Jereem Richards, emerging as Trinidad and Tobago’s double medallist at the just concluded 16th World Athletics Championships in London, was the lone relay star returning home yesterday as his other gold medal four by four relay mates Jarrin Solomon, Machel Cedenio, Renny Quow and anchorman Lalonde Gordon appeared to have returned to their USA resident bases on pre-arranged schedules.
Richards, also based in the United States where he is enrolled at the University of Alabama, was cooly confident and poised as he, a small group of TT’s 22-competitor contingent and some support staff headed by head coach Dexter Voisin, returned to a VIP reception of sorts at the Piarco International Airport.
T&T’s Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Daryl Smith led the tributes to Richards who also spoke, highlightuing the support needed for young, upcoming talent in this country. Earlier in the day acting PrimeMinister Colm Imbert had issued a statement tribute and congatulations to Team TTO who earned two medals at the ten-day championships, a bronze by Richards in the 200 metres and gold in the 4 by 400 metres relay which came in the very last event of the championships on Sunday.
At Piarco, Richards received hugs and kisses from his mother and other family members who came from the Point Fortin area to welcome their sport hero. There was heartfelt applause at the reception, certainly deserving of all the athletes who made the country proud.