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Jereem’s dad laments lack of recognition

...as Point Fortin plans to honour 4x400 heroes
Published: 
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
T&T’s Jereem Richards reacts after winning the men’s 200 meters heat at the World Athletics Championships in London. AP PHOTO

Like most citizens, Phillip Richards celebrated his son, Jereem Richards’ gold and bronze medal performances at the IAAF World Athletic Championships.

But as a father, he was left feeling hurt by the lack of recognition he himself has since received.

Speaking to the Guardian yesterday, Richards was almost moved to tears as he described the mixture of emotions he experienced over the past week as he looked at his offspring shocking the world. He said he was at his brother’s house to witness Jereem finishing third in the 200-metres men’s final, but missed the 4x400 metres relay team’s inspiring victory. It was only yesterday that he saw a replay of the race where Jereem and his teammates Jarrin Solomon, Machel Cedenio and Lalonde Gordon produced the gold medal dash.

“His performance was great and I really appreciated how Jereem ran. I wished him the best at everything.”

Following his bronze medal event, 23-year-old Jereem, a student at the University of Alabama, dedicated his first individual medal to his mother, Yvette Wilson, after doing a lap of honour with the national flag on his shoulders.

“I wanted to bring a medal to my country and for my mother. She did everything for me. I am happy I could take her the bronze.

Words alone can’t explain how grateful I am in this moment and how lucky I am to compete here,” Jereem was quoted on the IAAF website.

And upon his return to T&T along with some members of TTO’s World Championships team, he again heaped recognition and expressed heartfelt appreciation for his mother.

No mention was made of his father, who said yesterday, “I ain’t really feeling good.”

Richards said he did his best for Jereem and although they did not live together, they were really close. He said Jereem would usually spend the Christmas holidays with him in Fanny Village. Even when the young sprinter was worried about not being prepared for the championship, he said he helped him to get things in order, which eventually led to his success in England.

“I am still trying to figure out what is going on,” Richards said. However, Richards said he will talk to his son as he was still proud of his accomplishments. Cedenio, Richards to receive keys to Point Fortin Meanwhile, Point Fortin residents continue to sing praises to their sporting heroes Jereem Richards who is from New Village, Point Fortin and Machel Cedenio, who is originally from Self Help.

Guardian Media Sports understands that plans are afoot to present both men with the keys to the borough.

The Point Fortin Borough Council convened a meeting yesterday to discuss how they would honour their victors. Deputy Mayor Kennedy Richards Jr told Guardian Media Sports that they were going to meet with Richards’ family to set a time and a place for their key presentation ceremony.

The Deputy Mayor said commemorative banners would be erected at the entrance to Point Fortin, at the Victor Chin Park and Market Square.

“Right now we are trying to liaise with Richards’ mum as we want to keep a luncheon for him and his family. We also want to have a motorcade for the people of Point Fortin to greet Richards.

Machel should also be getting the key to the borough as well. Machel is not new on the circuit and he has already received a sporting award in the past for what he has done for us all.

“We are definitely pleased and proud of the guys’ achievement. It was not something we did not expect. Richards has been showing potential for some time now. We also have a few other athletes from Point Fortin, who are showing that potential and we’re going to see them launch in the next four to eight years,” Richards Jr said.