Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Akeem McNally's dream of representing Manchester High at this year's 103rd staging of the 2013 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships was broken a day before the team departed for Kingston after he fell during practice on Sunday and fractured a bone on his left arm.
McNally was slated to compete in the boys' decathlon open, but instead has been looking on with his hand in a cast.
"I was training for the decathlon and while practising for the high jump, I missed the sack on one of my attempts and suffered a broken bone," McNally recounted. "It is very depressing, because it is my first year competing for Manchester High. Expectations were on my shoulders to give points and to know that, that void will not be filled, it is very, very depressing."
This is not the 18-year-old's first encounter with disappointment, as he missed the championships last year due to a knee injury.
He did, however, grace Champs in 2010 and 2011 when he represented Winston Jones High in the 100m and 400m, but did not progress to the final of either event.
"There is very good programme at Manchester High and there is a very good coach, so it is the programme to take me to the next level in track and field and I want to be a part of that, so that's why I made the switch," the Newport, Manchester student explained.
The injury setbacks have given birth to thoughts of quitting the sport. He, however, hopes to be injury free for what will be his last year of eligibility for the championships. He intends to ditch the decathlon and focus solely on the 400m hurdles.
The lower sixth-form student, who only does athletics for the love of it as he has 10 CXC passes, plans to become a neurosurgeon if his first love does not work out.
"The fact that I have done well in my academics has made it easier to deal with the injuries as I know I have something to fall back on."