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Hyde targets Youth Olympic record

Published:Wednesday | July 30, 2014 | 12:00 AM
World Junior Championships 400 metre hurdles gold medallist, Jaheel Hyde (right), is congratulated by Dr Warren Blake, president, Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), upon the teams' return at Norman Manley International Airport on Monday night. Looking on in the background is the Jamaica team's head coach, Michael Kerr. - Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer

Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer

After dominating the field to win the gold medal in the men's 400m hurdles at the 15th World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, United States, on Saturday, Jaheel Hyde now has his sights set on winning the event at next month's World Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China from August 16-28.

The 17-year-old Hyde, a student at Wolmer's Boys' High School, ran a world junior leading time of 49.29 seconds to win the title on Saturday, July 26.

Bahrain's Ali Khamis Khamis took the silver in 49.59, while the bronze went to the USA's Tim Holmes in 50.07.

Hyde now adds the World Junior Championships gold to the World Youth gold medal he won last year in the 110m hurdles in Donetsk, Ukraine, a unique accolade in taking global titles in the two different hurdles events across the two age groups in successive years.

"I am looking forward to the Youth Olympic Games because I intend to go there and win the gold and to break the record," said Hyde upon his arrival with members of the team at the Norman Manley international Airport on Monday night.

"I just have to stay focused and execute my race, and once I do this, then I know I will do well for my country," he said.

Motivated by parents

Hyde added that his parents were a driving force behind his gold medal run at the World Junior Championship.

"I am happy for the gold medal," said Hyde. "My coach told me that he would be happy with anything that I did and so I just went out there and did my best, and so I am sure he is happy, my parents are happy, and I made Jamaica proud," he said.

"My parents were in the crowd and they played a significant role in this gold medal because having them there was like a motivational push for me because once I heard their voices, I knew that I had to run hard," said Hyde, who is the son of former national footballer, Lenworth 'Teacher' Hyde and Angela Hussett.

Hyde had the fastest time in the world entering the World Junior Championships after he broke the National Junior record in the men's 400m hurdles at the 2014 Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships in March, winning in 49.49 seconds.

In the midst of huge expectations, Hyde stated that he was confident of winning the event.

"Being the world leader, it was a lot of pressure on you because I was the favourite and so it was just for me to keep my head and go out there and perform to the best of my ability.

"I am a very confident person and so I am not really bothered by any pressure, and so I just went out there and did my best for the country at all times," he said.