Richards was part of the national 4x400m men’s relay team honoured in Prague, Czech Republic at The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Awards held on November 2.
The TT men, who won gold at the 2017 World Championships in London, were named the Best Male Athletes of the Americas for their scintillating performance to end the reign of the United States who had won that event since 2003. The TT quartet of Jarrin Solomon, Jereem Richards, Machel Cedenio and Lalonde Gordon captured the gold in spectacular fashion with Gordon;s blistering final leg relegating the Americans to second place. The TT men established a new national record of two minutes, 58.12 seconds.
Alongside Renny Quow, who ran in the semi-final but missed out on the final, the beaming TT men, proudly collected the award with Solomon entrusted with the thank you speech.
Speaking to Newsday recently, Richards said: “It’s just really an honour to receive this award because for a while now, people have been saying Trinidad and Tobago always had the potential to win a 4x400 in a lot of world events. We always have the team there but it just never happened. To be part of this team is a great achievement, and to create history for Trinidad and Tobago, I was really proud that we were recognised by the ANOC and I’m really thankful.”
Richards, 23 years old, snatched the spotlight at the ‘Worlds’ in the preliminary round and semi-finals, where he obliterated the field to book his spot in the final. His 20.05 in the prelimary round was the fastest time at the meet, although he was unable to replicate it in the final,. crossing the line in 20.11 to secure third place. He later clocked the quickest split among the other victorious member of the 4x400m national team in the relay final. Reminiscing on his rise to stardom, a humble Richards said his prayers have finally been answered after putting in a lot of training.
“I really feel blessed honestly by God because last year for the Olympic Games I was a reserve, and I really worked hard in the offseason and only God knows how hard I worked and how hard I prayed about everything. And to have a really big breakthrough this year, words can’t explain how good it is to pray for something and it’s actually happening.
That goes to show how God works in mysterious ways and I’m very thankful to God for all the blessings and all the opportunities he’s bestowed on me.”