Bloomfield itching to compete again
LIKE MANY other track athletes, the racing bug has been itching quarter-miler Akeem Bloomfield as sports worldwide have come to a standstill because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
However, the recent announcement by World Athletics that its Diamond League series will resume in August has brought joy to the sub-44 400m runner, as he might get to practise the new strategies he has been working on in training and put his disappointing 2019 season behind him.
“I have been working on some things in training and if I am allowed to compete this year, then I would be able to know where my body is at and what I need to correct,” he said. “I have been training as if there is going to be a season, so I would not want all this preparation that I have been putting in go to waste, because I am training every day,” he said.
Bloomfield’s eighth-place finish in the final of the men’s 400m at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, last year has triggered him to make some adjustments to his training programme as he seeks to reclaim his 2018 form which made him one of the most promising quarter-milers in the world.
In that year, he zoomed to 43.94 seconds in the 400m race, which is the second-fastest time over the distance by a Jamaican.
A month later, he blitzed to 19.81 in the 200m and joined a handful of athletes who have run under 44 and 20 seconds in the 400 and 200 metres, respectively.
But injury derailed his 2019 season and he only managed to secure a spot in the 400m at the World Championships after his compatriots, who finished in the top three at the Jamaica Athletics Adminstrative Association National Senior Championships, failed to make the qualifying standard to compete in Doha.
The cancellation and postponement of meets because of the virus means that the former Kingston College standout has to wait longer to redeem himself. However, he is only in support of the resumption of the season if it is safe to do so.
“I think it is a good idea that they have put something in place for the season to resume, especially the Diamond League, because that is where a lot of track athletes make their money. But with the uncertainty of COVID-19, I don’t know what travel restrictions will be in place when the meets are scheduled to take place. But, if it is possible to compete, then I’m ready to do it,” Bloomfield said.
World Athletics announced that a number of Diamond League meetings will go ahead as one-off exhibition events. There will be no events in July and the first half of August, and the season will be extended into October.