Fri | Aug 18, 2017

One step forward for Hyde

Published:Monday | March 13, 2017 | 3:00 AMHubert Lawrence

After a fine 2016 season, Jaheel Hyde wants to go one step further in the 400m hurdles. The 20-year-old plans to surpass his Olympic Games semi-final placing with a spot in the final at this year's IAAF World Championships in London. To that end, he is working to move to the next level.

"You know, last year I hit every mark that I set out for last year," he reflected recently on a 2016 campaign that saw him defending his World under 20 400m hurdles crown, cutting his Jamaican junior record to 48.81 seconds and reaching the Olympic semi-finals. "I wanted to defend my World Junior title and to take everything in steps," he said.

Now, the University of the West Indies student is focused athletically on London. "Each year, I'm going to have to put on one step on it," he asserted, "so that is what I'm aiming for this year."

Asked to pinpoint his 2017 target, Hyde said, "Of course I want to make the World Champs team, and I want to make the finals, and that's the one step."

The former footballer is still adjusting to the rigours of training solely for athletics. "Trust me, it's very hard, "he confessed. "When I was doing football, you know I started track and field in January," he recounted, "so sometimes I would say to him just let me start training in January because to train from September straight back through to August is very hard."

He is, however, resolved to do the work greatness requires. "If I want to move to the next level, these are the sacrifices I have to make, so I'm not really bothered by it anymore."

MY OWN DESTINY

It's no surprise that he misses the beautiful game. "Of course I miss football," he revealed. "I even have thoughts of going back to football, between me and you," he said.

Despite that, this precocious Cameron Blazers team member won't lace up his boots for quite some time. "I just want to enjoy my track and field career and see what happens," he said . Moreover, he is quite sure that he was right to choose athletics over football. "I always wanted to do something where I control my own destiny," the former Wolmers' Boy striker reasoned.

"For example, the Manning Cup final," he recalled of a 3-2 loss to Jamaica College in 2013. "I played my heart out there, scored two brilliant goals and we lost."

"When I go out there by myself now, and I mess up, I know that's all on me," he said. "When I lose, it's on me," Hyde said. "When I win, it's on me."