My year to shine! - XLCR's Archer determined to make amends
A year ago, Excelsior High school hurdler Devontie Archer missed the final of the Class Two boys' 400 metres hurdles, after finishing ninth overall in the semi-finals round. Fast-forward one year, and Archer is determined to set things right.
This is expected to be one of the most exciting and intriguing events among the boys, despite the event only being contested the second time, after its debut a year ago.
The likes of Kingston College's Shantamoi Brown and Jordan Forrest, along with the Calabar duo of Andre Leslie and Dean Clarke, as well as the Excelsior man, have shown this over the past several weeks.
Archer, who finished fourth at the Corporate Area Development Meet, has grown from strength to strength since. Twice he defeated Leslie, the bronze medallist from last year, at the Carifta Trials a few weeks ago, where he won in a then personal best of 53.34 seconds.
Since then, he has gone much faster. In a prelude to Champs, he dipped under 53 seconds at the Digicel Grand Prix finals last weekend. In a very exciting contest, he gave the number one man, Brown, a run for his money, as both hit the finishing line together, with Brown winning in 52.16 seconds, just ahead of Archer, 52.22 seconds; while Leslie, Forrest and Clarke were all left behind.
"Last year I was very disappointed in not making it to the finals after coming so close, but my coach gave me a lot of confidence then and told me that this year will be my year," Archer said. "I have worked very hard on the technical aspect of my race and this has really helped with my improvements in the event."
Archer knows it will be very tough to go all the way, but remains confident.
"It is a very strong field, but with my steady improvements, I think I can go all the way and I also think it is going to take sub-52 seconds to win. I think I can do that based on my performance at the last meet," Archer added.