André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
New national record holder for the 5000-metre event, Kemoy Campbell, has set his sights on this summer's IAAF World Championships in Athletics, set for Moscow, Russia, as he looks to take Jamaica's hardly recognised distance programme to the big stage.
Campbell, who stopped the clock at 13:32.82, while representing the University of Arkansas at a meet at the Stanford University Stadium on Good Friday, bettered a mark a few years older than himself; 13:33.10, set 25 years ago by Mark Elliott in 1989.
The time is also the second fastest this year behind Australian Collis Birmingham's 13:27.35.
However, Campbell, who is coming off a record-setting cross country and indoor season, is desperate to show that Jamaica has more to offer than top-class sprinters.
The 22-year-old, in an interview with www.runnersworld.com, explained that he is still trying to figure out which event is best for him, but is clear on his objectives to represent Jamaica in Moscow, in the 1500m.
'i'm better at the longer distances'
"I like the 1500, but my coach says I'm better at the longer distances, and I'm kind of starting to believe that," said Campbell. "Over time, I think I'll be changing to the 3000m and up, but for the outdoor season I'm just going to see what my 1500m times are like and then I'll make a decision from there.
"I'll run a few 5000m this spring also. I want to run 3:37 in the 1500m, which would get me into the World Championships. I know if I can run 3:39 at the start of the season I can get down to 3:37 by the end of the season," added Campbell, who attended Bellefield High in Manchester.
The 'B' qualifying standard in the 1500m for the World Championships is 3:37.00 with the 'A' qualifying standard set at 3:35.00.
Campbell is also hoping that by the time the 2016 Olympic Games - set for Rio de Janeiro in Brazil - rolls around, he will work his way among the top contenders.
"My goal for the World Championships this summer is just to make the team for Jamaica, and then I'll find out what I need to work on to be one of the top contenders for the Olympics," Campbell said.
"One of the main things that I'm thinking about is that if I can actually go to the Olympics for Jamaica and win a medal in one of the distance events, even if it's a bronze medal, it could change most of the mentality that says no one in our country can make it in distance running. That's my main focus, to change that way of looking at it," he added.