André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Gonzales explains reason for competing despite injury
Despite being bothered by a hamstring injury to his right leg that followed him to the Olympic Games, national 400m record holder Jermaine Gonzales believes he made the right decision to take his chances and compete in London, as opposed to withdrawing and giving the opportunity to someone in better condition.
Gonzales was clearly not in the best shape as he struggled to sixth place and a pedestrian 46.21 clocking in the 400m heats inside the London Olympic Stadium on Saturday, missing a place in the semi-final and ending yet another major championship in disappointment.
However, having admitted to struggling with the injury even before the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships in June this year, questions were raised whether the better option would have been to let one of the team's three reserves in the 400m squad take his spot here.
Jamaica's 400m reserves are Errol Nolan, Edino Steele, and Riker Hylton.
"I earned my spot, and the last Olympics I didn't get a chance to run because of the same situation, so I worked hard for this, and for me, I wanted to go out and do my best to make my family and friends proud back home. It just didn't work out," said Gonzales.
"To be honest, the other guys on the team are good, but at this level it's going to be hard for them, so I just took my chances, but it didn't go well," Gonzales added.
Gonzales, who also said that he wasn't certain of competing in the 4x400m relays, which start on August 9, said that he was extremely disappointed with the way things turned out, but believes it was always going to be difficult because of the injury, which he said had a serious impact on his training schedule coming into the Games.
"This is not what I wanted; it's a big disappointment for me. I have been struggling with a hamstring problem before National Trials and it just didn't give me the chance to prepare properly. I have been in and out of hospital getting treatment, and I just didn't get enough time to run well here today," Gonzales said. "It's a big disappointment and I just have go back to the drawing board.
"I was still a bit worried about the hamstring because up to two days ago, I wasn't sure if I was going to run. So a combination of losing a lot of training and a tightness in the hamstring is what led to the way I ran today (Saturday). Disappointed, but such is track and field, and I have to focus and push on for next year," he added.
Gonzales, 27, has won bronze medals at the IAAF World Youth (2001) and World Junior (2002) Championships, as well as the 2006 Commonwealth Games. He finished fourth at last year's IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea.