Jereem Richards and Michelle-Lee Ahye, two outstanding athletes from Trinidad and Tobago, were crowned the "Athletes of the Year" for 2023 at the National Association of Athletics Administration of T&T (NAAATT) annual awards ceremony held at the Radisson Hotel in Port-of-Spain on Saturday.

Richards, a sprinter representing the Abilene Wildcats, secured the men's honor for the sixth time, previously winning in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022. His exceptional achievements in 2023 included a gold medal in the men's 400 meters at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in El Salvador, where he set a personal best time of 44.54 seconds.

Additionally, Richards played a crucial role in anchoring T&T’s men’s 4x400m team to victory at the CAC Games. Despite being the lone local athlete to reach the semifinal round at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Richards finished the year with the 18th quickest 400m time (44.54) globally. He also ran the 25th fastest time (20.08) in the 200m.

Michelle-Lee Ahye, a renowned sprinter and 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalist, claimed the women's "Athlete of the Year" following her impressive bronze medal run in the women's 100m at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, on October 31. This marked her eighth time winning the top women's crown, having previously achieved the honor in 2022, 2021, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2013.

The junior "Athletes of the Year" were awarded to Sanaa Frederick and Tafari Waldron. Frederick, a US-born athlete, secured the junior female trophy after winning the Carifta Girls Under-20 200m in the Bahamas and contributing to T&T's silver in the girls' U-20 4x100m and 4x400m. Waldron, representing Cougars Athletic Club, claimed the Carifta boys’ U-20 5,000m title.

Richards and Ahye were absent from the ceremony.

As the accolades were distributed to these exceptional athletes, the ceremony also recognized Janae De Gannes and Imani Matthew as the Youth "Athletes of the Year," with Kernesha Shelbourne receiving the President’s Rising Star Award.

 

Amidst the electrifying atmosphere of the 400m finals at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Thursday, Trinidad and Tobago's Jereem Richards found himself on the sidelines, watching the race unfold rather than participating in the fierce competition.

Richards' journey in the championships had been marred by a debilitating foot injury that forced him to bow out of the semi-finals, dampening his hopes for glory.

On Tuesday, August 22, Richards' campaign took an unexpected turn as he finished fifth in his semi-final heat with a time of 44.77. Incidentally, Jamaica’s Antonio Watson, the eventual gold medallist, won that heat in a lifetime best of 44.13.

For Richards, the disappointment of not being able to deliver for his country weighed heavily, prompting him to share his emotions on social media.

In a heartfelt post on Instagram, Richards expressed his gratitude despite the setback:

"In all things, give thanks and praise to God. Although I exerted maximum effort, it fell short today (Tuesday). These past three weeks have been challenging. During the national championships in the 200m event, I unfortunately suffered a torn plantar fascia and had to make a difficult decision of not participating in the final."

The injury was a blow to Richards, particularly since he values competing for his fans, especially his beloved family and friends, at the national championships. Determined to overcome this hurdle, Richards embarked on a rigorous journey to stay fit and prepared for the World Championships:

"Over the course of two long weeks, I engaged in pool workouts, mat runs, and cycling to maintain my fitness," he said.

Richards extended heartfelt gratitude to the medical professionals who played a pivotal role in his recovery and ability to compete at the World Championships:

"I am grateful for the exceptional medical support system that helped me navigate through this arduous journey. Special thanks to Dr Anyl Gopeesingh, Shaun Kettle, Alban Nicole, Keston Bledman, Lance Brauman, and Jerrica."

Navigating through uncertainty, Richards' determination and resilience shone as he found a way to grace the World Championships despite the challenges:

"Initially uncertain if I would be able to compete at the World Championships, by the grace of God I made it there. I extend my sincere gratitude to everyone who supported and prayed for me. I deeply appreciate your unwavering support. I will strive to continue giving my best to Trinidad and Tobago."

Trinidad & Tobago’s Jereem Richards produced a stunning new personal best to claim 400m gold at the CAC Games in San Salvador on Thursday.

The two-time Commonwealth Games Champion in the 200m ran a brilliant 44.54 to win ahead of St. Lucia’s Michael Joseph (44.90) and Martinique’s Gilles Biron (45.06).

Richards, the reigning World Indoor Champion in the 400m, had a previous outdoor personal best of 44.79 done last year at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene.

