Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Whyte's time to shine

Published:Thursday | August 18, 2016 | 8:00 AM
Jamaica’s Annsert Whyte clears the hurdle during preliminary action in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games men’s 400 metres hurdles inside the Olympic stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Monday. Whyte will compete for a gold medal in tonight’s final.

RIO DE JANIERO, Brazil:

Annsert Whyte will today look to become the first Jamaican man to medal in the 400m hurdles at the Olympic Games since Danny McFarlane did so in 2004 at the Athens Olympics.

He certainly didn't come to Rio de Janeiro as a favourite for a medal in the event, but it would take a brave man to bet against him getting on the podium after a performance that has seen him lower his personal best in each of his two races inside the Olympic stadium.

Whyte moved into the semi-finals after posting the fastest time in the heats, 48.37, a new personal best, which he again lowered on his way to winning his semi-final in 48.32, a time that was only bettered by American Kerron Clement.

The Jamaican says he is thrilled to be competing in his first Olympic Games and noted that he is certainly not surprised by his performances and form here.

 

HAPPY AND GRATEFUL

 

"This means a lot to me. As you know, it's my first Olympics, but I came out here and tried to go out to each race with a positive mind and I went through each round and made the final so I am happy and grateful," said Whyte.

"Yes, I expected this. I've been in great form and I have been training really hard, especially after trials," Whyte added. "I was determined to make the Olympic final and I came out here and was able to do that so I'm really happy."

Still, he is not getting ahead of himself and says he is keeping his feet on the ground heading into the final, which runs off at 12 p.m. (10 a.m. Jamaica time).

"I'm just going to come out positively and anything I get I will be grateful for," Whyte said.

This is Whyte's first final at a major championship.

He bowed out at the semi-final stage with fourth and seventh place finishes at the respective Moscow 2013 and Beijing 2015 World Championships.