Fothergill: 400m to the limit
Allodin Fothergill, an Olympian in 2008, intends to push his competition to the limit in the 400 metres at this week's National Senior Championships.
With the exception of reigning champion Javon Francis, Fothergill views the event as wide open. Confident after the last two weeks of training, the former Eltham High School star thinks his experience will help him.
Coached now by fellow Jamaican Ernest Barrett in Maryland, Fothergill agrees that Francis, a consistent sub-45 second performer, is favoured to defend his title. Beyond that, he fancies his own chances of making Jamaica's Olympic team.
"That's what motivated me to come to Trials because it's open," he said of a 400-metre season that has seen just one Jamaican dip under 45 seconds compared to five last year.
"I take that as motivation," asserted the God-fearing Fothergill.
"I know how to run my race," he explained after an especially promising training session at the National Stadium East field last Friday. "I have not run as fast as the rest of the guys, but I keep on believing and I'll try and use my experience to beat them."
OLYMPIAN, WORLD CHAMPS WINNER
With a 45.24-second personal best, the 29-year-old Fothergill was on the 4x400 metres team that reached the 2008 Olympic final, and on another that took third place in the 2011 World Championships.
"These younger guys," he predicts, "they have never been through three rounds of 45, so I would have to use that to kind of beat them because they're younger and fresher and they can recover faster than me."
The five fastest Jamaican 400-metre performers of 2016 are 21 year-old Francis at 44.77; 23 year-old Fitzroy Dunkley and Demish Gaye at 45.06 and 45.30, respectively; 2015 World Youth Champion Chris Taylor at 45.66; and national record holder Rusheen McDonald, also 23, at 45.90 seconds.
"So we have to push them to the limit and see what they are made of," he proposed.
Asked about his own limits, the St Catherine native concluded: "I believe, so I put no limits on myself because I may not be in a 44 shape, but my mind is and I believe I can always do it."