Mayhew ready to go
Hours away from a historic run in the monobob at the Winter Youth Olympics now under way in Lillehammer, Norway, there's an air of optimism around 17 year-old Jamaican participant Daniel Mayhew.
The Monobob heat gets under way at 8 a.m. (Jamaica time), with Mayhew scheduled to be the 13th competitor on the ice. The Charlemont High school student is Jamaica's first competitor at the event, and coach Harry Nelson was in a confident mood ahead of today's heat, where the youngster will be looking to vie for a top spot.
Nelson told The Gleaner that Mayhew is in good spirits, has been training well, and has been performing with more consistency since his arrival.
"He had his final training run today (yesterday) and he didn't look bad at all. He is showing some consistency, his driving time wasn't a personal best, but the conditions on the day wasn't that good. But going into the event, he is actually eight right now and moving up, so we are feeling good," said Nelson.
"I'm very pleased with how things are looking at this point. Even though the conditions weren't great in training yesterday, he got his best push-off time of 5.70," added Nelson. "The day before, he got his best track time of 57.40 seconds."
Nelson, however, admitted that he would have preferred if he was able to work a little longer on the ice with his young charge, but remains confident that he will represent himself and the nation well when competition gets under way.
"We would have definitely liked more time on the ice, but we have to work with what we've got," Nelson noted.
"Daniel is very upbeat and ready to go. There is no pressure on him. He went through his qualification runs with no incident, as well as a personal best in his runs, so we are happy," Nelson added.
The coach underlined that the main objective is to ensure that the youngster completes the course without incident, but made it clear that they are keeping an eye on the top positions.
"The major objective is to make sure he finishes the track incident-free, and anything after that, we will go for it. We are Jamaicans, so you know we always give our best, and so we will be looking to put ourselves in a spot where we can try to get the gold," said Nelson.