By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
Despite having his 2012 London Olympics 4 x 400 metre relay medal stolen, and rebounding from an injury in April that ended his season, quarter-miler Demetrius Pinder said he’s still upbeat as he continues to train hard in Bradenton, Florida.
Pinder, 24, is training with American world champion LaShawn Merritt at the IMG Academy that is on the Gulf Coast of Florida where they are working under the supervision of Loren Seagrave.
“Everything is going great,” Pinder said. “I’ve really been putting in a lot of work trying to get back on the track. My legs are fine and I’ve gotten over the injury. I’m just working hard and trying to get ready for next year.”
Pinder, who pulled up on the home stretch of the men’s 200m at the inaugural Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational in April at the new Thomas A Robinson Stadium, had to shut down the remainder of his season, causing him to skip the trip to the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.
“I was really looking for some big things before the injury,” he said. “But I was really disappointed when I got hurt.”
Prior to competing in the meet, Pinder had moved to Florida to train with his good friend and rival Merritt and Seagrave. This was his first full season competing on the circuit after graduating from Texas A&M where he had an impressive four-year sting for the Aggies.
With the offseason training now in gear, Pinder said he’s looking forward to regaining his form that enabled him to make it to the final of the men’s 400m at the Olympics with Brown. While Brown got fourth, Pinder had to settle for seventh before they both ran the first and second legs as the Bahamas team, including Michael Mathieu and Ramon Miller, went on to upset the United States in the relay.
It was the first time in 60 years that the USA had lost the relay at the Olympics after they competed without Merritt, who went down with an injury in the rounds of the 400m. The USA, with a healthy Merritt on anchor, regained their top spot in Moscow as the Bahamas failed to make it to the final with injuries to Pinder, Mathieu and Miller.
“I’m really training so I can get back to give the Bahamas a chance to get back on top next year,” Pinder said. “Everything was going good with my training until the medal was stolen. But I’m not going to let this get me down. It’s going to get me even more motivated to do some big things for the Bahamas next year.”
Pinder was referring to the medal being removed from the console of his 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 that was parked outside of his Springs at Palma Sola Apartments on Wednesday morning. The Police Department have launched an intensive investigation and his story has been carried extensively through a number of media and social networks.
“I’m really disappointed because it was a medal that I had dedicated to my sister,” said Pinder of his older sister, Claudia, who died while he was in a training camp in England preparing for the games. “But I’m not going to let this get me down. I’m going to use this as a motivation for next year.
“You can expect for me to do some big things. I’m having some great training sessions right now. I’ve gotten over the injury and my legs are feeling much better now. So I’m really looking forward to coming back next year and turning things around for the Bahamas.”
He noted that he’s excited about the training sessions he’s having with Seagrave. He’s even more enthused because he has a good training partner in Merritt to work with.
Pinder is gearing up for the 15th IAAF World Indoor Championships in Gdansk/Sopot, Poland, March 7-9 before he comes home to compete at the inaugural IAAF World Relays at the TAR Stadium May 24-25.