Trinidad and Tobago track star Jereem "The Dream" Richards clocked a personal best 44.79 seconds in the men's 400 metres event at The Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, USA, yesterday.
The impressive run earned Richards fifth spot in the one-lap race. American Michael Norman won in a blistering 43.60 seconds - a new meet record, as well as a Wanda Diamond League record and the fastest time in the world this year. Grenadian Kirani James finished second in 44.02, ahead of Great Britain's Matthew Hudson-Smith (44.35) and American Vernon Norwood (44.66).
In March, Richards captured the World Athletics Indoor Championship 400m title in a national indoor record time of 45 seconds flat. The clocking was also a Championship record and faster than the Point Fortin quarter-miler's then outdoor best of 45.21. Yesterday, Richards improved to 44.79 for eighth spot on the all-time T&T performance list.
On Wednesday, at the Anhalt International Athletics Meeting in Dessau, Germany, T&T's Keshorn Walcott picked up silver in the men's javelin. The 2012 Olympic champion landed the spear a season's best 84.69 metres. Germany's Julian Weber topped the field with an 85.02m throw, with third spot going to Czech Republic's Jakub Vadlejch at 83.39m.
T&T athletes, Tyra Gittens, Eric Harrison and Dwight St Hillaire have qualified in individual events for the June 8-11 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division 1 Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA.
At the West Preliminary meet in Arkansas, yesterday, Gittens cleared the bar at 1.81 metres to secure her berth in the NCAA Championship women's high jump. On Thursday, the University of Texas senior produced a 6.40m leap to qualify in the long jump.
Harrison qualified in the men's 200m and 100m events. At the East Preliminary meet, in Indiana, the Ohio State University senior was fourth overall in the 200 quarterfinals in 20.31 seconds and 12th in the 100 in 10.21. In the opening round, Harrison clocked 20.24 in the 200 and 10.17 in the 100. Daniel Duncan exited in the 200m first round, the Princeton University sophomore finishing 28th overall in 20.85.
St Hillaire secured his NCAA Championship men's 400m spot with a 45.63 seconds run. The University of Kentucky senior finished third in heat one and seventh overall. St Hillaire clocked 46.13 in the opening round.
Ohio State's Leah Bertrand and University of Alabama's Ayla Stanisclaus were 27th and 29th, respectively, in the East Preliminary women's 100m first round, clocking 11.52 seconds and 11.56.
At the West Preliminary meet, Kion Benjamin made his men's 100m exit in the quarterfinals, the University of Minnesota sophomore finishing 20th overall in 10.26 seconds. Benjamin clocked 10.38 in the opening round. He was 37th in the 200 in 21.23.
Another Minnesota sprinter, Akilah Lewis bowed out in the women's 100m quarters. She produced a wind-assisted 11.20 seconds run for 16th spot overall. In round one, Lewis clocked 11.47. University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff junior Safiya John finished 47th overall in the women's 100m hurdles in 14.71 seconds.