Current world leader, Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic, dominated the field to take the women’s event in 49.95. Cuba’s Roxana Gomez was a distant second in 51.23 while Puerto Rico’s Gabriella Scott was third in 51.51.

Trinidad & Tobago took gold and silver in the men’s and women’s 4x100m relays, respectively.

The men produced a time of 38.30 to win gold ahead of the Dominican Republic (38.61) and Venezuela (39.13).

The women ran 43.43 to finish behind winners Cuba (43.17). The Dominican Republic ran 43.45 in third.

In the field, T&T’s 2012 Olympic Champion Keshorn Walcott, threw 83.60m to take gold in the men’s javelin ahead of Mexico’s David Carreon (78.03m) and Jamaica’s Elvis Graham (76.43m).

Jamaica’s Danielle Sloley threw 16.81m for silver in the women’s shot put behind the Dominican Republic’s Rosa Ramirez (17.89m). Cuba’s Leyselis Jimenez was third with 16.79m.

It was not a good night for Caribbean athletes at the Florence Diamond League Meeting in Italy on Friday as only Jereem Richards managed to achieve a podium at the meet where Faith Kipyegon shattered the 1500m world record.

The Trinidadian ran 20.28 for second place in the 200m won by American teenager Erriyon Knighton, who clocked a season-best 19.89. Canada’s Aaron Brown who was third in 20.32.

World championship silver medallist, Femke Bol continues to demonstrate that she could present a challenge to world champion Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone this summer, when she shattered Lashina Demus’ 13-year-old meet record of 52.82 in the 400m hurdles.

The Dutch star clocked 52.43, which was also the fastest time in the world this year.

Shamier Little who won in Rabat last week was almost a second behind in 53.38 while heptathlete Anna Hall finished third in a personal best time of 53.42. Jamaica’s Rushell Clayton, who challenged early faded badly over the last 200m and finished sixth on 54.71. She was the only athlete in the race who didn’t achieve either a personal or season-best time.

Marie Josee Ta Lou ran out an easy winner in the 100m, winning in 10.97. Finishing second was European champion Gina Luckenkemper, who clocked 11.09. The in-form British athlete Imani Lansiquot was third in 11.16.

Her compatriot Dina Asher-Smith was a late withdrawal.

Yohan Blake was seventh in the 100m won by Fred Kerley, who clocked 9.93 to remain unbeaten in the blue-ribbon sprint this year. Ferdinand Omanyala was second in 10.05, the Kenyan edging Trayvon Brommel who was third in 10.09. Blake clocked 10.15.

Grant Holloway ran 13.04 to hold on for a close win in the 110m hurdles over a fast-finishing Jason Joseph of Switzerland, who set a new personal best and national record of 13.10. Devon Allen was third in 13.19.

Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarek won the 400m in 50.41, a season best, beating Lieke Klaver of the Netherlands, who also achieved a season’s best time of 50.75. The USA’s Lynna Irby-Jackson was third in 50.84.

The best-placed Caribbean athlete was Cuba’s Roxana Gomez, who was fourth in 51.29 while Guyana’s Aliyah Abrahms in 51.31.

Kipyegon ended the meet on a high establishing new 1500m World Record of 3:49.11. Laura Muir was second in 3:57.09 while Australia's Jessica Hull was third in a new Area record of 3:57.29.

 

 

Oblique Seville topped a quality field in the 100m at the Adidas Atlanta City Games at Centennial Olympic Park on Saturday where Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards won his 150m dash and Ashanti Moore ran a new personal best in the Women’s 100m.

Seville, who earlier this year, expressed a desire to run faster than his lifetime best of 9.86, clocked 9.99 to win the blue-ribbon sprint in a close race with South Africa’s Akani Simbine and Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes.

Simbini and Hughes were awarded a time of 10.01, but the South African crossed the line in 10.005 to Hughes’ 10.010.

Ryiem Forde of Jamaica ran a personal best of 10.07 for fourth.

The Women’s race was not also close as Aleia Hobbs ran 10.99, a mere 0.003 ahead of compatriot Mikiah Brisco’s 11.02. Jamaica’s Ashanti Moore replicated her personal best from the preliminary round with another 11.10 clocking for third place.

It was the second lifetime best for Moore in as many weeks as she ran a personal best 22.49 over 200m a week ago.

Richards won the 150m ‘B’ final in a time of 14.83 over the USA duo of Chris Royster (14.89) and Brandon Carnes (14.97).

