There is a breath of fresh air blowing through the T&T camp out at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia and it continued yesterday as Jereem Richards made his first appearance at the event with victory in his preliminary 200 metres heat in which he record a time of 20.33 seconds to advance to today’s semifinals, carded for 7.06 am (TT time).
“I just went out to work on my start. My coach told me to work on that,” said Richards. “The execution of the race was good. I held back a lot so I am hoping I have a lot more in store.”
Richards, who was third in the 200m at last year’s World Championships in London, spoke on what this means.
“Definitely there is no pressure as I always go out to give my best, whether it is gold, silver or bronze. Right now, it is just about getting the job done, I would love to have a fast time to maybe beat the meet record here or even break Ato Boldon’s record here, but it is about just winning and moving on. I am very proud of Michelle’s success and it just makes me motivated to go out there and get a gold medal,” said Richards.
Kyle Greaux, may be flying low under the radar, but an eye-catching opening round win easing up in a time of 20.67, has certainly sent a message to all concerned.
“I am in good condition. Felt really good in the race and the objective is to get into the final,” Greaux said. “It is time for me to win a medal. A lot of persons have won medals and I want this to be my time to deliver such. After being to many of these Games, I am determined to put these experiences in place here and to do my best. I would love to dip under 20 for the first time or get close to my personal best (20.11).”
Both men will return to the track this morning with Greaux in semifinal two at 6.58 am (TT time) and Richards in semifinal three.
The other sprinter in the event, Nathan Farinha placed third in his heat in a time of 21.62 and did not advance to the semifinals.
In the women’s 200m like the 100m dash, all three T&T athletes advanced to the semifinals also set for today.
Semoy Hackett was third (23.37) in the opening heat, Kai Selvon was fourth (23.33) in the fourth heat and Kamaria Durant third (23.33) in heat five.
Hackett will race from lane seven at 6.10 am, Selvon in a tough semifinal two, will race from lane eight at 6.18 am against Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo (Olympic 400m champion) and Jamaican Elaine Thompson (Olympic double sprint champion) and Durant in semifinal three, from lane five at 6.26 am.
Sparkle McKnight ran a blinder in the 400m hurdles, placing second in her personal best time of 55.15 and moving on to tomorrow’s final.
In the Women’s Triple Jump, Ayanna Alexander finished sixth in the final, with a best jump of 13.47.
Earlier in the shooting competition at the Belmont Shooting Centre, Marlon Moses finished in 25th position with a total of 601.3 and did not advance to the final in the Men’s 50m rifle prone.
In the Queens Prize Pairs finals on day two, the pair of Michael Perez and Delborn Joseph placed 16th following their day one placing of 15th.
Meanwhile, in Men’s beach volleyball action, T&T’s Daneil Williams and Daynte Stewart lost their quarterfinal 0-2 to New Zealand going under, 15- 21, 14-21.
In squash in the mixed doubles, the pair of Charlotte Knaggs and Kale Wilson lost (4- 11, 4-11), against Malaysia’s Aifa Azman and Sanjay Singh Chal.
At the table tennis venue, Yuvraaj Dookram lost 4-1 to Chee Feng Leong of Malaysia and then suffered another 4-1 defeat to Ghana’s Felix Lartey in the men’ singles.
Adrian Wilson won his contest against Kalton Melton of Tuvalu, 4-0 and also won against Yoshua Shing of Vanuatu, 4-1.
Dexter St Louis was also victorious, defeating Uganda’s Ronald Nyaika 4-0.
Rhean Chung, making her first appearance at the Games won 4-0, against Cynthia Kwabi of Ghana.
In a controversial split decision, local boxer Nigel Paul lost to Satish Kumar of India in his Men’s 91kg quarterfinal bout at Oxenford Studios.
T&T’s heavyweight boxer Nigel Paul, who was knockout in the first round to Nigeria’s Efe Ajgba at the Rio Olympics, yesterday bow out of the 91 kg boxing contest on the judges scorecard against India’s Satis Kumar in their three-round contest.
He told Guardian Media Sports: “I should have been more aggressive in the clenches, that is all I can say.
I know that my corner feels I could have done more and that is my regret.
“He was always coming at me but I was just trying to win this fight and that is the only reason I can think of.”