Jereem Richards urges Trinidadians to support their track and field athletes, reveals he is still inspired by the late Deon Lendore

By June 06, 2024

Jereem Richards, the Trinidadian Olympian, continues to draw inspiration from his late teammate and friend, Deon Lendore, as he competes on the international stage. Following his recent victory in the 200m dash at the Racer's Grand Prix in Kingston, Richards spoke with Sportsmax.TV about Lendore's enduring impact on his career and his hopes for greater support for track and field athletes in Trinidad and Tobago.

Richards, who delivered a stellar performance in front of several thousand cheering Jamaican fans, emphasized the stark contrast between the enthusiastic support he witnessed in Kingston and the often lukewarm reception track and field athletes receive back home.

A two-time Commonwealth Games 200m gold medalist, Richards highlighted the significant contributions track and field athletes have made to Trinidad and Tobago, lamenting the lack of recognition and support they receive compared to other sports. "Being real, in Trinidad and Tobago, track and field has been the biggest sport to bring back all the medals, and we don’t get that kind of recognition,” he remarked. “When it comes to sport, Trinidadians like cricket, they like football and will come out and support those two sports. But when it comes to us at trials, only people that are into track and field and families of track and field athletes would come out, and the stadium is basically empty."

Comparing the support Jamaican athletes receive, Richards noted, "At least Jamaicans will come out and watch you all compete, they’ll come out and support you. Even though they might judge Jamaican athletes harshly, they still give you all the support. We don’t have support like this, and I think that is very important for us."

Richards, who won 4x400m relay gold and 200m bronze at the 2017 World Championships in London,  called on Trinidadians to rally behind their track and field athletes, especially in an Olympic year when the pressure to perform is immense. "Come out and support us. If you support us and we don’t do well and you judge us harshly, I will take that because you come out. But if you never come out, you can't judge us so harshly," he said.

Regarding his close friend who died tragically in a motor-vehicle crash in the USA in January 2022, Richards reveals that he thinks about his late friend constantly.

"All the time, boy. All the time," Richards said. "I want everybody to know how important he was. He led a strong generation of athletes from Trinidad and Tobago—myself, Machel Cedenio, Asa Guevara. A lot of us looked up to him."

Lendore, he said, remains a influential figure for him and his fellow athletes. "I feel like we only appreciate athletes when they’re gone, and I would not like that to happen to any other athletes again. I’m trying to push the narrative of appreciating the athletes now for when they do well so even when they’re done and even when they pass on, we still remember them and appreciate them for what they have done for the country," the 2022 World Indoor 400m champion concluded.

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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