London 2017 | Harley backs Hyde for 400m hurdles final
After guiding 400m hurdler Jaheel Hyde to a season that has seen him improve considerably with regards to the times that he has registered, coach Christopher Harley is expecting the youngster to underline that growth with a spot in the final at the World Championships in London.
Hyde, who was conditioned by Harley during his time at Wolmer's Boys School during, which time he won international age group gold medals in the 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles, returned to Harley's coaching since the beginning of the season after a stint with Bert Cameron with the impact revealing itself immediately.
In addition to beating much more established athletes this year, Hyde posted a personal best 48.52 seconds in his first race of the season and has gone sub 49 seconds twice since then compared to once in 2016.
Now Harley is expecting him to take that form into the World Championships and secure a lane in the medal round, which would be an improvement on his semi-final finish at the Rio Olympics last year.
"I am expecting him to do well, and my goal for him this year is to make the final because once he is there, anything is possible," Harley said.
"As you know this is my first year outside of high school working with Jaheel from the beginning of the season and it has been a little up and down but today I am happy based on how things have unfolded based on his preparation and participation and I am happy to say he has done well up to this point," he continued.
NOT WITHOUT CHALLENGES
In comparing his experience as Hyde's high school coach to their time together in the professional ranks, Harley noted that it has not been without its challenges.
"The major difference is he is not playing football and I have had him from the beginning of the training season until now and I'm not saying that football didn't play a part because it keeps you on edge just the same, but that alone makes a lot of difference," Harley said, while noting he has paid special attention to increasing Hyde's strength training workload.
"It has been a little challenging but at the same time it has been good. I don't have Wolmer's to focus on, it's just him and so I can give him all my attention," he added.
"I took one major step which is his strength. He never really had a chance to have much of a gym programme while he was with me in high school when he was playing football and by the time he came to track and field training I couldn't do much where that is concerned," Harley explained.
"So this year I paid a lot of attention to his strength and I will always do that and as he gets stronger over the years I expect him to keep improving."