Gonzales back on track this weekend - National 400m record holder pacing himself for 2016 Olympics
After three surgeries, the last of which had laid him on the sidelines for more than two years, Jamaica's 400 metres record holder Jermaine 'Gonz' Gonzales is set to make his return to the track this weekend at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) All-Comers Development Meet.
The 30-year-old told The Gleaner that he was scheduled to make his comeback a week earlier, but was forced to push back his plans. However, he declared that his injury concerns are all behind him now and he is really excited and ready to start competing again.
"It has been more than two years. It was a long, stressful layoff, but things are back to normal," Gonzales assured.
"Training is going good. I was supposed to run last weekend at the JAAA All-Comers, but I heard they didn't have the 400m, so I put it off until the next weekend," he explained.
The injury-plagued 400m star is in no hurry to get back to his best, instead insisting that staying "healthy" for Rio 2016 (Olympics) is his primary target.
"For me, it's just to get back out there and see where I am at. I am not putting myself under any pressure about times or anything. I just want to go around the track, finish healthy and take it from there, because when you have not competed for so long you have to be patient.
"But things are looking good now and I am back in terms of 100 per cent health and fitness, so it's just to get race sharp and go out and see where I am at now," he continued.
"This a big year, but I have been out for more than two years, so it can't be a rush," he explained, eyeing the upcoming World Championships in August.
"Also I am up in age now and I have to pace myself. Hopefully, I make the (World Championship) team, but it would not be a big thing if I didn't. I just want to finish the season healthy and get ready for the Olympics next year.
"The Olympics is the main aim; it is the biggest thing in track and field and you want to be at your best for that," Gonzales underlined.
"This year, anything that happens is a plus for me because I just want to stay healthy and get used to competing again," he stated. "But you will definitely see a lot of me this year."
Gonzales added: "I will not promise anything big this year, but come the Olympics next year, I will be gearing up for that with full strength."