LONDON – University of Alabama sprinter Jereem Richards (Trinidad & Tobago) posted the fastest preliminary time in the men’s 200 meters at the IAAF World Championships at Olympic Stadium on Monday to advance to Wednesday’s semifinals. Running in the second preliminary heat, Richards recorded a time of 20.05, fifth-fastest in Alabama history.
“I think I still have a better race in store,” Richards said. “Hopefully, I can surprise some people here. To go to the final, I will need to run as fast as I did today. I’m hoping to run the same relaxed way and make it to the final.”
Canada’s Aaron Brown and Great Britain’s Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake posted the second-best times in the prelims, both running 20.08. The next-fastest finishers were South Africa’s Wade Van Niekerk and Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev, who both ran 20.16. Van Niekerk entered the competition with the second-fastest 200-meter time in the world this year at 19.84. World leader Isaac Makwala of Botswana (19.77) was scheduled to run but did not start.
Former Alabama sprinter Ahmed Ali (Sudan) was also in action in the 200-meter prelims, placing fifth in his heat in 20.64. He did not advance to the semifinals.
Quanesha Burks (United States) will also be in action on Wednesday. Burks will compete in the first round of the women’s long jump.
On Sunday, Alabama’s Ruebin Walters (Trinidad & Tobago) finished sixth in his heat in the men’s 110-meter hurdles in a time of 13.56. Walters, who finished second in the event at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in June, was making his first appearance at the IAAF Championships. Walters qualified for London with a victory at the Trinidad & Tobago national championships earlier this summer where he set an Alabama record with a winning time of 13.30.
Former Alabama sprinter Domonique Williams (Trinidad & Tobago) finished eighth in her heat in the opening round of the women’s 400 meters in 53.72. Williams ran a personal-best 51.90 at the NCAA East Regional in May, which is the fifth-fastest time in school history and the second-fastest ever run by a Trinidad & Tobago sprinter.
Monday’s schedule will feature Alabama’s Jereem Richards (Trinidad & Tobago) and Ahmed Ali (Sudan) competing in the opening round of the men’s 200 meters at 12:30 p.m. (CT).