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Richards snares 200m Bronze
T&T’s Jereem Richards was awarded the bronze medal despite posting the same time 20.11 seconds with South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk, the pre-race favourite and behind the surprised winner Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev in the men’s 200 metres final at the IAAF World Athletics Championships at te Olympic Stadium in London, England last night.
Running in Lane 7, the 23-year-old Richards of New Village, Point Fortin got a good start with race favourite Wayde Van Niekerk in Lane 3, American Isiah Young in the envious lane four, Ramil Guliyev in five and Isaac Makwala in six. Richards, who competes locally for Abilene club, came of the bend in sixth place and with 80 metres to go he started to make his move as he ran past three medal contenders and then he sped to the finish-line to challenge for a medal, as he and van Niekerk posted the same time of 20.11 seconds.
After the race T&T reigning national 200 metres champion told Guardian Media Sports: “It was not the start I wanted, I slipped, but managed to run back on in the last 50 metres but just could not claw back the difference. But winning a medal here has made me hungry for more, and I am going to return even more determined in the future.”
He said: “When I came here nobody knew of me and that was good. I was able to do my stuff and go on my way, but today, I tried my best after the start and am just proud to achieve this medal for the people of Trinidad and Tobago. I received so many positive messages and it shows that people supported me today.”
He explained that: “Coming off the turn, I was still hoping that I could catch the leaders, but as I tried, so did they find their energy and on the day I am proud to have my national flag in my hand and that we can gain our first medal. I want the people to know that I will continue to give of my best for my country.”
Meanwhile, Keshorn Walcott, the 2012 gold medallist in the men’s javelin event qualified for tomorrow’s final after he throw the spear 86.01 metres in his first attempt from Group B in the preliminary round. His effort was the third best from 31 athletes, behind Germany’s Johannes Vetter (91.20m) and Czechoslovakia ‘s Petr Frydrych (86.22). Only 12 athletes will go into tomorrow’s final seeking gold, silver and bronze medals.
After his throw the 23-year-old Toco native speaking the Guardian Media Sport said: “I am just thankful, given the sort of season that I have had, that I can qualify for the finals with one throw, and given my bad memories of the World Championships, this is extra special because it is my first time in the finals of the Worlds.”
He added: “I am just thankful to God that I can do this here, the atmosphere here is absolutely wonderful, and it feels really comfortable. “It is my first time at a championships since the London gold medal, so the memories are good in this venue.”
Walcott, who threw behind Frydrych and Andreas Hofmann of Germany said: “I feel great, I am excited, I love the track.
There is no pressure on me, I have come here to enjoy myself, whatever happens in the final, I am just pleased. I have had a difficult year, I would not share the difficulty, but I am just thankful more and more to God for seeing me through.”
Walcott revealed his reason for missing the team camp in England said: “I was in Finland getting some final preparation in and I think this has helped me. I am just going to relax tomorrow and get ready for final. It is not two days off like the Olympics, just one day.”
Asked what distance he thinks will secure the gold medal he said: “The final is going to be one of the toughest competition in the history of javelin, and I think I have it in me. I have something extra in me to achieve that on Saturday.”
Also, on the night, sprinter Semoy Hackett contested the second semi-final of the Women’s 200 metres, running out of the difficult Lane 2 and finished seventh in a time of 23.54 seconds and will miss today’s finals.