With temperatures in Paris expected to be high during the upcoming Olympic Games, Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympic Committee (TTOC) is taking steps to ensure that the 17 athletes will be comfortable enough both in and out of competition to give of their best for the twin island republic.

Though the likes of athletics stalwarts Keshorn Walcott, Jereem “The Dream” Richards, Michelle-Lee Ahye, and cyclist Nicholas Paul are experienced campaigners at the highest level, and know how to handle the heat of world class competition, it’s the heat off the track in the French capital is expected to pose a challenge.

However, TTOC president Diane Henderson, is not too concerned.

“In any country, we have always dealt with... when it was extremely cold in Lima, Peru, we had to go out and buy heaters, headwear and gloves, so it’s no different,” Henderson said during the team’s Puma Gear Reveal at TTOC’s headquarters, on Friday.

With the Games organisers taking an eco-friendly approach, the Olympic Village will not have air condition units. As such, some countries, including United States, will supply their own AC units in order to ensure the comfort of athletes as they strive for optimal performance.

Henderson pointed out that TTOC stands ready to provide the necessary assistance to meet the needs of the athletes.

“If the conditions are such, we would have to get fans or something in Paris to deal with that. We’re aware of it so we could always deal with that when we go. It has never been an issue when we have to go out and get stuff. Usually you have the assistants who would guide you effectively and say where we could get the necessary equipment,” she explained.

Sprinters Ahye and Elijah Joseph were among the athletes that modelled the new Team TTO uniforms on Friday, as they gear up for battle on the world’s biggest sporting stage.

“We have always wanted to do something to showcase the uniforms. It brings a lot of pride to the athletes and they feel really special. I think it went well. We’re always grateful to Puma for this sponsorship and partnership. It’s very important to have that support continuously for all our multi-sport Games,” Henderson noted.

Trinidad and Tobago Olympic squad:  

Athletics –Michelle-Lee Ahye - 100m & 4x100 relay; Leah Bertrand- 100m & 4x100 relay; Sole Frederick- 4x100 relay; Akilah Lewis- 4x100 relay; Sanaa Frederick - 4x100 relay (Reserve); Portious Warren- Shot Put; Keshorn Walcott- Javelin; Jereem Richards- 200m, 400m & 4x400 relay; Devin Augustine- 100m; Jaden Marchan- 4x400 relay; Shakeem Mc Kay- 4x400 relay; Renny Quow- 4x400 relay; Elijah Joseph- 4x400 relay (Reserve)

Cycling –Nicholas Paul, Kwesi Browne

Swimming –Dylan Carter - 50m and 100m Freestyle; Zuri Ferguson- Backstroke 100m

 

 

Jereem Richards secured his place at the Paris Olympic Games with an impressive victory in the men's 400m at the NAAA National Championships on Saturday. Competing at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Richards showcased his prowess, clocking 44.72 seconds to win the event and earn his Olympic berth. His performance was well ahead of his competitors, with Jaden Marchan finishing second in 46.30 seconds and Shakeem McKay taking third in 46.62 seconds.

In the men's javelin, 2012 Olympic gold medallist Keshorn Walcott reaffirmed his dominance with a winning throw of 85.22m. Walcott, who has been a stalwart in the event for Trinidad and Tobago, displayed his experience and skill, ensuring his spot on the Olympic team once again.

The women’s 100m final saw Leah Bertrand of Simplex Athletic Club clinching the title with a time of 11.18 seconds. Sole Frederick, also of Simplex, finished second in 11.43 seconds, while Akilah Lewis of Concorde Athletic Club took third place with 11.50 seconds.

In the men’s 100m final, Devin Augustine emerged victorious with a time of 10.21 seconds. Jonathan Farinha was a close second, clocking 10.23 seconds, and Kion Benjamin finished third in 10.38 seconds.

Tyra Gittens, the lone competitor in the long jump established a mark of 6.47m.

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.

 

 

 

Trinidad and Tobago Olympian Jereem Richards is heading towards the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with a confident and relaxed mindset, feeling no pressure from the weight of national expectations. Richards, who recently clinched victory in the 200m at the Racer's Grand Prix in Kingston, Jamaica, expressed his satisfaction with his performance and his outlook for the upcoming Olympics.

Richards triumphed in the 200m at the National Stadium in Kingston last weekend, clocking an impressive 20.13 seconds. Reflecting on his race, Richards rated his performance highly. "I would rate it an eight out of 10. I felt really good in the warm-up. I thought I was ready to come off the turn in front of them although those guys are more one-two guys and I’m a four-two guy. Came off the turn not exactly where I wanted to be, but I know I’m strong and once I get tall, ain't much people could run the last 100m as effective as me."

