Sun | Oct 17, 2021

Driven by disappointments - Bloomfield motivated by 2017 letdown

Published:Wednesday | August 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence/ Gleaner Writer

Crushing disappointment last year has spurred Akeem Bloomfield, the second fastest Jamaican over 400 metres, to a majestic 2018 season.

Speaking to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Bloomfield revealed that he felt like a failure when he missed the 2017 World Championships. The setback has given him a winning attitude.

"All year, I trained alongside my teammate Nathon Allen with the main goal for the year - making the World Championship team", he cited. "However, at the NCAA Championships, just two weeks before the World Championship Trials, I picked up a hamstring injury."

Hampered by the injury in training and at the Jamaican championships, he was eliminated early.

"I was so disappointed in myself, I went home to my mum and cried", he recanted painfully, while describing the experience as the lowest in his career.

Bloomfield has recovered beautifully, taking the national indoor record to 44.86 seconds and at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, running for Auburn University, he clocked 43.94, which is just 0.01 off the Jamaican record held by Rusheen McDonald.

"After a difficult 2017, which ended in disappointment, I took on a different mindset for the 2018 season", the former Kingston College track and field captain revealed. "I put in a lot more background work during the fall; I made sure I completed every workout."

Bloomfield also told the IAAF that he changed his diet, eliminating fast food and maximising hydration.

He also took care to rest more.

"Instead of going to bed after midnight, I made sure I went to bed at 10 p.m. I knew if I wanted to run the kind of times I am capable of, I needed to make some sacrifices", he indicated.


Giant steps


Measured on the clock, the changes made by Bloomfield have been significant. Not only has he advanced in the event, where he still owns the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championship record of 44.93 seconds, but he also made giant steps forward in the 200 metres. The tall Jamaican has clocked 20.00 seconds and 19.81 in the curved sprint. Only four Jamaicans have gone faster in the event.

"In my first 200m race of the season", he related, "I ran a personal best of 20.00 in Luzern, but I sat in the blocks for too long and my coach told me it was possible that I could run 19.90 or 19.80 in London."

Coach Henry Rolle was proven right when Bloomfield clocked the personal best in London.

"Once I build up more experience, I can think of the exciting possibilities that lay ahead of me ... . It is a wonderful position to be in", he concluded.