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‘THE DREAM’ DELIVERS GOLD

Published: 
Friday, April 13, 2018
England’s Hughes disqualified for lane violation

Jereem “The Dream” Richards won his first Commonwealth Games gold medal and in controversial fashion too.

The Point Fortin native gave T&T its second gold medal of the Games after he was adjudged to have won the men’s 200 metres final after Zharnel Hughes of England was disqualified for a lane violation inside the final two metres of the duel last night at the Carrara Stadium, Gold Coast, Australia.

While the top three medallists - Richard, Hughes and Canada’s Aaron Brown, the then bronze medallist were celebrating on the track in front of the 35,000 fans and draped in the national flag of their respective countries, a competition steward approached Hughes and told him he was disqualified for running right on the edge of the lane between himself and Richards, impeding into Jereem Richard’s lane.

When the initial race ended Hughes, 22, who switched allegiance from Anguilla to England three years ago, celebrated at the champion after he and Richards was given the same time of 20.12 seconds.

However, with the revised results Richard of T&T who ran from the favourable lane 4, was declared the winner with Canada’s Brown 20.34 second and Irishman Leon Reid promoted to bronze after his 20.55 seconds run.

Yesterday, (Thursday 12th April) was when T&T’s and world batting champion Brian Lara had England into a tailspin with his 400 not out in Antigua).

Richards stormed down the straight and it just seemed losing ground to Hughes, but inside the final 60 metres is when the drama unfolded as Richards employed another gear and began to close the gap and with in the last 10 metres, Hughes appeared to have sway under the pressure of Richards’ late unwavering burst of speed which forced his left foot to touch the line and after that his out-stretched left-hand locked under Richard’s right-arm as they both crossed the finish-line.

Hughes team protested the track judges decision but it was thrown out.

An obviously stun Richards on learning that he was awarded the race, but unaware that Hughes had appealed told Guardian Sports Media,”Coming down the home straight he was ahead and when I started to catch him he started to break down a little bit, and I felt his hand came across into my lane and hit me as we head to the line.”

With regards to the race itself, Richards said noted “I think my turn was definitely better, it was not as good as I wanted it too, but I definitely executed my turn better than it was in the prior heats. Coming down the straight I think I was strong enough and I was closing on him really fast and at the end I kind of got hit my him across my arm and it broke me down a little bit.”

The twenty-four-old said “Gold is Gold. I really thankful to God. I wrote a message on my number behind and I wanted to show it when I win the gold medal and it states: “I could do all things through Christ who gives me strength” — it just goes to show that God is very powerful and influential in my life and track and field, “ said Richards Richards, the 2017 World Championships 200 metres bronze medallist has always been concerned about his start.

He said, “My start was better than I wanted it to be, clearly there are more 100 meters runners that are faster than me in the shorter parts of the race but I am definitely a stronger finisher than they were, …but today was good given how early it is in the season.”

Richards, who was a member of the gold medal 4x400 men relay team at last World Championships became the first T&T athlete to win a gold medal in the event since Edwin Roberts’s silver in 1970. “We are aiming definitely for a third gold in the 4x400 metres relay run. The plan is for me to rest tomorrow in the heats after all these races and be available for the final on Saturday.”

Kyle Greaux who ran from lane 8 and was eventually upgraded to sixth from seventh with the disqualification of Hughes stated,

“My regret is that I did not run faster in the semifinals and get a better lane assignment. It was tough out there, but I tried my best and my aim is to learn from this and continue to improve.

Now the focus is on to the 4x100 metres relays. I have to congratulate Jereem on a great job, and great effort as he continues to do us all proud.”

200 METRES Final Results

1st – Jereem Richards 20.12
2nd – Aaron Brown 20.34
3rd – Leon Reid 20.55
4th – Clarence Munyai 20.58
5th – Sydney Siame 20.62
6th – Kyle Greaux 20.63
7th – Warren Weir 20.71
Zharnel Hughes – Disqualified

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