TT quarter-miler Jereem Richards is keenly anticipating the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, saying this country has a chance to become men’s 4x400m Olympic champions after another stellar performance in the event, on Sunday.
The quartet of Deon Lendore, Richards, Asa Guevera and Machel Cedenio gave this country a Mother’s Day gift when they won gold in the men’s 4x400m event at the IAAF World Relays in Japan.
Anchorman Cedenio got the baton in third position, but ran a memorable last leg passing Jamaica and USA to claim gold in three minutes, 00.81 seconds.
TT have been showing consistency in the event as the gold medal on Sunday, follows the gold medal performance by TT at the 2017 World Championships.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are around the corner and anticipation is building.
TT have had success in the men’s 4x400m event at the Olympics, winning bronze medals at the 1964 Tokyo Games and at the 2012 London Games, but TT have not gotten to the top of the podium.
Looking towards the Olympics, Richards said, “I think we have a lot of potential, seeing that it is one of the younger teams we put out (recently) because the oldest guy is Deon and he is only 26, so we have a lot of potential. We also have a lot of other guys that were absent at the meet, so going into the Olympics we (are) definitely very strong in power and depth and I think we have a very good chance to become Olympic champions God spare life.”
Richards said the team has chemistry after being team-mates at junior level.
“I am definitely proud of the team...we believed in ourself, we had good communication as a team. We all went to Carifta together when we were younger at some point in time. We were all in the Carifta era together, so we were well acquainted with each other and to go out there and get gold and represent TT and make it a Mother’s Day present for all our mothers, and all the mothers of TT was a great experience. I have to say thank you to God.”
Richards said seeing Cedenio make up all that ground in the anchor leg was amazing, but not surprising because he has seen Cedenio accomplish remarkable comebacks since he was junior athlete.
Former TT 400m runner Alvin Daniel also said this country can win its first gold medal in the 4x400m event, but said for that to become a reality the team must run together regularly and more support must be given to the TT athletes.
“If we could keep these fellas together and have them run more it (is) going to help,” Daniel said. “I know with school and people in university it might be a little difficult, but I am saying that we need to ensure that we get those guys to run as much as possible. We need to support them as much as possible if we looking at the Olympics and bigger things to come. It could happen.”
Daniel congratulated the TT athletes. “I am always happy for a victory, coming from a small place like ours and I have to say small and with the limited support that I know we get for sports. I think that was extremely wonderful, everything about it was nice, it was Mother’s Day and those fellas were able to bring off that.”