André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Mills plots extended sprint dominance with Racers youngsters
Double Olympic sprint champion and world record holder Usain Bolt, and 100m World champion and double Olympic silver medallist Yohan Blake may be dominating the headlines now, but that won't be the case forever.
Glen Mills, head coach and president of the Racers Track Club, says he is looking forward to continue charting the development of some of the club's and the island's more promising youngsters, perhaps with one eye on life after the Bolt-Blake tandem.
Known for his exploits with the two sprinting superstars, and before them the likes of Raymond Stewart and Kim Collins, Mills looks set to keep the conveyor belt turning with a string of impressive youngsters champing at the bit, while being primed to contest the big guns at the University of the West Indies-based club.
Olympic 200m bronze medallist Warren Weir, and Kemar Bailey-Cole, a 4x100m relay gold medallist and Jamaica's newest member of the sub-10 seconds 100m club, with a best of 9.97, lead that group, which also includes Jason Young, who has a personal best of 19.86 200m, and World Junior Championships 100m finalist Jazeel Murphy.
World Junior 200m champion Delano Williams, of Munro College acclaim, will also form part of the cast this year, while World Youth 100m champion and 200m silver medallist Odail Todd, who still has a year left at Green Island High, is also believed to be heading to the club following his studies.
Similarity to Bolt
"I am very excited about these youngsters," Mills told The Gleaner.
"Bailey-Cole, I think, has a similarity to Bolt and he has tremendous acceleration. There are so much areas to improve, especially his first 40m. We can do wonders with him when we correct that.
"It's going to take a little time and depends on how well he adapts to the corrections and training and so forth though," Mills warned, before explaining some of the issues the lanky sprinter has had to overcome.
"Funny enough, we have not been able to train him (Bailey-Cole) with the intensity and so on that we would have liked, because he had some problems with his foot that has hampered him over the past two years and does not allow him to train consistently or do a lot of the strength resistant work that we would like to put him through," Mills said.
"We are very grateful this year that he was able to do a lot more than he was able to do last year, and if he can do a lot more next year than he was able to do this year, then it's really going to be exciting.
"Murphy is top talent but there are a lot of things that are wrong with him, and we will have to correct them before he is able to compete at the world level," said Mills, turning his attention to the former Bridgeport High standout.
"His flexibility, coordination, strength and technique, especially his start, it's a nightmare. His starting skills are extremely limited but this is a youngster that ran 20.97 at 15 years old," Mills added.
"He hasn't lost his ability; 10.25 in minus wind at the World Juniors was fantastic running, especially when you look how far he was coming from and also how he anchored the relay from behind, you see the awesome top end speed that he has, and he is also going to be a serious person who someone will have to make space for him in to come," Mills smiled.
"But he is going to need a year or two to really iron out his problems and to really see the development. He, too, is very young. It's all very exciting, really," Mills added, still beaming.