: Guardian : Rachael Thompson-King : 26.02.2023
T&T's Jereem "The Dream" Richards emerged the top men's 400 metres runner in the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold series.The world indoor champion ran a season's best 45.74 seconds to comfortably win the event at the Birmingham World Indoor Tour Finals in the United Kingdom on Saturday.
Richards, running out of lane six, held off his United States rival Vernon Norwood, who crossed second in a time of 45.92 at the Utilita Arena Birmingham. The T&T sprinter was ahead at the 200m mark and could not be caught.
Ireland's Jack Raftery finished third in 46.66. Filling the remaining spots respectively were Ben Higgins of the host country in 46.66, Denmark's Gustav Lundholm Nielsen (46.87) and Samuel Reardon of Great Britain, sixth in 47.02. "It's been a competitive series and has really driven me forwards," said Richards (via the World Athletics website). "Every time I step out on the track I try and improve and I have done that in every race so far this season. I'm grateful and very happy with it."
The World Indoor Tour Gold offers athletes the chance to compete for bonus prize money as well as wild card entries for the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24, subject to selection by the athlete's national federation.
The scoring disciplines on the World Indoor Tour rotate each year and in Birmingham, those on show were the women's 60m, 800m, 3,000m and pole vault, plus the men's 400m, 1,500m, 60m hurdles, high jump and long jump.
Each athlete's best three results through the season will count towards their overall point score. The athlete with the most points in each scoring discipline at the end of the tour is declared the winner.
Richards ended topped the discipline with 27 points. He entered the last meeting in this season's Indoor Tour Gold series in second place with 17 points behind Benjamin Lobo Vedal of Denmark on 22 points after three events.
The star T&T athlete, competing in his third event this season, has shown good form leading up to this year's World Athletics Championships set to unfold in Budapest, Hungary from August 19-27.
The 29-year-old was the winner in the New York edition of the Gold series, winning the event at the Millrose Games, Armory Track and Field Centre with a then season's best time of 45.84 on February 11.
This after, Richards opened his season with a close second-place finish in 45.88, behind Norwood (45.88) at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, The Track at New Balance, Boston, Massachusetts on February 4.
Richards topped the overall points score in the 400m as mentioned above with 27 points, moving ahead of second-placed Vedal (22) and in third place was inactive Oscar Husillos of Spain with 17 from two events. American duo Noah Williams and Norwood completed the to five with 17 and 12 points, respectively from two events.