Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Cunningham hunts one last hurrah

Published:Saturday | April 30, 2016 | 4:00 AMShayne Fairman
Ricardo Cunningham of Cameron Blazers capturing the 400m hurdles in 50.28 seconds at the recent MVP Classic at the National Stadium.

Veteran athlete Ricardo Cunningham is hoping that his own self-drive and self-belief will help him to make the best of what is left of his time on the track. He has his sights set on a successful year in either the 800 metres or 400m hurdles this year.

Thirty-six-year-old Cunningham is hoping that he will be able to make one last hurrah and qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

"I have been encouraged over the years to try the 400m hurdles. My personal best over the 400m is 46.20 seconds, and the 800m has given me a lot of strength, and this event (400m hurdles) is a combination of speed and strength. It's just for me to work on putting both speed and strength together in order to improve over the hurdles," he told The Gleaner.

The former Racers Track Club athlete, now at Cameron Blazers, finished top of the field at the recent MVP Track and Field Classic.

It was his second competitive 400m hurdles, and the many-time national 800m champion clocked 50.28 seconds, the third-fastest time of the night.

Ansert Whyte (49.39) of Racers Track Club and his teammate, Javarn Gallimore (50.09), finished ahead of Cunningham.

Cunningham explained that the aim is to "do whatever it takes to get in the top three at trials".

Despite being in what many would consider the twilight of an athlete's career, Cunningham is aiming to outperform his younger rivals at the National Senior Championships in June. No doubt, it will be a much sterner test than his 800m pet event where he has a personal best of 1:47.14 minutes.

"It's a new event; it's going OK. It requires a lot of technique, but I am enjoying it thus far. The focus hasn't been shifted from the 800m as I am still preparing for both events. They go hand in hand."