O'Hara aims to satisfy parents
Sprinting standout Michael O'Hara carries to the IAAF World Youth Champion-ships the expectations of millions of Jamaicans.
As far as he is concerned though, the two who matter most are his parents.
O'Hara, seen by many as the 'next big thing' off Jamaica's conveyor belt of top-class sprinters, knows very well that his status on the IAAF Top List and his tremendous development and results in the Calabar green and black make him one of the biggest names here.
However, the youngster, who is responsible for the second-fastest 100m (10.39) and 200m (20.75) times recorded by a youth athlete this season, is hoping to stand on top of the medal podium for personal satisfaction; as his main motivation goes by the name Kareen Williams.
"My mother has been there one hundred per cent for me throughout it all, to ensure that I am doing all the right things as well and staying on track," O'Hara told The Gleaner ahead of the championships, which starts tomorrow at the RSC Olimpiyskiy.
"She is a big reason for me doing what I do, and you know that a mother's love plays a big part in your lifestyle," he added. "She makes sure I'm on the right diet and taking the right vitamins and so forth.
"Will she be the first person I think of when I cross the line? Oh yes! and my dad as well, he is in New York and he calls every day as well," O'Hara smiled.
The athlete, who was forced to miss the Carifta Games after contracting the chicken pox virus just before the start of the competition held in The Bahamas earlier this year, is also looking forward to making up for that missed opportunity, as he gets his international career started.
"It's an opportunity to make up for lost time, so to speak, and for me to go out there and show the world who Michael O'Hara is and what I am capable of doing," the sprint hurdler said. "This is where my journey is really going to start and many persons are expecting a lot from me, so I am really looking forward to this.
"This being my first selection to a world team, plus a trip to Europe, anybody would be excited about that. But I am just looking to pull through and do the best that I can do," he added.
Hopefully for O'Hara, it's a 'best' that will please his ever-supportive mother and father.