Reigning two-time Commonwealth Games 200m and World Indoor 400m champion, Jereem Richards is yet to decide if he will challenge for gold in the 200 metres or 400m at this year's World Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Budapest, Hungary later this month (Aug 19-27).
The Abilene Wildcats sprinter has achieved the standards for both events - 200m (20.16 seconds) and 400m (45.00) with times of 20.08 and 44.54, respectively. His 20.08 clocking was achieved when he finished second at the LA Grand Prix in Los Angeles, USA on May 27 while his 44.54 time was set as he raced to gold at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in El Salvador on July 6. The mark is a new personal best (pb) for him, improving on the 44.68-second run in Florida on April 15.
Speaking after his run in the men's 200m preliminaries at the National Gas Company National Association of Athletics Administrations of T&T (NGC/NAAATT) National Open Championships at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, Port-of-Spain on Sunday, Richards told Guardian Media he will make a decision soon.
He said, "I decided to do the 200m (at the National Championships) to get some speed work in. I will decide later on what events I will do for the World Championships.
Richards, who won bronze in the 200m at the 2017 Worlds, did not run in Sunday's 200m final which was won by his Abilene clubmate Kyle Greaux in 20.74. Greaux, a finalist at the 2019 World Championships, missed out on the World Championships qualifying standard. However, he dipped below the Pan American Games 20.80 mark. He was among several athletes who notched marks for the Pan Am Games set for Santiago, Chile from October 20 to November 5.
Speaking after his 200m victory, Greaux said he is looking forward to competing at the Pan Games.
(I am) pleased to have won. I struggled a bit with injuries this season so I guess it is a silver lining. I'm looking forward to Pan Am Games coming up in October and getting in form for that, said Greaux
Keshorn Walcott, the 2012 Olympic javelin gold medallist, heads the list of Pan Am-standard bearers when he threw the spear out to 80.41m, well over the 73.00m mark. The Toco native will be out to retain the Pan Am title he won in 2015.
Newly-crowned 100m champion Devin Augustine (Point Fortin New Jets) was among four men to go faster than the 10.40 Pan Am barrier. Augustine won the dash on Saturday in 10.26. The 2019 Carifta boys- Under-17 100m gold medallist crossed the line ahead of Jerod Elcock of Abilene Wildcats (10.27), national junior champion Concorde's Revell Webster (10.36) and Omair Lewis (10.37), another Concorde sprinter. Elcock and Augustine topped the preliminaries earlier in 10.35 and 10.39, respectively.
Augustine was happy with his run in taking his maiden senior national title.
I thought I executed well. I got the start I wanted. I'm used to running back on persons. The whole year, I have been dealing with injuries. It just feels great winning in front of my home crowd. I think my mom is in the stands, said Augustine.
The Minnesota University student was a member of T&T's CAC Games victorious men's 4x100m. He teamed up with his university colleagues Kion Benjamin and Carlon Housten as well as Eric Harrison Jr to clock 38.30. The time puts the relay quartet in contention for qualification for the World Championships. Benjamin is optimistic the squad will make the trip to Budapest.
No confirmation yet. We have been told we have dropped to 16th (place on the qualification ranking) which is the last bubble/placement time to qualify. After this weekend we will see what happens. I believe we should be there, said Augustine.
Reyare Thomas (Abilene Wildcats) was a double qualifier. The veteran sprint lass clocked 23.50 to win the women's 200m crown, going faster than the 23.62 Pan Am bar. In the 100m (11.52), she was second to 2018 Commonwealth Games winner Michelle-Lee Ahye 11.31 to 11.43. Third-placed Akilah Lewis of Concorde matched the standard, clocking 11.52. Ahye matched her winning time in the preliminaries which Thomas returned a clocking of 11.44.
Pan American qualifiers
100m (Pan Am Std 11:52)
Finals: 1 Michelle-Lee Ahye 11.31; 2 Reyare Thomas (Abilene Wildcats) 11.43, 3 Akilah Lewis (Concorde) 11.52
Prelim:1 Ahye 11.31, Thomas 11.44
Finals: 1 Thomas 23.50
Men 100m (10.40)
Finals: 1 Devin Augustine (Pt Fortin New Jets) 10.26, 2 Jerrod Elcock (Abilene Wildcats) 10.27, 3 Revell Webster (Concorde) 10.36, 4 Omari Lewis (Concorde) 10.37
Prelims: 1 Elcock 10.35, 2 Augustine 10.39
200m (20.80) final: 1 Kyle Greaux (Abilene Wildcats) 20.74)
Javelin (73.00) final:1 Keshorn Walcott 80.41 (79.93, 79.76, 80.41, X, X, -)