While the time wasn't exactly what he had anticipated, Richards was pleased with his overall fitness and performance. "I won with 20.1. It wasn’t the time I expected, but I felt really good. If you give me three minutes (recovery) I could run that same time again. So praise God for the fitness level I have right now. I have to work on the speed a little bit more, but I believe everything is falling into the right time and the right place and when I actually need it to be, it’s gonna be there."

As Richards prepares for the Trinidad and Tobago national championships, he remains undecided on whether he will compete in the 200m or the 400m. Regardless of the event, his primary focus remains on maintaining his form and readiness for Paris.

When it comes to carrying the hopes of Trinidad and Tobago on the global stage, Richards feels no added pressure. The last time Trinidad and Tobago secured an Olympic medal was at the 2016 Rio Games when Keshorn Walcott won bronze in the men’s javelin. Despite this, Richards maintains a grounded perspective.

"To me, it’s no pressure. The way I think about it is the only people I really care about are my intimate circle—my family, my wife, my mother, and my close friends, my siblings also. Even though I know I will have the support of Trinidad and Tobago and the pressure of being expected to win a medal, at the end of the day, if I know I do well or don’t do well, my family and my intimate circle are the ones who actually do care about me outside of sport, so when I focus on them it takes away all the pressure."

Richards' approach emphasized the importance of personal support over external expectations. "People could say bad about performances, my family loves me each and every day and it doesn’t matter."

With this mindset, Jereem Richards is poised to tackle the challenges of the Olympic Games in Paris with confidence and composure, knowing that his success on the track is supported by the unwavering love and support of those who matter most to him.

 

 

 

Lanae-Tava Thomas looked impressive on her way to a new personal best to win the 200m title at the Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

The 23-year-old produced 22.36, bettering her previous lifetime best 22.38 done in 2023, to win ahead of fellow Jamaicans Ashanti Moore who ran a season’s best 22.74 in second and Jodean Williams who ran 22.95, also a season’s best.

Her coach Edrick Floreal previously told SportsMax.tv earlier this season that he believes Thomas can run as fast as 21.7 this season.

“He knows. Even if I don’t believe I can do it, if he says I can do it I’m stepping on the track and I’m going to do it,” Thomas said when asked about that prediction after the race.

“All my coach told me to come here and do was execute the first 150, and I did that and I ended up finishing as strong as I could so that makes me know that, the last 50, all I needed to do was execute the last 50 to dominate the race,” she added.

The men’s equivalent saw Trinidadian World Championship bronze medallist Jereem Richards run 20.13 to take the win ahead of Nigeria’s Udodi Onwuzurike (20.27) and Jamaica’s Bryan Levell who ran a season’s best 20.48 in third.

Richards, who has competed in both the 200m and 400m this season, says he has yet to decide on which event he will focus on in Paris.

“I’m just going to run both events throughout the season and see which is the best one. As late as possible, I will make my pick,” he said.

Richards says his plan was to use his 400m strength to outlast his competitors.

“Udodi is my training partner. I know he’s very fast but I know I’m very strong right no too. I just tried my best to stay relaxed even though somebody tried to pull away from me. I could slowly see my speed getting there so I’m excited for what the rest of the season holds,” Richards added.

"When I see someone win from a Caribbean island, I feel like I win, too." These words from Trinidadian sprinter Jereem Richards resonate deeply within the Caribbean athletic community, where a shared sense of pride transcends national boundaries.

As Richards gears up for Paris 2024, he reflects on his journey, the unity among Caribbean athletes, and his dream of Olympic success in an exclusive interview with World Athletics Inside Track.

Richards, a 30-year-old multiple global medallist, has become a beacon of inspiration for many. He clinched 400m gold at the 2022 World Indoor Championships in Belgrade and was an integral part of Trinidad and Tobago’s triumphant 4x400m relay team at the 2017 World Championships in London. However, his achievements extend beyond medals; they embody the spirit and resilience of the Caribbean.

"I would say Trinidad and Tobago is a melting pot of the Caribbean. We have very diverse people and a mixture of cultures when it comes to food, music, and everything like that. It’s definitely a really great country," Richards said, highlighting the vibrant cultural tapestry that shapes his identity and fuels his passion for track and field.

For Richards, track and field is more than a sport—it is a vital part of Trinidad and Tobago's history. "Track and field, to me, means a lot. To Trinidad and Tobago, it is definitely one of the most successful sports in our history. I try my best to use my platform to not just educate people about the sport, but to keep the people of Trinidad and Tobago interested in track and field," he explained.

The sense of collective pride among Caribbean athletes is profound. "When I see someone win from a Caribbean island, I feel like I win, too," Richards reiterated, emphasizing the unique bond that links the Caribbean nations in their athletic endeavors.

