Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Rising sprinter Kemar Bailey-Cole will be making his Diamond League seasonal debut as he competes at this weekend's Adidas Grand Prix in New York looking to go below 10 seconds.
This season has been a good one so far for the Old Harbour High past student who joined Racers in 2010 and continues to show signs of improvement under coach Glen Mills.
Bailey-Cole - described by many as the 'next Usain Bolt' because of their similar physique - had to endure a rocky few years and has had to overcome niggling and persistent injuries. Nonethe-less, he has still managed to make slow but steady progress.
He closed last season well with a 9.97-second clocking in Brussels in September. This year, he has continued on a similar trend.
"It has been different when compared to previous years. This year, I got to do most of my background and track workouts. In previous years, I had been plagued by a lot of foot problems," he said.
Going into New York for the May 25 meet, his focus, he says, is on what he needs to do and a time under 10 seconds.
"My focus going into New York will be to execute properly. I most definitely need to work on my start. I would be satisfied with anything under 10 seconds or under 10.09," he said.
The sprinter won his first Olympic medal last year as a member of Jamaica's world-record-setting sprint relay squad and is well aware that correcting his flaws is essential for him to achieve his ultimate goal for this season.
"My main goal for the season is to make the World Championships team, not only as a member of the relay squad, but also in the 100m," he said.
Bailey-Cole has a season best of 10.09, set at the Cayman Invitational on May 8. It is a time the 21-year-old sprinter shares with his more-celebrated countryman Usain Bolt, who won that race in the Cayman Islands, but only just.
"I watched the race over and over and realised that if I had leaned at finishing and not slowed down close to the line, I would have won," said Bailey-Cole of his near miss at joining a short list of men - Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell, and Yohan Blake - who have beaten Bolt since he exploded in 2008.