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“Run baby, run!” Yvette Wilson screamed yesterday as her last child, Jereem Richards, sprinted his way to the bronze medal in the men’s 200 metres final at the IAAF World Championships in London.
Wilson and other family members had gathered at her sister Janice Wilson-Phoenix’s home in Point Fortin to view the race as Richards lined up with the possibility of earning a gold medal, having cruised into the final the day before.
And Jereem, 23, did not disappoint his family as he took the bronze medal, just fractionally behind Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev, who took home the gold and South African Wayde van Niekerk, who beat him by fractions of a second. In fact, Guliyev won in 20.09 seconds, while both Nierkerk and Jereem clocked 20.11. (See pages A48 & A48)
Only one T&T athlete - Ato Boldon in 1997 in Athens - has won a gold medal in the World Championships in the 200 metres event.
Moments before Jereem knelt at the starting blocks, his family, most of whom were clad in T-shirts with his face printed on the front, held hands and sent up a fervent prayer for his success.
As the race started, Yvette sat on the edge of her seat, clutching a Trinidad and Tobago flag and screaming Jereem’s name.
The excitement may have been a little too much for Jereem’s sister Brittney who jumped a bit too high and landed on this reporter before falling to the ground. The end result was a split lip and a million-dollar smile for her baby brother.
When Yvette could catch her breath, she sent out this message for her son: “Jereem, I am so proud, Mommy loves you, we all love you!”
“Oh my God! I am ecstatic, right now. I am so elated, words can’t express,” she added.
Yvette said she was her son’s number one fan and does not miss any of his races.
“I am his number 1 supporter, I never miss a race, today he has raised my pores, I feel like my heart is beating out of my chest. I am really happy and thankful because God has kept him.”
She jokingly credited his success to her breadfruit.
“He loves oildown, it is always the first thing he asks for when he comes home ... That is what have him fast so!”
Brittney, who had to pause her celebrations to clean up her busted lip, added, “He worked really hard for this and I am happy to see he can reap the rewards of his hard work, we love you Jereem!”
Grandmother Beatrice Wilson said Jereem had made the nation proud with his efforts.
“He have the country celebrating today! Well done son!”