As Paris 2024 approaches, Richards remains focused on his lifelong dream. "This has been my dream, to be an Olympic medallist, from the first day I started running track and field," he said. "I’m just excited to go through the cycle this year and see how it turns out in Paris. I think my entire life journey builds up to this moment."

Richards also shared valuable advice for young athletes. "Try to find the good in each and every situation. Even if things don’t go your way, there’s going to be some part of that bad situation that has good in it. And even if you can’t find the good in it, use it as an example of what not to do or as motivation moving forward."

As he prepares for the upcoming Olympic cycle, Richards' journey stands as a testament to the power of perseverance and the unifying force of sports. His story inspires not only his fellow Trinidadians but also the entire Caribbean, as they collectively dream of Olympic glory in Paris 2024.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was no fortune for Caribbean countries at the backend of Saturday’s first day of the World Athletics Relays, as the various teams failed to progress in the men’s and women’s 4x400m events at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas.

In the female qualifiers, Jamaica’s quartet of Charokee Young, Ashley Williams, Junelle Bromfield, and Roneisha McGregor placed third in heat three in 3:29.03, behind Poland and France, who clocked 3:27.11 and 3:28.06.

Earlier, Cuba (3:31.56) and Dominican Republic (3:40.93) placed third and seventh, respectively, in heat two.

Ireland headlined the team’s that progressed, as they clocked a National Record 3:24.38 in qualifying. United States (3:24.76), Great Britain (3:24.89), Italy (3:26.28), Norway (3:26.89), Poland (3:27.11), and Canada (3:27.17), also booked their spots in the final, as well as for this summer’s Paris Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, it was more of the same on the male side of action, as Trinidad and Tobago’s quartet of Asa Guevara, Timothy Frederick, Shakeem McKay, and Jereem Richards, clocking 3:04.15 for third in heat one, where Japan (3:00.98) and Germany (3:01.25) secured the coveted spots.

United States initially won the heat, but they were later disqualified for an infringement.

Jamaica’s Malik James-King, Zandrion Barnes, Assinie Wilson, and Demish Gaye, clocked 3:02.46 for third, behind Belgium (3:00.09) and Nigeria (3:01.70). Guyana (3:09.91) was eighth in that heat.

The Bahamas (3:07.45) placed sixth in heat three, which was won by Italy (3:01.68), ahead of the fast-finishing Great Britain (3:02.10).

In the last heat, Barbados (3:03.72) and Dominican Republic (3:08.15), placed third and sixth, respectively, as Botswana (2:59.73) and South Africa (2:59.76) took the top spots.

Despite missing out on this occasion, the teams will have another shot at Olympic qualification in Round 2 action on Sunday.

Caribbean athletes showcased their exceptional talents at the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix on Sunday, delivering outstanding performances despite challenging conditions marked by heavy winds.

Perhaps, the most impressive of those performances came in the men’s triple jump where Jaydon Hibbert of Jamaica delivered a remarkable leap of 17.33m, claiming first place using an unconventional eight-step run.

 Jah-Nhai Perinchief from Bermuda secured second place with a jump of 17.13m, and fellow Jamaican Jordan Scott took third place with a jump of 17.05m.

On the track, in the women's 400m, Stacey-Ann Williams of Jamaica surged to victory with a commanding time of 51.71 seconds, outpacing her competitors to claim first place. Behind her, Jessika Gbai from Ivory Coast secured second place in 53.00 seconds, followed closely by Paola Moran of Mexico in third with a time of 53.21 seconds.

The men's 400m event saw Kirani James of Grenada exhibit his prowess with a winning time of 46.00 seconds, leading the charge for Caribbean athletes. Behind him, Alonzo Russell from the Bahamas claimed second place with a time of 47.05 seconds, followed closely by Demish Gaye of Jamaica in third with 47.15 seconds.

Shian Salmon displayed sheer excellence in the 400m hurdles, triumphing with a swift time of 56.59 seconds. Cassandra Tate of the United States secured second place with a time of 57.04 seconds, while Aminat Jamal from Bahrain finished third in 57.94 seconds.

In the men's 200m dash, Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago blazed to victory in 20.39 seconds, showcasing his speed and skill on the track. He was closely followed by Matthew Boling of the USA in second place with a time of 20.42 seconds, while Udodie Onwuzrike from Nigeria secured third place with a time of 20.61 seconds.

In her first 200m run in a year, the USA's Abby Steiner blazed to victory in 22.71. Her countrywoman Kynnedy Flannel took second in 23.01. Ashanti Moore of Jamaica was third in 23.12.

