Sun | Aug 14, 2022

Coaches disappointed in strength of 400 men

Published:Sunday | July 3, 2022 | 12:15 AMRobert Bailey - Gleaner Writer

JAMAICAN COACHES Bertland Cameron and Davian Clarke said they are hugely disappointed with the poor performances of the country’s male quarter-milers this season. The Jamaican quarter-milers have been very poor this season, with only freshly minted...

JAMAICAN COACHES Bertland Cameron and Davian Clarke said they are hugely disappointed with the poor performances of the country’s male quarter-milers this season.

The Jamaican quarter-milers have been very poor this season, with only freshly minted national champion Jevaughn Powell, the only man to have broken 45 seconds this season.

The 21-year-old Powell, who is coached by two-time Olympic 400m finalist Clarke at the University of Texas, El Paso, has a season’s and personal best of 44.87 seconds.

However, at the recent JAAA’s National Junior and Senior Championships, Powell won the 400m title in a pedestrian 45.50.

In fact, of the Jamaican quarter-milers, only Powell and Christopher Taylor, who ran a personal best time of 44.79 in August last year, have met the World Championships qualifying time of 44.90.

Cameron, a World 400-metre champion in 1983, said the Jamaican quarter-milers are not concentrating on their technique, saying their race executions were very poor, accounting for poor seasons.

“Our quarter-milers need a lot more guts,” said Cameron.

“You can see that they are very talented but they need to work on their strengths as they keep on focusing on just speed, speed,” he said.

“Sometimes they believe that they are just sprinters and that’s their mindset and that is where they are going wrong,” Cameron said.

RUN WITH TACTIC

The veteran coach, who is the head coach of Cameron Blazers Track Club, pointed out that our quarter-milers needed to pay a lot more attention on how they prepare themselves for the 400m. “I think that when they come to realise that the 400m means that you have learned to run with tactic and when you learn to run with tactic after a while that will programme in your mind and you will realise that they will go further and further and faster,” Cameron said.

“All these coaches now are taking the quarter-milers and they are putting them like sprinters and so when it comes for them to run 400m they are afraid,” he said.

Clarke said that the country’s 400m runners should find themselves the best quarter-miler out there who can assist them to become world-beaters.

“We should have more sub-45 seconds this season, but we have to make sure that we seek out the right persons to guide them,” said Clarke.

“Like Michael Johnson’s coach was one of the great 400m coaches and all the good quarter-milers gravitated towards him,” he said.

“It is the same thing now, our Jamaican 400m people need to make sure that they find a good quality 400m coach who can guide them to help them to succeed and move forward,” Clarke said.

The 46-year-old, who won the national 400m title in 1996, added that the country has a lot of talented quarter-milers and therefore once they are being properly trained there could be a lot more of them running sub-45 second in the next couple of years.

“I think we are close but we just need a little bit of fine-tuning before we start seeing a big crop of people start running 44 lows and possible 43s in the next five years,” Clarke stated.

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com