Meet Che Richards, student and Olympic hopeful
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We caught up with one of Edinburgh’s most imposing freshers (he’s 6“8!) to talk all things life and long jump. It all started out early for Richards, with joining his primary school athletics team. “I don’t recall with conviction, but I signed up to the 100m/200m and long jump,” he tells us. But it was after joining the Neon Trackers Athletics Club at home in Trinidad and Tobago that athletics became a passion, “when I met Ms. George (the coach at his current club, Oasics) I took the long jump seriously… she introduced me to the national record holder Wendell Williams,” and they’ve been training together ever since. Although not always written in the stars, Che’s assures me that him and long jump, “have become good friends.” And when it comes to being in competition scenarios Che Richards knows how to stay focussed: “I think I fall into the category of athletes who just like to put headphones on and listen to music and just focus on what’s ahead. Listen to music, pray, laugh with others to ease the tension. That’s me.” Those tactics certainly seemed to pay off Last season as Richards put in some really strong performances that culminated in a massive jump of 7.53m, leaving him just 2cm off World Junior Standard. He says: “Last year was my last as a junior athlete and ending it with a jump like that was great. I ended the season at the top of the national rankings and Trinidad and Tobago junior and senior champion!” Despite coming so close to a World Junior place, Che reiterated his satisfaction at his lofty achievements: “I was happy, I’ve come a long way and I have something to look forward to in my senior career. I’d say that (the past season) sets a precedent for my senior career.”
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