hurdles.

Young prince Jehue Gordon, the 2013 World Championships gold medalist, competes first from 9.30am.

After emphatic showings from “Lightening Bolt” and the “Capetown Crusader”, a positive performance from “Flash Gordon” is bound to cheer up a nation of couch surfers.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s Jehue Gordon (left) and United States’ Michael Tinsley race to the line during the men’s 400 metres hurdles final at the Moscow 2013 IAAF World Championships at the Luzhniki Stadium on 15 August 2013. (Copyright AFP 2016/Antonin Thuillier)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s Jehue Gordon (left) and United States’ Michael Tinsley race to the line during the men’s 400 metres hurdles final at the Moscow 2013 IAAF World Championships at the Luzhniki Stadium on 15 August 2013.
(Copyright AFP 2016/Antonin Thuillier)

About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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56 comments

  1. He sure did and keep looking he will do it again

  2. To be a good commentator you have to be balanced and know of what you speak. Good T&T professional. Take yah money from ESPN. Thanks to who ever recommended you sir. Branding R/W/B.

  3. And he not even rating up our athletes only talking about the other countries

  4. Does nobody get bothered by the massive Bolt ego. The Nissan Bolt would have to be two thousand horse power gold plated Lamborghini to satisfy that ego.

  5. Machel ran an excellent race he did his country proud rmr three runners ran under 44 seconds and a world record was broken it was the fastest 400 ever and a machel broke ian morris record since in 92

  6. It was a joy to be in that stadium last night to witness Machel’s performance. Love that guy.

  7. I was wondering what the dickens Hypolite was doing on ESPN when he went as part of the T&T management team. Steups

  8. A true legend. Still think van Niekerk breaking Michael Johnson’s 400 record is the best individual performance in the Rio Olympics, so far. Lasana Liburd

  9. Lol. The man deserved it for a young fellah using that excuse for doping!

  10. Ok Nissan Lets do this…. 2017 Nissan BOLT Hybrid 3.0 Turbo

  11. Yeah boi…the “cookalooks” killed meh!
    So, in this Olympics we had one Dick showing off and making an unnecessary scene and another dick trying to just be?! It seems that it’s just not only politics that has a morality of its own?!

  12. So far, Bolt, Thompson and bronze medalist Fraser-Pryce are Jamaica’s only medalists in Rio.this is incorrect, a young jamaican won Silver in diving

  13. http://www.si.com/olympics/2016/08/14/usain-bolt-wayde-van-niekerk-race-quote

    “He can’t beat me over 200 meters. I’m not worried about that,” Bolt responded later, with a laugh. “But I’m really proud of him. When he came to Jamaica I said to him, you’re the only person that can break this 400 meter world record.

  14. Ah, I see now the Americans are only sanctimonious about drug cheats when it’s Russians or swimming…

  15. Lasana yuh brutal bro that really sounds dotish a big strong athlete using that excuse, “cookalooks” horse I haven’t heard that word in eons lmao

  16. Yeah I am really impressed with Dr. Hypolite. He really save the track commentary. Grace has such a hoarse drone but it’s not just the voice..she not adding value at all. She comes across as a lay person and doesn’t really known much about the individual athletes.

  17. Well I had no idea of the circumstances of Meritt drug cheat?..admitting that took some balls! Really proud of Machel’s run. I’m sure Ian Morris is thrilled to bits. Watching Van Niekerk run like a beast in lane 8 is a great inspiration for my son. He should never complain about getting a bad lane?

  18. The Doc has really saved the panel compared to what was going on during the swimming commentary smh….insightful indeed

  19. Bolt is the 1st Olympic track athlete to.do the hattrick of gold in the same event
    Also Van coach is a 74 year old woman from Namibia

    I personally feel.that 400m race was the best race I ever saw before

  20. As we say in trini…..Mr Livewire, you is ah Boss….Lol