Moving FORTE - Sprinter targets top spot
Having cemented his position as a legitimate sub-10 seconds sprinter, when he sped to 9.91 seconds at the ISTAF World Challenge meet in Berlin, Germany, last year, Julian Forte is looking to become one of the front-runners in the 100m, now that world record holder Usain Bolt has retired from the sport.
Forte, who had been edging close the sub-10 landmark for some time before he ran 9.99 seconds at the National Senior Championships in June last year, and followed it up with the Berlin performance, said that an injury - free season will definitely enable him to become one of the fastest Jamaicans over the 100 metres.
"The main objective for the season is just to try to stay injury-free," Forte told The Gleaner yesterday, shortly after a training session.
"I never had a good season last year, because I had a lot of injuries, so I am really working on that this year," Forte added. "The goal is never to be second best. I think if you are going out there to do that, then you should just stop. I definitely would say that would be one of my intentions - to be one of the best."
Forte, who is part of a small group of Jamaicans, who have run under 10 seconds in 100 metres and under 20 seconds in the 200 metres, said with the blessings of his coach, Stephen Francis, he is hoping to be on the podium at the Commonwealth Games in Australia next month.
"Commonwealth (Games) is in my sights right now. (I am) still waiting to have a discussion with coach (Stephen Francis) about it, but I think the Commonwealth (Games) will be a good look. Every time I go to championships, the aim is to get an individual medal, so that's definitely one of my objectives of the season," Forte said.
Forte also praised the addition of the Athletics World Cup, a new event on the track and field calendar, which promises to dish out over US$1 million in prize money this summer.
"As you know there is not a lot money in the sport, so I think the more opportunities there is to make money, is a good thing," said Forte.
Forte's 9.91 seconds personal best makes him the ninth fastest Jamaican sprinter in history. He also sits at number nine in the all-time Jamaican top list in the 200m with his 19.97 seconds PB.
The 25 year-old is still looking for his first run in an individual final at a major international senior championships after campaigns in the 200m at the 2015 World Championships and 100m at the 2017 World Championships, both ended at the semi-final stage.
Sub10/Sub 20 Club
Usain Bolt - 9.59 / 19.19
Yohan Blake - 9.69/19.26
Asafa Powell - 9.72/19.90
Steve Mullings - 9.80/19.98
Nickel Ashmeade - 9.90/19.85
Julian Forte - 9.91/19.97