While Caribbean athletes shone brightly, world champion Noah Lyles of the USA stood out in the men's 100m dash, overcoming challenging wind conditions to clock 9.96 seconds and secure first place. Aaron Brown of Canada was the runner-up in 10.09 followed closely by Pjai Austin of the USA who ran 10.10.

Tamari Davis of the USA also impressed in a dominant victory in the women’s 100m. The young American stormed to a time of 11.04. In her wake was compatriot Kortnei Johnson who ran 11.27 just ahead of Jamaica’s Alana Reid (11.29).

Amber Hughes of the USA comfortably win the 100m hurdles in 12.57 with Ebonie Morris of Liberia and Yanique Thompson of Jamaica finishing second and third, in 12.80 and 12.86, respectively.

Monae Nichols of the USA jumped an impressive 6.91m to win the long jump. Jamaica’s Chanice Porter took second place with her effort of 6.62m while Jasmine Moore finished third having jumped 6.60m.

Celebrated coach and Racers Track Club President Glen Mills says the value of meets such as the Racers Grand Prix cannot be overstated, given the significant role it plays in the development of the country’s young athletes in particular.

Mills’s comments came as he announced the plethora of local and international stars that are expected to set this year’s sixth edition of the Racers Grand Prix alight at the National Stadium on June 1.

Among them is American World champion Noah Lyles, who clocked a superb 19.67s to win the 200m, sharing the spotlight with Jamaica's Shericka Jackson and South African Wayde Van Niekerk last year.

He is set to line up in the men’s 100m on this occasion, alongside rising Jamaican sensation Oblique Seville, World University champion Kadrian Goldson, Great Britain’s World Championships bronze medallist Zharnel Hughes, Canadian Aaron Brown and American Kendal Williams, with two more athletes to be confirmed.

According to Mills, who was instrumental in the decorated career of now-retired Usain Bolt, having young athletes compete on home soil against world class superstars not only drives their development, but also influences positive behavioural changes towards training.

Reigning 400m World champion Antonio Watson is one such example, as he broke the 45-second barrier for the first time on his debut outing at the event last year, and he later followed that up by topping a quality field in Budapest, Hungary. 

“A meet of this level is very important in development of our athletes, and I don't think we can underscore its value in their development as a coach. I can tell you, when we have them competing here in Jamaica against the world and the fans come out and really cheer for them, it makes a difference when they return to the training field,” Mills said during the event’s launch at the Jamaica Pegasus on Tuesday.

“They know and feel the support and the energy and electricity. When that happens, we get better performances on the training track, and as you can see, it goes on to the international stage as well. So, thank you for supporting Racers Grand Prix all and I'm hoping to see everyone on June 1,” he added.

Known globally as Jamaica’s foremost track and field meet credited with showcasing many of Jamaica’s most decorated athletes, Racers Grand Prix, a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver event, promises an exhilarating demonstration of athletic excellence.

There are 13 events –men’s and women’s 100m, 200m, 400m and 400m hurdles, women’s 100m hurdles, men’s 110m hurdles, as well as the men’s long jump, triple jump and discus throw –to be contested across two-and-a-half hours of scintillating action starting at 7:00pm.

The women's 100m hurdles is headlined by Bahamas’s World Indoor champion Devynne Charlton, and Great Britain’s Cindy Sember, up against Jamaica’s Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper and rising Jamaican sensation Ackera Nugent.

For the men’s 110m hurdles, Jamaica’s Olympic champion Hansle Parchment will lead compatriots Damion Thomas and last year’s champion Tyler Mason, against the American duo of Trey Cunningham and Robert Dunning.

World champion Antonio Watson headlines the field for the men’s 400m, which includes Champion Allison and Nigerian NCAA champion Emmanuel Bamidele. Demish Gaye, Zandrion Barnes and Javon Francis, are the other Jamaicans confirmed.

Meanwhile, World Indoor champion Julien Alfred of St Lucia headlines the women’s 100m field, alongside Jamaica’s Alana Reid, Ashanti Moore and World Indoor silver medallist Mikiah Brisco, with four more ladies to be confirmed.

World Championships finalist Roshawn Clarke headlines the men’s 400m hurdles field, while Ireland’s NCAA Champion Rhasidat Adeleke will square off against Jamaica’s Stacy Ann Williams, Candice McLeod, Charokee Young, and Junelle Bromfield in the women’s 400m.

American Will Abbey Steiner and Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards top the list of competitors for the men’s and women’s 200m. In the field, Jamaica’s Jaydon Hibbert and American Will Claye lead the confirmed athletes for the men’s triple jump, while another Jamaican Carey McLeod, and Laquan Nairn of Bahamas, will line up in the long jump, with three more athletes to be confirmed.