They were not nearly as fast as the 14.56 run by 200m World Champion Noah Lyles in his 150m race. Teen prodigy Erriyon Knighton was second in 14.85 while Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala was third in 14.89, just ahead of Jamaica’s Antonio Watson’s 14.93.

Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Remona Burchell finished second in the Women’s 150m ‘B’ race.

The three-time NCAA champion clocked 16.73 to finish behind Angie Angus, who crossed the finish line in 16.58. Lauren Ann Williams was third in 16.86.

Tamari Davis won the ‘A’ final in a lifetime best 16.44 with Great Britain’s Daryl Neita finishing a close second in her lifetime best of 16.48. Gabby Thomas also achieved a personal best of 16.50 to finish third.

Veteran middle distance runner Natoya Goule lost out on another battle with long-time rival and friend Ajee Wilson in the 600m run. The American emerged a comfortable winner in 1:27.00 to Goule’s 1:28.18.

Sammy Watson was third in 1:28.49.

Bryce Hoppel won the men’s event in 1:17.13 over compatriot Kameron Jones (1:17.43) with Jamaica’s Rajay Hamilton clocking 1:17.94 to finish in third place.

 

 

Adaejah Hodge completed a sprint double at the Pure Athletics Spring Invitational at the National Training Centre in Clermont, Florida on Sunday when Jereem Richards took victory in the 200m.

Hodge, the 17-year-old sprinting sensation from the British Virgin Islands (BVI) sped to a personal best 11.12 to win the 100m dash beating Germany’s Gina Luckenkemper, who finished second in 11.14. Celera Barnes was third in 11.16.

Hodge shaved 0.07 off her previous best of 11.18 that she ran at Florida State University on March 25 this year.

Clearly recovered from the rolled ankle that caused her to miss out on the 2023 Carifta Games in the Bahamas, Hodge would return later to win the 200m in a windy 22.76 (2.5m/s) ahead of Angie Annelus 23.20 and Rebekka Haase 23.24.

Richards, the Commonwealth Games 200m champion, in his first race in the event this season, won in an impressive opener of 20.40. Second overall in the race run in time-trial format was Jona Efoloko, who ran 20.56 while Hartmann Joshua was third overall in 20.62.

Hodge’s clubmate at Celerity Athletics 18-year-old Issamade Asinga raised eyebrows with a windy 10.83 (2.6m/s) to beat World 200m champion Noah Lyles (9.92) and Kendal Williams (9.98), who were second and third, respectively.

Reigning NCAA Indoor 60m champions Julien Alfred and Terrence Jones produced excellent performances to win their respective Women’s and Men’s college 100m sections at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational at the Percy Beard Track in Gainesville, Florida on Saturday.

The St. Lucian Texas senior Alfred continued her stellar form this season with 10.72 (2.4m/s) to win the Women’s College 100m ahead of Texas Tech’s Rosemary Chukwuma (10.85) and Ole Miss’s McKenzie Long (10.92).

The Commonwealth Games 100m silver medallist also ran a new personal best and St. Lucian national record 21.91 to win the 200m on Friday.

The Women’s Olympic Development section saw Jamaican Kiara Grant produce a personal best 10.99 for victory ahead of Adidas’ Celia Barnes (11.05) and Maia McCoy (11.08).

Jones, the Bahamian Texas Tech junior, produced a massive personal best and world leading 9.91 to win the Men’s College 100m.

Jones, 20, won comfortably ahead of Texas Tech teammate Courtney Lindsey (10.04) and Florida State’s Amir Willis (10.08).

Jones’ 9.91 equals Derrick Atkins’ Bahamian national record done to win 100m silver at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan.

The Men’s Olympic Development section was won by American 200m World Champion Noah Lyles in 9.95 ahead of Asics’s Joseph Fahnbulleh (9.98) and Adidas’ Kendal Williams (10.03).

Jamaican Sachin Dennis was fifth in 10.11 while the BVI’s Rikkoi Brathwaite and Trinidad & Tobago’s Eric Harrison ran 10.16 and 10.18, respectively, to finish sixth and seventh overall.

Moving to the one lap event, Trinidadian 2022 World Indoor 400m champion Jereem Richards and Jamaican Stacey-Ann Williams both produced personal bests to secure wins.

