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Youth legion excites, motivates Gonzales

Published:Wednesday | May 20, 2015 | 4:43 PMLivingston Scott

Jamaica 400 metres star Jermaine Gonzales, who has been sidelined by injury for more than two years, says he is "excited and happy" to see the plethora of talented young quarter-milers who have burst on the scene recently.

The Jamaican event record holder said the emerging stars are motivating him to get back to his best, but he also wants to share his experience because he hopes Jamaica will dominate the event on a world stage again.

"It has been a while since Jamaica produced so many talented 400m runners at such an age. I am excited and happy for them; this is an event we used to dominate and we want to get back to dominating it," Gonzales said.

"I have not retired or considered retiring because I like what is going on. There are a lot of talented youngsters in the event now and they need guidance. So for me it is to give back and at the same time compete with them and encourage them and help make them into better athletes," he said.

"We want to see them push on to recapture the legacy of Herb McKenley and Arthur Wint and people like that, and I have experience and a lot to give back to the younger ones," he added.

Even though Gonzales has been totally impressed by this exciting new legion of quarter-milers, which includes former Calabar stars Javon Francis, current Class Two phenom Christopher Taylor, and Kingston College's Akeem Bloomfield, he insisted that he is still the nation's best and still the man to beat when he is fully fit and competition ready.

"We are Jamaican and we are a proud people and we boast a lot, and I am here to show a lot of them (youngsters) that I am the most experienced one and, so far, I am still the best.

"I am an experienced athlete now, but the talent, the drive and the determination is there and once I am healthy I will always compete against the best and do well," he commented.

"So I am still here, I am not out of the game yet. I have a lot of die-hard fans and they have been waiting a long time and they anxiously await the return of Jermaine Gonzales. But I am taking it slow because of the injuries, as this is something serious and not a 'rush-rush'," he noted.