Greaux exits 200m but hopeful about future

Kyle Greaux has a plan he expects will take him to the next level of sprinting, and is keen to implement it ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“As much as I enjoy training at home,” the Trinidad and Tobago athlete told the Express, “there are a few limitations. Going forward, come next year please God, I want to be a force to reckon with on the international stage, and be a better athlete for my country. Hopefully, I'll be moving to the US and really putting out some serious training.”

Greaux was speaking, shortly after his elimination from the men's 200 metres event, at the IAAF World Championships here in Beijing, China.

Drawn in the seventh and final first round heat, Greaux had to wait a while before launching his bid for a semi-final berth, a false start from Ecuador's Alex Quinonez delaying the race. With Quinonez disqualified, the T&T sprinter had one less athlete to worry about in his quest for a top-three finish and automatic qualification.

Coming off the turn, however, Greaux trailed the leaders. He battled on the straight but could only finish sixth in 20.51 seconds, nine-hundredths of a second outside his 20.42 personal best. Greaux was subsequently bumped up to fifth following the disqualification of China's Xie Zhenye for a lane infraction. But even with the promotion, the country's lone representative in the men's one-lap could not get into the semis as a “fastest loser”.

Greaux was joint-31st overall with his 20.51 run. The slowest of the three “fastest loser” qualifiers, Japan's Kei Takase clocked 20.33.

“The run was very disappointing,” said Greaux. “Coming into the championship I was optimistic I would get a much lower personal best, but this season's been rough. I was just trying to last out the season, ending on a (high) note. I'm thankful to be here but very disappointed nonetheless.

“Most of my challenges,” he explained, “if not all, were battling injury, like plenty other national athletes this year. I have weak glutes, so I had a lower back injury for about six months. I've been tending to it and trying to compete at the same time, but the injury is off-setting my left hamstring and stuff like that.”

Greaux was also a first round casualty on his IAAF World Championship debut, in Moscow, Russia, two years ago, finishing sixth in his heat in 20.89 seconds.

“That's the thing that hurt the most,” said Greaux of his early 200m exit. “This is my second time around, so when you look back at it you would hope for improvement in the form of advancement to the semi-final round. That didn't happen, and I think that's the most disappointing thing for me right now.”

The fact that the 20.51 seconds clocking was the third fastest time in his career was little consolation for Greaux.

“It was a fair effort. It wasn't a bad effort and it wasn't a good effort. Even though my personal best is only 20.4, I was optimistic I would have run a lot lower, but I guess it's not my time as yet.”

The 2015 season is only Greaux's third as a serious track and field athlete.

“I kind of started in 2011, but didn't really compete much. I competed in one local meet. The off-season of 2012 I joined Abilene Wildcats, and the following year because of the off-season I did with them, strong athletic base, I made the national team and that is when I ran at Moscow. This is really my third year competing—2013, 2014 and 2015.”

But while Greaux is still in the fledgling stage of his athletics career, the 27-year-old athlete is not a newcomer to the sport.

“I did track as a junior, but back then I couldn't balance school and athletics, so my parents pulled me out. I worked for a couple years, and then made the conscience decision I wanted to go back into track and field, so I started back when I was about 23.”

In addition to the 200m, Greaux was expected to compete in the 4x100m event here in Beijing. Following injuries to Rondel Sorrillo and Dan-Neil Telesford, Greaux was part of a bare four for the sprint relay, with Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender and hurdler Mikel Thomas. But Bledman's groin injury knocked him out of the 100m first round and ultimately the rest of the Championships, forcing T&T out of the 4x100m.

“Having not advanced in my individual event and not competing as part of the 4x1 team were equally disappointing. Even with the absence of Richard Thompson and Marc Burns, I'm of the opinion we could have still made it to the final.

“From there,” he continued, “you never know what would have happened. Canada has a strong team, but they are known to drop the baton, as well as USA. We're not really depending on that, but it's track…”

After press time, last night (TT time), Thomas competed in the first of five first round heats in the men's 110m hurdles.

Kamaria Durant will be the first of three T&T women in action this morning, in the opening round of the women's 200m. At 7.22, Durant runs in heat two. At 7.43, Semoy Hackett squares off against Jamaica's two-time Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell-Brown in heat five. And in the sixth heat, scheduled for 7.50, Reyare Thomas matches strides with Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers, the Beijing 2015 100m silver medallist.