Adidas’ Richards, who also won 200m gold at the Commonwealth Games last year, produced an impressive 44.68 to win the Men’s Olympic Development 400m ahead of Alonzo Russell of the Bahamas, who also ran a personal best 44.73, and Adidas’ Noah Williams (45.22).

Elite Performance’s Williams, whose previous personal best was 50.14 done in 2021, ran 50.12 in just her second race of the season for the win ahead of Life Speed and Guyana’s Aliyah Abrams (50.77) and Adidas’ Brittany Brown (51.15).

 

Trinidadian defending World Indoor 400m Champion Jereem Richards was the lone Caribbean winner at the 2023 World Indoor Tour Final at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham on Saturday.

Richards, who ran a personal best 45.00 to win the World title in Belgrade in 2022, ran a season’s best 45.74 for victory in the Men’s 400m ahead of the USA’s Vernon Norwood (45.92) and Ireland’s Jack Rafferty (46.66).

This was the Trinidadian’s second win in a row after. He ran 45.84 to win at the Millrose Games on February 11.

Elsewhere, 2019 World Champion Tajay Gayle jumped a season’s best 8.13m for second in the long jump, won by the USA’s Marquis Dendy with 8.28m. American William Williams was third with 8.03m.

2022 World 200m Champion Shericka Jackson ran 7.18 to finish fourth in the 60m behind the British pair of Dina Asher-Smith (7.05) and Darryl Neita (7.12). The USA’s Destiny Smith-Barnett finished third in 7.15. Asher-Smith’s time broke her own British record.

 

Jereem Richards and Devynne Charlton won their respective events in some style at the 2023 Millrose Games at the Nike Track and Field Centre at the Armory in New York on Saturday.

Richards, Trinidad and Tobago’s reigning world indoor champion, rebounded from his narrow loss at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix last week when he ran 45.88, to win in a season-best 45.84.

The Trinidadian was in command from the gun and created daylight between himself and the USA’s Noah Williams, who was second in 46.20.

It was the American who edged Richards over 400m in Boston last week.

Third was the USA’s Bryce Deadmon who ran 46.34.

The Bahamian champion Charlton’s good form this season, continued Saturday in New York where she ran 7.91 to win a close race with the USA duo of Tonea Marshall, who clocked a season best 7.94 and veteran Sharika Nelvis, who finished third in 7.96.

Following his mediocre season last year after his two-year suspension for whereabouts rules violations, 60 world-record holder Christian Coleman signaled a return to form winning the 60m dash in 6.47.

It was supposed to be a clash between him and Noah Lyles who ran a personal best 6.51 in Boston last week. However, the latter was disqualified for a false start and that opened the door for Jamaica’s Traves Williams of the University at Albany, who ran a lifetime best of 6.59 for second.

Josephus Lyles was given the same time but awarded third.

Aleia Hobbs, meanwhile, notched another win on her belt with a 7.04 run to win the women’s race ahead of Tamari Davis (7.08) and Mary Beth Sant-Price (7.11).

 

 

 

Devynne Charlton was the only Caribbean athlete to win an event but several others were on the podium at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix at The Track at New Balance in Boston on Saturday.

The 27-year-old Bahamian, who won silver at the 2022 World Indoor Championships, clocked a season-best 7.87 whole holding off the challenge of Sharika Nelvis of the USA (7.93) and Celeste Mucci of Australia, who ran a personal best of 7.95.

Jamaica’s Danielle Williams ran 7.97 for fourth in the keenly contested battle for the minor place.

Meanwhile, 2022 World Indoor 400m champion Jereem Richards was nipped on the line by Noah Williams of the USA in a tight three-way finish.

The Trinidadian led most of the way but tightened up over the last 50m when Williams jumped at the chance to get past him on the inside to take the race by 0.04s.

Both were given the same time of 45.88. However, on closer inspection, Williams clocked 45.876 to Richards’ 45.880.

Vernon Norwood finished third in 45.92.

Jamaican’s Leah Anderson and Janieve Russell finished second and third, respectively, in the Women’s 500m in which Fembke Bol unleashed a new world’s best performance.

The Dutch athlete, who won silver in the 400m hurdles in Oregon in 2022, demonstrated superior speed and strength to pull away from the field and win in 1:05.63 to become the first woman to run faster than 1:06.00 in the event.

It was a new personal best, national record and world record.

Anderson made a late surge to get by Russell in the final stages to establish a new Jamaican national record of 1:08.34.

