Sun | Jan 23, 2022

‘We will always remember Deon’

JAAA, TTOC saddened, send condolences after loss of T&T Olympian

Published:Wednesday | January 12, 2022 | 12:11 AM
In this file photo, Deon Lendore, of Trinidad and Tobago, competes in a heat in the men’s 400-metre run at the 2020 Summer Olympics on August 1, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
In this file photo, Deon Lendore, of Trinidad and Tobago, competes in a heat in the men’s 400-metre run at the 2020 Summer Olympics on August 1, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.

THE DEATH of Trinidad and Tobago Olympian, Deon Lendore, has been followed by tributes from all over the world, including from PUMA and the twin-island republic’s prime minister, Dr Keith Rowley.

Lendore died in a car accident in Texas, the news making the rounds on social media just before midnight on Monday.

Since then, Rowley, PUMA, the United States Embassy in Port of Spain, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) and the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) have made public the respect the athlete held in the community and their respective commiserations with his family.

“We are so saddened to hear this shocking news. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and of course the National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago at this time of grief. His life was far too short, but it made a big impact on the peoples of the Caribbean and the world. He was an important member of the regional track and field family who brought glory to his native Trinidad and Tobago. We’ll always remember him,” said Garth Gayle, president of the JAAA.

President of the TTOC, Brian Lewis, expressed similar sentiments.

INSPIRATION

“Words cannot adequately express our sadness at the devastating and untimely loss of three-time Olympian and Olympic and World Championship bronze medallist Deon Lendore, who has been an inspiration and motivation to us all both on and off the track,” said Lewis.

“Deon has flown the Trinidad and Tobago flag with pride, honour, patriotism and an indomitable will throughout his career while helping and inspiring many,” he added.

All around, the sentiments were the same, with the T&T PM weighing in thus: “Mr Lendore represented Trinidad and Tobago at the Olympic Games on three occasions, Tokyo 2020, Rio 2016 and London 2012 where he earned a bronze medal for the 4x400m. He was also a 2015 World Championships silver medallist (4x400m), a three-time World Indoor Championships bronze medallist and a Pan-Am Games bronze medallist. I extend heartfelt condolences to his family and join the national community in mourning.”

While PUMA, Lendore’s long-time apparel sponsor, thanked Lendore for his contribution to their cause.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Deon Lendore, who has been a part of the PUMA Family since 2017. We are honoured that he had chosen us to be by his side for a large part of his successful track & field career,” read a Tweet from the organisation.

Chargė d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Port of Spain, Shante Moore, said Lendore represented T&T with “pride and honour”. “May his soul rest in peace,” read a missive from his office.

The 44.36-second runner, who made his mark at his first Olympic Games in London, 2012, helped announce T&T as one of the new hubs of 400-metre sprinting as the quartet in the 4x400 event mined bronze.

Lendore would go on to represent T&T at Olympic Games in Rio four years later and again in Tokyo just last year.

Lendore also won for T&T, a silver medal at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics, achieving the feat again in the 4x400 in 2015.

Helping T&T to pull together strong teams seemed to be one of Lendore’’s strong suits, as he also played a big part in another 4x400 bronze medal, this time at the Pan Am Games in 2019. Those games were held in Lima, Peru.

The one-lap sprinter also excelled indoors, winning three bronze medals at the World Indoor Championships.

As a college student, Lendore enjoyed huge success at the NCAA level, winning the Bowerman award in 2014 as part of the famous Texas A&M University track team.

Lendore was also a fantastic junior, winning three Pan Am Junior Championships silver medals as well as a medal of the same colour at the Central American and Caribbean Games.