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Injury slows down young sprint star

Published:Saturday | January 8, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Odean Skeen

Anthony Minott, Gleaner Writer

Odean Skeen's preparations for the 2011 track and field season have been hampered by a nagging back injury.

"My preparations have been slow due to a back injury I suffered in early December, however, I'm back in training and working really hard to get into top shape," Skeen, the reigning Youth Olympic Games (YOG) 100 metres champion said in a recent interview.

Skeen who attends Wolmer's Boys ran at the Excelsior High School development meet on December 11, where he placed third in a 300 metres event in 37 seconds but was not in good physical condition.

"I wasn't in good shape, because I just had an injury," Skeen disclosed. "I am not fully healed from that injury, I'm still receiving treatment, I just have to train through it," the sprint star admitted.

Skeen will open the new year by running a 400 metres race at the Jamaica College/ WATA meet today at the JC grounds on Old Hope Road. "I will be running the 400m at JC as part of my strengthening programme," he said.

The Portmore-based athlete said that 48.6 seconds done during a training session while preparing for the YOG in Singapore in August is his best time over the distance.

"The JC meet will be my first competitive 400m and I will be satisfied with any time under 50 seconds," he said. Skeen who has best times of 10.42 seconds over 100m and 20.84s over 200m said that it is too early to make predictions for the new season. "It's too early for any predictions, I'll just have to take it one day at a time until I get where I want to be."

Three-way tussle

Skeen, Bridgeport's Jazeel Murphy and fellow Wolmerian Julian Forte are in a three-way tussle to be Jamaica's next junior sprint king. If all three athletes are fit then the new track season will be full of top performances. Last year Skeen had his best season since entering high school.


Hecopped sprint doubles at Boys' Champs, CARIFTA Games, and Central American and Caribbean Junior Champs, to go with his 100m gold medal he won at the YOG. Very impressive for an athlete that ran seventh in the 2009, Class Two 100m final in a pedestrian 11.01 seconds, in the same race where Murphy exploded to win in 10.44 seconds. Skeen is definitely one talent to watch this season.