André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Last year was difficult for Jamaican sprint hurdler Richard Phillips, who not only broke his ankle at the Olympic Games in London, but also dropped out of the IAAF World Indoor Championships because of injury.
Now fully recovered from that left ankle fracture that caused him to crash into the third hurdle at the London Olympics, Phillips is recalibrating his efforts and has teamed up with his high school coach Fitz Coleman, in an effort to get his career back on track.
"I am back with my high school coach Fitz Coleman doing some work here, just solidifying some technical areas," said Phillips, who had been based in the US for some time. "We are just kinda going with the flow right now.
"Rehab went quite well, it took a little longer than I expected but everything went smoothly eventually, and I definitely have to thank the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association and the Jamaica Olympic Association for supporting me through the rehab," said Phillips.
"I'm back in spikes running and hurdling, it's a process, it does get sore every now and again because, of course, there is a screw in my foot that wasn't there last year and I'm still getting used to that but I'm definitely where I think I should be in terms of rehab," Phillips added.
"I started rehab six weeks after the injury. I started training the first day in November, got injured again and had to go back in the cast and started running again in the middle of December. I started full training towards the end of December," Phillips continued.
The three-time Olympian and former IAAF World Junior Championships finalist was also pulled from the 60m hurdles at last year's IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, after feeling pain in his groin.
However, back in Coleman's stable, which also includes Olympic 110m hurdles bronze medallist Hansle Parchment and former national 100m hurdles champion Indira Spence, Phillips is confident that he will be in good shape for this year's national trials ahead of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, even if he acknowledges that the event is now more competitive than it has ever been.
"In terms of my chances, we have about five hurdlers I would consider first class, and I'm definitely happy for the direction that the event is heading in because many times the event was looked down on at trials," Phillips reasoned. "With competition everyone has to step their game up, we saw that in the 100m. Hopefully, at trials I can go out there and put my best foot forward.
"I think I have a very good chance. Bones take six weeks to heal so it's just the mental part of the recovery, so I'm confident. I'm a mentally tough person so it doesn't affect me mentally, it's just the physical aspect I have to get over now," he said.
Phillips has a personal best of 13.39 seconds in the 110m hurdles.