Manley: Gold medal is for my coach
DONETSK, Ukraine:World youth 400m champion Martin Manley is dedicating his victory at the IAAF World Youth Championships to his coach Donald 'Danny' Hawthorne, after becoming the first Jamaican to win the gold medal in the event at these championships.
Manley came off the final curve trailing American Ryan Clarke, 46.46, but thought to himself:
"At that point, I told myself that I could not go back to Jamaica with a silver medal."
The Jamaican swung his arms and powered his way past Clarke and to the gold medal in a world-leading 45.89 seconds; a time which not only made him the second fastest Jamaican youth over the quarter mile, but also fulfilled the believe of his coach, Hawthorne.
Hawthone is not here in Donetsk, but try telling that to Manley, who shared that he receives countless calls from the St Jago High coach who, last year, begged him to switch to the 400m, after the youngster struggled to make a mark in the shorter sprints at the school.
"This is an awesome feeling," said Manley after the race. "I did this for my coach, he has been waiting for me to shine like this and I did it on the biggest stage.
"For him to look and see this potential in me when I was struggling in the other events; he is great," Martin beamed. "I wanted to run the 100m and he transferred me to the 400m and I told him then that I didn't want to do it, now I have no regrets.
"He (Hawthorne) has believed in me so much and is always there with me. He has helped me with my confidence a lot. He is behind me, each morning he calls telling me 'Martin do this, Martin do that,' and it paid off," said Martin, who also noted that he had to miss a couple internal exams to make his dream pay off.
Manley has spent hours studying tapes of his favourite quarter-miler World and Olympic champion Kirani James, who won this title in 2009.
"I watch his (James') videos every night, I really love his style. In fact, my coach always tells me that I run like him," Martin added.
- André Lowe