André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Weeks after celebrating his 40th birthday, Jamaican 400m hurdles veteran, Danny McFarlane, failed in his bid to qualify for his fourth consecutive Olympic Games, after finishing fourth at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA)/Supreme Ventures Limited National Senior Championships in Friday's final.
So, does this mean that the wily, old 'Danny Mac' - as he is affectionately called by his adoring fans - will finally call time on his career?
"I think I want to give it one more shot," said McFarlane.
Little surprise, really, as it's a well-known fact that he does not know how to quit.
The 49.69 seconds on the clock besides his name confirmed, however, that the 2004 Olympic silver medallist has seen better days. But McFarlane left the track with his head held high, confidence intact and more motivated than ever to keep pushing on.
As far as he is concerned, had it not been for a quad injury that limited his preparation coming into the championships, a plane ticket to the Olympic Games would have been a guarantee. And while underlining his respect for those who finished ahead of him, including three-time national champion, Leford Green, McFarlane backs himself to come back to the National Stadium and secure a spot on the team to next year's IAAF World Championships in Athletics, scheduled for Moscow.
"I was getting back, but then my quad went out on me so for two weeks I didn't get to do anything, so I basically got two weeks of workout coming into the championships," McFarlane told The Gleaner. "But I am not disappointed, I am motivated.
"This field was not better than me and I can tell you that the only thing that saved them is the injury that I got. For me, I feel like I want to come back next year," McFarlane added. "The way I feel, if this is the field that I will come against, no disrespect to them, but I can beat them all. If I am healthy I can beat this field, I guarantee you that.
"The body feels good and I know that if I get two more races I should run 48 seconds," said McFarlane.
A crucial member of Jamaica's 1600m relay team over the years, McFarlane's 4x400m medal collection also includes a silver medal from the 2000 Olympic Games and five World Championships silver medals spanning 1995-2003. McFarlane finished fourth at the last Olympic Games in Beijing.
The veteran showed his other side last year, after he gave up the opportunity to go to the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, because he did not want to deny young Roxroy Cato the opportunity to experience his first major meet.
McFarlane had finished fourth at trials last year as well, but had already attained the 'A' qualifying standard for the Daegu championships, while Cato had a 'B' mark. By withdrawing his interest, McFarlane opened the door for Cato.
However, Isa Phillips slammed it shut after he himself got an 'A' standard on the last day before the cut-off period.
McFarlane is tied for the most appearances at the World Championships on nine with Canadian race walker Tim Berrett.
All three athletes who finished ahead of McFarlane, Green, Josef Robertson and Cato, have already attained the 'A' qualifying standard for the Olympics.