T&T 14th on medal table thanks to Jereem’s ‘Dream Gold’
Ruebin Walters reached the semi-final round of the men’s 60 metres hurdles on the third and final day of the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, yesterday.
The Trinidad and Tobago athlete clocked 7.68 seconds to finish sixth in the opening semi and 20th overall. Eight men advanced to the final.
In the championship race, Grant Holloway was the class of the field, the American grabbing gold in 7.39 seconds. Frenchman Pascal Martinot-Lagarde earned silver in 7.50, with bronze going to another American, Jarret Eaton in 7.53. Holloway was even more impressive in the semis, winning heat two in 7.29 to equal his own world indoor record.
The men’s 400m gold captured by Jereem “The Dream” Richards on Saturday earned T&T joint-14th spot on the medal table, with Canada, Cuba, Greece, Korea, Serbia and Venezuela. Ethiopia topped the table with four gold medals, three silver and two bronze. United States finished second with three golds, seven silver and nine bronze, with third spot going to Belgium with two gold medals.
T&T finished 21st on the placing table with 13 points, Richards earning eight of them. Jerod Elcock’s sixth-place finish in the men’s 60m final was worth three points, while the other two came from Michelle-Lee Ahye, who was seventh in the women’s 60. United States accumulated 177 points for top spot on the placing table. Ethiopia (76) and Jamaica (40) were second and third, respectively.
“World indoor champion — that sounds just great,” Richards said in a post-race interview. “For the last few months I had it in my mind. I told my coach I wasn’t going to come here unless I came to win it. And I came with that mindset. I’m so glad I was able to come out victorious.”
The Richards victory was a fitting tribute to the late Deon Lendore, who died in a vehicular accident in Texas, USA, in January.
“We lost a big teammate this year,” said Richards, “a mentor to us, a friend to us, a teammate. He was a brother to us. We could have relied on him for anything and we lost him in such an unexpected way. After that I lost my grandfather’s brother, he passed away and yesterday was my grandmum’s funeral. I wasn’t even able to attend it.
“It was just emotional for me because so many family members and friends who supported me all my career passed away. I just had to come out here and do it for them, to make them proud,” Richards ended. “Let them be remembered.”