Blossoming Bloomfield - Sprinter happy with progress ahead of new season
After a season that saw him catapulted among the most promising athletes on the international scene, Jamaican quarter-miler Akeem Bloomfield is relishing his new experience in the professional ranks, as he steps up preparations for next year's World Championships.
Bloomfield, the former Kingston College standout, spent two years at the University of Auburn on a track and field scholarship, before deciding to end his collegiate career and compete professionally last Summer.
This decision came on the back of a season, which saw him finishing second in both the Indoor and Outdoor 400 metres event at the NCAA Championships, clocking 44.86 seconds to become the fastest ever Jamaican indoors and an impressive 43.94 seconds, which left him just shy of the national outdoor record of 43.93 seconds.
Two weeks after that run, Bloomfield signed a professional contract with Puma and a month later, he properly introduced himself to the world with a smooth 19.81 seconds run in the 200m at the London Anniversary Games, to register a personal best and his first mark below 20 seconds in the event.
That time puts him on the Top 25 all-time list in the event and places him alongside the likes of American Michael Johnson and Botswana star Isaac Makwala, as the only men to make that list in both the 200m and 400m.
However, with Jamaicans waiting to crown a new sprint king, Bloomfield's great performances, have also brought great expectations, but the youngster is remaining focussed on the process and says he does not feel any pressure going into next season.
"I feel no pressure going into the next season. I am only trying to improve on my times and remain consistent. I just hope to keep healthy in the upcoming season and I know once I am healthy, then something special will happen," Bloomfield said.
Bloomfield, who celebrated his 21st birthday on October 11, also shared that his preparation, though different from his previous experiences, has been progressing positively.
"Training is going very good. I am surrounded by a group of training partners, who I feel comfortable with and I am also in a good training environment," said Bloomfield, who is based at Florida Atlantic University, where he works out with the likes of fellow Jamaicans Nathan Allen and Jonielle Smith along with Trinidadians Kai Salvon and Jonathon Farinha.
"The training environment is a lot different from college. The training hours are less and more flexible in order to plan for the World Championships next year. It is also easier to go to school while training due to the reduced training hours," Bloomfield noted. "Being a full-time professional athlete is quite an experience. My whole view of track and field has changed because now it is basically my job, so I have to be more disciplined and take better care of my body. I have also changed my diet to some extent."
Bloomfield is now being conditioned by Henry Rolle, who is one of the Caribbean's most renown coaches.
Rolle has worked with a number of Jamaicans over the years including Kerron Stewart, Vonette Dixon, Jovanee Jarrett and Elva Goulbourne.