LONDON – Trinidadian sprinter Jereem Richards delivered on the promise shown earlier in the qualifying rounds when he clinched bronze in the men’s 200 metres at the IAAF World Championships today.
The 23-year-old, the lone Caribbean runner in the final, clocked 20.11 seconds as he followed home winner Ramil Guliyev of Turkey who was timed at 20.09, and silver medallist Wayde van Niekerk (20.11)
The race for the medals went down to the finish as Richards, who was off the curve in fifth, fought back gallantly but was just out-dipped on the line by van Niekerk as both recorded the same time.
Richards said afterwards he had botched his start so to recover and secure a podium finish was a “great achievement.”
“I slipped coming out of my blocks and into my drive phase,” he explained.
“I tried my best not to let it affect me too much. At the turn I wasn’t in contention really, so to get a medal from there is a great achievement.”
He continued: “This means a lot to me. I always wanted to bring a medal back home for my mother. I do everything for her, so I am so happy I can take her the bronze.
“Words alone can’t explain how grateful I am to be in this position and be lucky enough to perform here.”
Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Ristananna Tracey handed the Caribbean its other medal when she also clinched bronze in the women’s 400 metres hurdles.
She produced a personal best 53.74 to finish behind Americans Kori Carter (53.07) and Dalilah Muhammad (53.50).
Tracey trailed the duo off the final curve, battled with Zuzana Hejnova of Czech Republic before proving stronger over the last 50 metres.
“It was a very strong race and I kept telling myself not to panic. Off the last hurdle I gave everything and threw myself for a dip just in case. It was so great and it can only get bigger from now,” explained Tracey.
“I want to be the world’s best before I retire. I was fifth in Rio and I have stepped up here. There is hopefully more to come from me in the future.”
Two Bahamians – Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Tynia Gaither – will contest Friday’s final of the women’s 200m.
Miller-Uibo, who finished a disappointing fourth in the 400m final on Wednesday night, recorded the joint-leading time of 22.49 while Gaither was timed at 22.85.
Jamaicans Sashalee Forbes (23.09), Simone Facey (23.01) and Jodean Williams (23.32) all missed out on the final along with Bahamian Anthonique Strachan (23.21) and Trinidadian Simoy Hackett (23.54).
Trinidadian Keshorn Walcott, meanwhile, the London 2012 Olympic gold medallist, advanced to the men’s javelin final after throwing 86.01 metres.
Double Olympic champion Christian Taylor continued his dominance of the triple jump when he won his third world title, once again beating fellow American Will Claye into second place.
Taylor, who is of Barbadian parentage, leapt 17.68 meters with his third attempt to win by five centimetres, clinching the title when Claye was given a red flag on his last attempt. Portugal’s Nelson Evora, Olympic champion in 2008, took bronze with 17.19.
The 27-year-old Taylor became the first triple jumper to win three world crowns, having also claimed victory in Daegu in 2011 and Beijing two years ago. He also took gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics with Claye finishing second on both occasions.
But he had made it clear beforehand that his ambition was to break Jonathan Edwards’s long-standing record of 18.29 meters, set in 1995.
“I have this watch from my sponsor with 18.30 on it,” Taylor said. “I will try to fight, I will get this number. The record is still on. I am still motivated to break that record.
“My motivation is to be the best athlete. This was not the night, I am a little disappointed. But the season is not yet over.”