Sat | Oct 20, 2018

Age is just a number - Cunningham looking forward to big 2018

Published:Saturday | February 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter
Ricardo Cunningham
Ricardo Cunningham
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At his age, he is considered a grandfather in sports, racing against Father Time, but half-miler-turned-400m hurdler Ricardo Cunningham believes that he is just entering his prime as his 'track age' is still young.

Cunningham, who will be 36 years old in April, said that he only started running in 2008 when he joined the MVP Track Club.

"I never did track in high school. I did my first full season of training in 2008 at MVP. Before that, I wasn't training. I think I can go until 40," the past student of Maud McLeod High School said. "Most athletes my age ran in primary school and all throughout high school. Their bodies are worked more than mine."

The Westmoreland native attributes his longevity also to having an in-depth understanding of how his body works.

"I am a sports science major, so that kind of gives me the advantage in the sense that I know how the body functions and what to expect," Cunningham said. "I know certain reactions that I am supposed to get while doing certain things. I can tell when the training is working or when it's not."

Two seasons ago, Cunningham made the switch from the 800m to the 400m hurdles and made the team to the World Athletics Championship in London last year. Cunningham, who has a personal best of 1:47.14 in the 800m, said that he got bored of running the 800m because the event lacked competitiveness in Jamaica.

"I was there training for the 800m, and I kinda feel alone in the sense that in training, I was expected to make the times without anyone pushing me," Cunningham said. "The only time I get pushed and got a good race was at trials (National Championships)."

Now under the tutelage of Floyd Quarry, Cunningham is hoping to run faster than he did last year and get on the podium at the Commonwealth Games in April.

"I ran 47.8 in my opening 400m at the Camperdown Classic [last weekend], and that is actually my best opener," Cunningham said. "This season, the programme is basically set to run 48-low, and I am on projection to do that."

akino.ming@gleanerjm.com