Sun | Aug 14, 2022

Seville can go faster in perfect race, says Mills

Published:Monday | May 23, 2022 | 12:08 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Oblique Seville
Oblique Seville
Seville
Seville
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As Oblique Seville cruised through the finish line in a scorching 9.86 seconds on a cool night at the National Stadium, he celebrated with his manager, Norman Peart, trackside and wondered aloud about the possibility of running 9.6 seconds in the...

As Oblique Seville cruised through the finish line in a scorching 9.86 seconds on a cool night at the National Stadium, he celebrated with his manager, Norman Peart, trackside and wondered aloud about the possibility of running 9.6 seconds in the 100m with near-perfect execution.

Coach Glen Mills isn’t sure just yet how fast the emerging sprint sensation can go, but even he admitted that Seville’s performance – the second fastest this year behind Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala’s 9.85 – caused even his jaw to drop when he heard the time.

“I am not surprised that he ran so fast, but I am surprised that he ran so fast in a meet of that nature,” said Mills in a Gleaner interview Sunday. “It is not like the final of the National Trials, or a Diamond League. It was a development meet.”

The JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series, so named to coincide with Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of Independence, has offered a purple patch for the former Holmwood Technical and Calabar athlete. His 9.86 at the stadium on Saturday was a quantum leap over the personal best of 10.00 he recorded at the Jubilee meet on May 7.

Mills, head coach of Racers Track Club, which has produced two of the three fastest men in history, Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, believes that Seville could have sprinted even faster if he had run a flawless race.

“What I can say is that his first part of the race wasn’t up to the standard that he normally executes, and if he did, then obviously, he could have done a better performance,” said Mills.

“But we are not worried about it. Starting is something that fluctuates from time to time.”

Those words telegraph confidence that Seville has much in the tank and lots still to learn ahead of the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in July.

His trajectory teases comparisons with his taller and more illustrious precursor – Bolt.

Both were 21 when they clocked blistering then-personal bests in May ahead of a major championship, though Bolt’s breakout 9.72 in New York in 2008 was 0.14 second quicker than Seville’s new PR.

Even with his slender frame, Seville has muscled his way into the island’s top six of all time, behind world record holder Bolt (9.58), Blake (9.69), Asafa Powell (9.72), Nesta Carter (9.78), and Steve Mullings (9.80).

Seville’s 9.86 is the fastest 100m time recorded by a Jamaican since Bolt clocked 9.81 to win gold in the blue riband event at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Mills is impressed with Seville’s work ethic and his will to hone his talent – as did Bolt in his early years of sprint triumphs.

“He has been putting in the work diligently and patiently, and we are hoping that he will continue to develop as the season goes on,” Mills said of Seville.

“He’s just 21, and he has matured more, and I think he will fulfil our expectations because at Racers, he is in the best possible place for sprinting,” he quipped, in a plug for the track club.