Trinidad and Tobago relay men receive Olympic gold 14 years later

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Trinidad and Tobago’s men’s 2008 4×100 Olympic team collected their gold medals from IOC president Thomas Bach at a reallocation medal ceremony in Switzerland on Tuesday. PHOTO: NAAATT FACEBOOK PAGE

IT took 14 years, but the Trinidad and Tobago men’s 4×100-metre team who competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics can now call themselves gold medallists.

Richard Thompson, Marc Burns, Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender and Aaron Armstrong received their medals in a short Olympic medal reallocation ceremony at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday.

At the 2008 Olympics, Jamaica won the men’s 4x100m event, led by legendary sprinter Usain Bolt. However, in 2017, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) revealed that Jamaica team member Nesta Carter had violated the anti-doping code by testing positive for methylhexaneamine. Jamaica were disqualified and TT, who had earned silver, were announced as the new winners.

In this August 22, 2008 file photo, (from left) TT’s Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender, Richard Thompson and Marc Burns celebrate after finishing second in the men’s 4×100 metres relay final at the National Stadium during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. – (AFP Photo)

At the ceremony on Tuesday, IOC president Thomas Bach said he knew the TT athletes would have liked to experience such a special moment at the 2008 Games. He said the IOC’s goal was to protect the clean athletes.

After Bach spoke, the TT athletes were introduced and brought on stage. After receiving their medals, president of the TT Olympic Committee Diane Henderson presented all the athletes with a bouquet of flowers.

In this screen grab, Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Richard Thompson, right, smiles as he and his 2008 4×100 teammates collect Olympic gold medals from IOC president Thomas Bach at a reallocation medal ceremony in Switzerland on Tuesday.

The national anthem was played and then pictures were taken with the TT flag.

The athletes were accompanied by members of their family.

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