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Skeen: I am ready

Published:Saturday | June 11, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Odean Skeen

Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

Young sprinting star Odean Skeen cannot wait to get on the track at today's Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA)/Supreme Ventures National Junior Championships inside the National Stadium.

The championships will act as a trial to select teams to next month's IAAF World Youth Championships in Lille, France for 16- and 17-year-olds as well as the Junior Pan American Championships for 18 and 19-year-olds in Florida.

Skeen, eager to make up for a season that has been dogged by injuries, is desperate to continue his resurgence and better the 10.41 seconds personal best that he posted at a JAAA All-Comers meet in Spanish Town at the end of May.

The Wolmerian made it clear that he will be looking to go fast today, really fast, and he is targeting 10.30.

"I am looking to run at least 10.3 at the trials, I am definitely looking to get that personal best tomorrow," Skeen said yesterday.

"I am well prepared mentally; physically I am still not at my best, but I am looking forward to going out there to do my best," he added. "As long as I put my mind to it, I know that I can make that team, so no doubt I will be on that side no matter what.

persistent injuries

Skeen, who in 2010 copped sprint doubles at Boys' Champs, CARIFTA Games, and Central American and Caribbean Junior Champs as well as 100m gold at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, was a shadow of himself earlier on this year due to persistent groin and back injuries.

However, the 17-year-old, who is at this point the second fastest youth athlete in the world behind compatriot Jazeel Murphy (10.27) is nearing his best and reported that despite being some way off his best physical condition, he is confident that he is in a good enough shape to achieve his objectives.

"I don't think I have done a lot of races but that will not bother me at all. It's (injury) coming on and getting much better, it's not really bothering me at the moment so God's willing, I will be able to come out with a very good performance and without any injuries," said Skeen.

One disappointment for track and field fans is the expected absence of Carifta champion Murphy, who is himself nursing a quadriceps strain to his right leg. Skeen was certainly looking forward to the opportunity to face the Bridgeport High school man, he, however, understands that the bigger picture must be taken into account.

"Well I was really looking forward to the clash but I understand the situation so I'm not all that disappointed because if you have an injury you should do your best to treat it to ensure that you can come back in the best condition. So he (Murphy) is doing the right thing," Skeen said.