Weir shows improved strength with big 400m win
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Olympic 200m bronze medallist Warren Weir upstaged his more celebrated training partners Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake at Saturday's Camperdown Classic inside the National Stadium, winning the 400m time trial with a 46.21 personal best run.
Weir, who was paired with Blake in heat three, held off Edino Steele, 46.64 and the 100m world champion, who posted 46.77, showing much-improved strength and speed endurance on the home stretch.
It was just the sort of improvement that Weir was hoping for in a year where he will be strongly tested to first make Jamaica's IAAF World Championships team, and second, repeat or better his Olympic feat at the Moscow championships set for August 10-18.
"I managed to finish strongly, and I am very pleased about that," Weir told The Gleaner after his run. "I must firstly give thanks that it was an injury-free race, second, for my personal best. At least I know that I am stronger and fitter than last year, and I am where I am supposed to be, so it was a good outing.
"Speed endurance for me is one of the main things because you can be very fast in the 200m, but if you don't have speed endurance, you wont do well in the event. This is showing me that I am where I am supposed to be, and it will be a good season," Weir added.
Trust in coach
Weir's previous best over the distance was a pedestrian 47.07, but with another big improvement over an unfamiliar distance, the Racers Track Club athlete, who only switched to the 200m in 2011, is not too concerned about putting any quarter-mile ideas in his coach Glen Mills' head.
"I am not too worried about that (being switched to the 400m)," Weir said laughing. "Coach Mills always called me his little sprinter from high-school days, so I'm not too worried that he will push me there, but if the guru sees that as the next direction to go, we just have to work with him."
The pint-sized sprinter shared that his preparation had been going well before throwing a jibe at the specialist quarter-milers, who he defeated on Saturday - many of whom were his own clubmates.
"Every year, I look to run faster. I got a good field today and I know training was going well, so I just went out there looking to do better than the 47.07 that I did last year. I expected 46, but I didn't know it would be this fast.
"Training has been going well; the body is reaching a level where it can go faster and take a greater work load," Weir shared before giving a peek at the expected topic of discussion at the next meet.
"We always say that we should have a sprinter 4x400m and a quarter-mile 4x400m, but it will be up for discussion when we train again," said Weir. "I am looking forward to training to throw a few punches, so to speak."