Jamaican Antonio Watson, centre, wins a men’s 400m semifinal during the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday. TT’s Jereem Richards, right, placed fouth. – AP
Ace Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Jereem Richards saw his hopes of making the final for the men’s 400m event at the ongoing World Championships in Budapest dashed on Tuesday when he finished 4th in semifinal one in 44.76 seconds and failed to advance as one of the fastest losers.
Running out of lane four, Richards started the race powerfully and looked to be in contention for an automatic top two finish through the first 300m.
However, he faded badly as he tried to keep tabs on the eventual semifinal winner, Antonio Watson (44.13 seconds), and he was overtaken on the straightaway by USA’s Vernon Norwood (44.26 seconds) and South Africa’s world-record-holder Wayde Van Niekerk (44.65 seconds).
Both Watson and Norwood both clocked their personal best times en route to the final, while Van Niekerk also advanced as the fastest runner-up through the three semifinals.
Richards would consider himself unfortunate as his time was faster than one of the automatic qualifiers in semifinal three. The final of the men’s 400m event will be contested on Thursday.