LONDON – Alabama’s Jereem Richards (Trinidad & Tobago) took home the bronze medal in the final of the men’s 200 meters at the IAAF World Championships Thursday evening at London’s Olympic Stadium.
Running with 2017 world leader Isaac Makwala of Botswana on his inside shoulder, Richards was in sixth coming off the turn, but caught Makwala, Japan’s Abdul Hakim Sani Brown and the United States’ Ameer Webb down the stretch. South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk, who was seeking to become just the second man to win the 200 meters and 400 meters in one IAAF World Championships, finished second in 20.11 (.106), just ahead of Richards at 20.11 (.107). Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev took gold at 20.09.
“I slipped coming out of my blocks and into my drive phase.” Richards said following the race. “I tried my best not to let it affect me too much. At the turn I wasn’t in contention really, so to get a medal from there is a great achievement. I always wanted to bring a medal back home for my mom. I do everything for her, so I am so happy I can take her the bronze.”
Richards joins Calvin Smith (United States), Clive Wright (Jamaica) and Kirani James (Grenada) as the only Alabama men to medal at the IAAF World Championships.
“Words alone can’t explain how grateful I am to be in this position and be lucky enough to perform here,” Richards said. “I have been very relaxed amongst so many professional athletes, the greatest athletes of all time. Hopefully I will become one of those type of athletes over the next few years. I still feel like I’m dreaming. I hope I don’t wake up.”
Richards will turn his attention to the 4×400-meter relay, which will begin with the semifinals on Saturday. Richards’ 2017 Alabama teammate Steven Gayle will also compete in the 4×400 for Jamaica. Former Alabama sprinter Akeem Haynes will run for Canada in first round of the 4×100-meter relay on Saturday morning as well. Haynes was a bronze medalist in the relay at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.