TEAM TTO's top sprinter Jereem "The Dream" Richards will seek to defend his title when he lines up in the final of the Men's 200-metre dash as the 2022 Commonwealth Games, in Birmingham, England, starts to wind down.
Last evening, Richards comfortably won his semi-final (heat three) to qualify for today's final that is set for around 4.18 p.m. (T&T time). He will run out of lane seven in the half-lap event with arch-rival Zarnel Hughes of England in lane four, in a rematch of their memorable encounter at the 2018 Gold Coast edition, when Richards beat Hughes in a close and controversial finish.
Yesterday, Richards, in lane five, coasted to the finish line in 20.40 seconds, the second-fastest of all semi-final competitors. His other T&T compatriots didn't fare as well.
Dwight St Hillaire finished third in semi-final two, with a time of 20.95, missing out on a place in the final, while Kyle Greaux placed fourth in 20.91, also missing out on securing a lane in the medals race. However, the TTO men's 4x400-metre team and long jumper Tyra Gittens both advanced to their respective finals.
The TTO quartet of Dwight St Hillaire, Che Lara, Machel Cedenio and Kashief King clocked 3:07.12 to finish third in heat two, of the preliminary round. T&T is, however, expected to strengthen their team for the final - scheduled for 3.30 p.m. tomorrow - with Jereem Richards and Asa Guevara available.
Kenya won heat two in a season's best 3:06.76 while India were second in 3:06.97 to automatically qualify for the final. Barbados faded in the final leg of the race, but finished fourth in 3:07.23 to also book a final berth. Four teams also qualified for the final from heat one, including Botswana (3:05.11), Jamaica (3:05.20), Zambia (3:06.02) and Nigeria (3:06.36).
Meanwhile, multi-discipline athlete Gittens finished sixth in Group A, in the women's long jump qualifying round, for 13th overall, to cop the last spot in the final, which gets under way from 2.05 p.m.
She jumped 6.18m on her first attempt, fouled in her second effort and leaped 6.28m on her third, which was enough to qualify. Aussie Brooke Buschkuehl won Group A with a 6.84m leap.
Meanwhile, Akeem Stewart placed eighth in the men's shot put final, after throwing a distance of 18.56 metres. And Asa Guevara went hard from the front before fading to finish fifth, in the Men's 400m semi-final, heat three, thus failing to advance to the final.
In the Women's 200-metre sprint, TTO's Mauricia Prieto also failed to progress to the final, placing fourth in semi-final, heat three, clocking 23.58 seconds.
In table tennis, the T&T women's doubles team of Rheann Chung and Catherine Spicer were defeated at the round of 32 stage by the India pair of Manika Batra and Diya Chitale 3-0.
Also, in squash, the local duo of Chayse Mc Quan and Charlotte Knaggs exited at the quarter-final round of the plate division, as they went down against the Cayman islands pair of Jade Pitcairn and Jake Kelly.
And in netball, the Calypso Girls finally won a match at the 12-nation competition, when they easily dismissed neighbours Barbados in the match to decide 11-12th places. T&T goal-shoot Afeisha Noel top-scored with 38 goals in their 63-31 victory.