Reigning World Indoor 400m champion, Jereem Richards clocked 19.83 seconds to win the 2022 men’s National 200 metres title on the second day of the National Gas Company (NGC) NAAATT National Open Track and Field Championships at the Hasley Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo on Sunday.
Richards’ time was a new championship record bettering the 19.98 seconds which was previously held by Aaron Armstrong during his title run in 2005.
Richards, 28, representing Abilene Wildcats, was always in control of the seven-man as he sped across the finish line to successfully defend the title he won in 2019 in 20.14 seconds. He won his semifinal in 21.35 seconds.
In second place was his club-mate Kyle Greaux, who clocked 20.56 seconds, which qualifies him for next month’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in England.
Greaux was also second to Richards in 2019 final. Dwight St Hillare of Kaizen secured the bronze medal behind 20.68 seconds.
He posted the fastest time of 20.91 seconds in the semifinals to win his heat.
The women’s title was won by Mauricia Prieto of Simplex in 23.31 seconds. It was an improvement from her second-place finish in 2019 to then-champion Kamaria Durant.
Prieto also qualified for the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association championships which is scheduled for August in the Bahamas.
Reyare Thomas of Abilene Wildcats finished second in 23.82 seconds with Shaniqua Bascombe of Cougars third in 23.88 seconds.
Meanwhile, both T&T’s men’s and women’s 4x100 metres relay teams have missed out on qualification for the World outdoor championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA, from July 15–24, 2022.
The men’s quartet of Kion Benjamin, Jereem Richards, Eric Harrison and Akanni Hislop, running in that order, finished second in a four-team race in 39.25 seconds.
Liberia won in 38.76 seconds with Barbados third in 40.08 seconds.
T&T needed to clock better than 38.51 seconds to qualify and improved from its 19th position as of yesterday. The top 16 teams have qualified for the championships.
The only way T&T can qualify now is if several teams fail to pick up their spots.
T&T women entered yesterday’s ranked 22nd and needed to clocked better than 42.97 seconds to book a place in the championships. However, the quartet of Iantha Wright, Mauricia Prieto, Reyare Thomas and reigning 100 metres champion Leah Bertrand could only register 44.69 seconds in their efforts while holding off four other teams.
In the 4x400 relay, T&T secured its place in the top 16, despite finishing second to Barbados last night. The visitors clocked 3:04.27 seconds, while T&T’s foursome of Tyrell Springer, Jordan Noel, Dylan Woodruffe and Kaiyin Morris, who ran in that order, stopped the clock at 3:21.78 seconds in the two-team race.
It was also a good outing for Olympian Tyra Gittens, who leapt to 6.27 metres to win the women’s Long jump title over four other challengers.
She achieved the mark on her fourth attempt as she have five of six successful jumps, fouling her sixth and final leap.