Both Trinidad and Tobago sprint relay teams exited the World Athletics Championships here in Budapest, Hungary, yesterday.
Akilah Lewis, Michelle-Lee Ahye, Reyare Thomas and Leah Bertrand finished fifth in the first women's 4x100 metres qualifying heat and tenth overall in 42.85 seconds. Nine teams will contest today's final.
Lewis, running the leadoff leg for TTO, thoroughly enjoyed her Worlds debut. "It was a really exciting atmosphere," Lewis told the Express. "I'm looking forward to doing this more."
Ahye performed second leg duties. "There has been good chemistry since we got here," the 2018 Commonwealth Games 100m champion declared. "It got better today because everybody was joking around, laughing, having fun."
Thomas, who ran the third leg for TTO, was pleased with the team's performance. "The women's relay is building back for next year. It's good going forward with the new crop of athletes coming in."
Lewis is 22, while anchorwoman Bertrand is 21. Bertrand finished strong for TTO, outpacing the Spanish and French anchors to cross the line fifth. "The crowd brought a lot of energy," Bertrand explained, "and I was able to run my heart out. I was putting it all down on the track."
Jamaica topped the opening heat in 41.70 seconds, finishing ahead of Great Britain (42.33) and Switzerland (42.64).
In the men's 4x1, the TTO combination of Omari Lewis, Jerod Elcock, Revell Webster and Devin Augustine, running in that order, clocked 38.89 seconds for fifth in heat one and 12th overall. "I have to trust God's plan for the team," said Lewis, "so we're just moving on to whatever we have next."
Though TTO did not qualify for today's championship race, Elcock was satisfied with the run.
"We have the potential. It's a young team so we just have to stay together, stay healthy, regroup, and come back stronger next year. First, we have World Relays, and then make the Olympic final in Paris."
Eighteen-year-old Webster was thrilled to fly the TTO flag here in Budapest. "Being the youngest on the team, maybe one of the youngest in the games, I am excited, I was nervous, a whole lot of emotions, but I still did my best."
Anchorman Augustine, 19, also enjoyed the electric atmosphere at the National Athletics Centre. "It's a one of a kind experience. I'm grateful."
USA won the heat in 37.67 seconds, edging Jamaica, 37.68, into second. Japan finished third in 37.71.
At 1.30 this afternoon (T&T time), TTO will line up in the opening men's 4x400m qualifying heat. Renny Quow, Asa Guevara, Shakeem McKay and Jereem "The Dream" Richards are expected to fly the flag. Botswana, Japan, Great Britain, India, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary and USA are also in the race.