Alabama’s Jereem Richards (Trinidad & Tobago) advanced to the finals of the men’s 200 meters at the 2017 IAAF World Championships with a victory in his semifinal heat on a rainy Wednesday evening at London’s Olympic Stadium.
Richards, who posted the fastest first round time in the event on Monday, took the lead at the top of the turn in the semifinal and pulled away down the homestretch to finish in 20.14, tying for the second-fastest time in the semifinals with 2017 world leader Isaac Makwala of Botswana. Isiah Young of the United States had the fastest semifinal time at 20.12. Richards’ time is also the seventh-fastest in Alabama history. He now owns seven of the 10 fastest 200-meter times ever run at Alabama.
The men’s 200-meter final is Thursday at 3:52 pm (CT). With a top-three finish, Richards would join Calvin Smith (United States), Clive Wright (Jamaica) and Kirani James (Grenada) as the only Alabama men to medal at the IAAF World Championships.
Smith was a four-time medalist, winning silver (100 meters) and gold (200 meters, 4×100-meter relay) at the first IAAF Championships in Helsinki in 1983 and gold again in the 200 meters at the 1987 championships in Rome. Wright was a member of Jamaica’s bronze medal-winning 4×100-meter relay in Rome. James won gold in the 400 meters in 2011 in Daegu and bronze in the same event in Beijing in 2015.
Alabama All-American Quanesha Burks (United States) finished ninth in her first round flight of the women’s long jump with a mark of 21-1 ½ (6.44m) and did not advance to Friday’s semifinal. Burks was making her first appearance at the World Championships at this year’s meet.