Jereem “The Dream” Richards,

CHAMPIONSHIP RECORD: Jereem “The Dream” Richards, right, celebrates his victory in the NGC NAAA Open Track and Field Championship men’s 200 metres final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, in Port of Spain, last July. Richards won in a Championship record time of 20.14 seconds. Kyle Greaux, left, finished second in 20.18. —Photo: DENNIS ALLEN for @TTGameplan

Kyle Greaux and Jereem “The Dream” Richards are Trinidad and Tobago teammates. The 200-metre sprinters are also rivals.

At the 2017 National Championships, Richards captured the men’s half-lap title for the first time, getting the better of Greaux in a keenly contested final. Greaux turned the tables at the 2018 Championships, grabbing the crown from Richards a couple months after “The Dream’s” golden run at the Commonwealth Games.

Richards was back in front at the 2019 Nationals, getting the gold in another close finish. Greaux was eagerly anticipating the 2020 Championships, and the opportunity to regain the 200m title. The remainder of the local track and field season, however, was recently cancelled by the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAATT).

“Jereem and I have a nice rivalry going on,” said a smiling Greaux. “That’s my boy. I look forward to coming home and putting on a show at National Championships, and I know a lot of people look forward to that. Jereem, to be honest with you, I’m coming for my revenge next year, please God.”

Greaux was speaking on Wednesday night, during episode three of the new online series, “Athlete Talks”. Another T&T sprint star, Kelly-Ann Baptiste was also a guest on the show, while the hosts were retired national athletes Jamaal James and Zwede Hewitt.

Greaux, the 2018 North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Championship men’s 200m gold medallist, said he is his own biggest rival.

“I have admiration and respect for everybody I compete against. At this point in time, because of the need to eradicate some of the limitations I have placed on myself, my biggest threat is probably myself mentally.”

The Sangre Grande athlete was a 200m finalist at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. He finished eighth in the championship race.

“The guys on the international circuit,” Greaux explained, “are very warm and friendly and embracing. But at a major championship, like a World Championship, you see moods changing as the rounds go by. Big hugs and stuff like that in the first round. But the persona going into the final is totally different. All of us are gunning for the same prize, but it’s no super-intense thing.”

In her junior years, Baptiste had an intense rivalry with T&T teammate Wanda Hutson.

“My battles with Wanda were crazy,” Baptiste recalled with a smile on her face. “Wanda had this amazing start, and every time I had to race her I would be so mad because I know I’m going to have to run back. This was a time I wasn’t really considered a starter, and she was really good out the blocks.”

At the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, Korea, Baptiste claimed women’s 100m bonze. American Carmelita Jeter was golden in that race, while Jamaican sprint greats Veronica Campbell-Brown and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce were second and fourth, respectively.

“Carmelita, Veronica and Shelly-Ann have been my biggest rivals,” said Baptiste. “I knew when I lined up, they were going to bring 100 percent. Now, everyone is so cheerful and huggy and friendly, but these girls were serious. Shelly-Ann has a lot of personality and she smiles a lot, but Carmelita and Veronica, you line up next to them and it was game on! That brought out the best in me.”


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