TRACK AND field athlete Jereem Richards is satisfied with his progress heading into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, describing his victory at the 2021 Adidas Boost Boston Games on Sunday as a confidence booster.
Richards won the men’s 150-metre event in a new national record time of 14.75 seconds, breaking the national record of 15.03 which Kyle Greaux had held since 2018. Jamaican Yohan Blake finished second in 14.93 and American Andrew Hudson grabbed third spot in 14.94.
Speaking to Newsday via WhatsApp messages on Monday, Richards said, “It feels great to get a national record in the 150m and it’s a wonderful feeling to put my name down in the history books.”
Richards has already qualified for the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which will be held from July 23-August 8.
Some of the other TT athletes who have sealed a place in Tokyo are cyclist Nicholas Paul, boxer Aaron Prince, rower Felice Chow, swimmers Dylan Carter and Cherelle Thompson and javelin thrower Keshorn Walcott, who is aiming to earn a medal in his third consecutive Olympics. Walcott won gold at the 2012 London Games and bronze four years later in Rio.
Richards said the gold-medal run on Sunday will motivate him.
“This 150m time and victory gives me a huge confidence boost, but also showed me that I have a lot of potential over 200m.”
Richards showed his speed in the final 50m at the Boston meet to grab gold.
Richards has been in form of late, as two weeks ago he also finished on the podium. On May 9, competing at the USA Track and Field Golden Games in California, he earned bronze in the men’s 200m event in 20.20.
Americans Noah Lyles and Kenny Bednarek finished ahead of Richards in 19.90 and 19.94 respectively.
Discussing his recent efforts, Richards said, “I’m very pleased with my progress over the last few weeks.”
Richards, who grew up in Pt Fortin, added, “Faith, trust (and) patience played a big role in my progression.”
Richards is one of TT’s top Olympic prospects. He won 200m gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
On Friday, the TT Olympic Committee said a ten-day camp in Osaki Town, Japan is confirmed for the TT contingent ahead of the Games, from July 12.
Richards is anticipating the camp especially as it is a familiar environment for the TT athletes.
“An Olympic camp is very important for this team, and having the ability to go to Osaki Town again, where the host was very hospitable, will be an essential part in the team’s preparations,” Richards said.
TT trained in Osaki Town leading up to the 2019 IAAF World Relays. The quartet of Richards, Machel Cedenio, Asa Guevara and Deon Lendore won gold at that event.