Russell, the now two-time Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles champion, faded to third in 1:09.18.

The Women’s 60m dash was billed as a clash between World 200m champion Shericka Jackson of Jamaica and World and Olympic 400m hurdles champion Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone.

Somebody forgot about Aleia Hobbs, who just last week ran 6.98 over 60m, tied for the ninth fastest time ever with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah.

But while both Jackson and McLaughlin-Levrone failed to make the final finishing fifth in the respective heats, Hobbs dominated the field to take the final in 7.02 ahead of training partner Mikiah Brisco, who ran a season best 7.10.

Celera Barnes ran 7.21 for third in the American sweep.

Noah Lyles edged Trayvon Brommel by the smallest of margins to win the men’s event in a personal best 6.51 (6.507). Brommel 6.51 (6.509) took the runner-up spot.

Ghana’s Benjamin Azamati clocked 6.62 for third.

 

Marileidy Paulino held off a strong challenge from Sada Williams to win the 400m at the Athletissima Diamond League meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland on Friday.

Trinidad and Tobago athletes who won medals at the recently concluded 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, will have some extra cash to spend this year under the twin-island republic Ministry of Sports’ Reward and Incentives Framework, according to reports.

Under the programme, cyclist Nicholas Paul and sprinter Jereem Richards will be the primary beneficiaries as both men are responsible for the three gold medals the country won in Birmingham.

Paul won gold in the keirin, silver in the match sprint and bronze in the 1000m time trials and is set to receive TT$437,500 while Richards, who won the 200m title in a Games record 19.80 and anchored the country’s 4x400m relay to the gold medal is set to receive TT$375,000.

According to the Trinidad Guardian, athletes competing in relay team events will earn $125,000 each for a gold medal, $62,500 for silver and for bronze, $31,250. Individual gold medals get a whopping TT$250,000.

That means Dwight St Hillaire, Asa Guevara and Machel Cedenio will each get $125,000 and the members of the 4x100 metres team - Jerod Elcock, Eric Harrison Jnr, Kion Benjamin and Kyle Greaux - will each get $62,500 for their silver medal run.

Trinidad and Tobago won its third gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games on Sunday when Jereem Richards led them to an emphatic victory in the 4x400m.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards uncorked a punishing run to successfully defend the men’s 200m title, with a new Games record, at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Saturday.

In one of the best performances of his career, Richards ate up the track, and his opponents, to finish near five metres clear in a new personal best of 19.80.

Heading into the final, the talk surrounded a rematch between Richards and British sprinter Zharnel Hughes who finished ahead of the Trinidadian at the last edition of the Games but was disqualified for impeding him, after the athletes’ arms came together.

This time around, there could be no such complaints as the Richards blasted through the first half of the race, came off the curve first, and powered away from the field.  Hughes was second in a season-best 20.12, with Ghana’s Joseph Paul Amoah finishing third in 20.49.

With the victory, Richards became the third athlete to successfully defend the 200m title at the event, behind Jamaican Donald Quarrie and Namibia's Frankie Fredricks.  

Jamaican World Championships silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts went one better at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Friday, taking gold in the Women’s triple jump.

Ricketts, who got silver four years ago, won with a Commonwealth Games record 14.94m which she did in the first round.

Dominica’s Thea Lafond made it a Caribbean 1-2 by taking the silver with 14.39m ahead of England’s Naomi Metzger (14.37m).

Elaine Thompson-Herah will get an opportunity to win her second gold medal after advancing to the final of the Women’s 200m.

The double Olympic champion, who ran 10.95 to win the 100m on Wednesday, cruised to 22.63 to win semi-final three and advance to Saturday’s final.

Her Jamaican teammate Natalliah Whyte will also be in the final after running 23.09 to finish second in semi-final one.

On the Men’s side, Trinidad & Tobago’s Jereem Richards will get an opportunity to defend his title from 2018 after running 20.40 to win semi-final three and advance.

In the 400m, Barbadian World Championships bronze medallist Sada Williams will be in the final after running 51.59 to win semi-final two. Jamaica’s Junelle Bromfield also advanced from that race as a fastest loser courtesy of a 52.18 effort to finish fourth.

Jonathan Jones ran 45.82 to win semi-final two and advance on the Men's side. Joining him in the final will be Jamaica's Anthony Cox who ran 45.98 for third in semi-final one and nathon Allen who was second in semi-final three with 45.99. 

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