Bahamas sent Chris Brown into his Olympic Games retirement, by claiming the bronze medal at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday (August 20).
The veteran of four Olympic Games, in the fight for a place on the medal podium, showed grit and determination to make a significant move on the final leg, to finish in 2:58.49 minutes as the race was won by United States of America in 2:57.40 with Jamaica second in 2:58.16.
The members of the team were all happy that they could win the bronze medal for Brown, who has a full complement of medals, all as being a part of his country’s 4×400 metres teams.
In the Sydney Olympics, Bahamas won the bronze medal, before upgrading it to silver at Beijing and then further enhanced it at London with a gold. This bronze places four medals in Brown’s cabinet.
He said, “words can’t even explain. I am just blessed. From 2000 to 2016 for me to be able come back and do this and come from a small island with gutsy runners, I am blessed and to put it all into perspective, I just thank God.
“(I have) No regrets at all. It is just an honour. I am healthy – well I feel a little something in the back of my hamstring right now, but I am going to get it checked out – we did the best that we could have done, considering the fact that a number of our guys were injured and people counted us out, but it’s never over until we crossed the finish line. So the people who counted us out, we just want to let them know that motivated us to keep the fire burning and we will continue to keep the fire blazing.
“This is my final Olympic Games. Hopefully I will come back for the World Relays next year and for the World Championships. I am not going to do much 400 metres if I come back next year, so it’s going to be focussing on the 4×400 and help the guys and make sure that we have a great team that’s going to be able to stand firm, until when I leave off the scene. But right now for me, I am just going to enjoy this offseason and just spend time with my family.
“This definitely is (last Olympics). I would love to be there for 2020 but unfortunately this definitely is my final Olympics. Every good book comes to an end and I think this is a way for me to take my book to an end with a bronze medal. I have been around for a while and I am blessed that I was healthy for my career and I am just thankful.
“It’s an honour for me to be here to run with these guys. Every year, injuries come and new guys show up. So for me to be able to still be, at this age and this level in the sport, and to run in the final, I am thankful.
“These guys have a bright future. If they stick together and stay as one, I think the Bahamas will definitely be a force to be reckoned with and I am just blessed and highly favoured to be a part of it,” Brown said.
Lead runner Alonzo Russell said, “it feels really good (to be able to run with Brown). I know that Chris says this is his last run (at the Olympics) but I think he will be back. I am just proud to be with him and to be able to get a medal again.”
Steven Gardiner, who ran the second leg said, “it was pretty good. This is my third Olympics and I medal at every single one. So running with him for the third time I want to thank God again. It was a blessing.”
Third leg runner Michael Mathieu said, “people calling us out but we manage to bring home a medal, so that’s really great. Chris, always a fighter, a warrior so it was just amazing to see him cross the line and just knowing that we all won a medal for my first Olympic Games. So it was really good.”
Brown has more joy from this medal than even the gold he won in London, based on all the factors that were involved in the team achieving the feat.
He said, “I think this one is the sweetest (medal). I thank the Lord for allowing me to come here tonight and running with this young group of guys. It’s been a rough season for me. It’s been a rough season for my teammates.
“Definitely or me. My coach left in June and I had to start all over from scratch through a whole new coach and one and two little nick knocks, had my body a little beat up, a little banged up a bit so I wasn’t really putting up the times I wanted to.
“But I was willing to come and do whatever I had to do to get the Bahamas on the podium. I just thank the Lord, thank the Bahamian fans, the Caribbean fans that supported us and my family that was really there for me the whole time,” he said.
Russell shares the same joy as Brown. He said, “I was feeling pretty good. I just wanted to go out there and set it up for my teammates and I think I was able to put us in a good position, where we were able to get a medal. I just want to thank God, my family, my coach, my teammates, to be able to pull it off.
“I ran a smart race in the prelims, so I was able to be like pretty much be fresh again for the final and I just want to thank my coach, who was able to get me through and treat me, to get through the rounds,” he said.
Gardiner chipped in, “it was okay. I strained my foot muscle on the very first curve so it was rough, but I decided to keep on pushing through it. We had a rough year and I know that it was going to be hard and we came out with something. We just want to thank God for that.”
Mathieu said, “I thank God for finishing strong and healthy. The third leg was a battlefield out there so I just had to go out there and put us in a position so that we could win a medal.”
And Brown conclude, “we thankful for having something, like I said people calling us out and just to be able to get something (it felt good).”