André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Riker Hylton created a shock at last year's Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association/Supreme Ventures Limited National Senior Cham-pionships, running a personal best 45.30 seconds to win the 400 metres national title and book a spot on Jamaica's team to the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea.
This time around, the LSU senior walked inside the National Stadium with a bullseye on his back. No one will be taken by surprise this time, but that is not something that he is bothered about.
"I block that out, I don't worry about pressure or put myself under any," said Hylton after clocking 47.44 for second place in his heat on Thursday evening. "I am just staying focused and trying to do better than I did last year and try to make the team, because that would be a big plus for me."
Hylton, who failed to make the finals in Daegu last year, is determined to continue his international development this summer, and he certainly backs himself to make the trip.
"I am a very focused individual and if I go out there and do what I have been doing. I am supposed to be able to pull it off and make this team, and that is the aim," Hylton said.
Hylton, who didn't look too troubled in qualifying to today's 400m semi-finals, is quite happy with what he has done at these trials so far and is looking to build on last year's break-out year and book a spot to the Olympics.
"I just wanted to place, make it back for the next round. I know that I have a lot of work to do so I conditioned myself to pace my race and ensure that I was in the top three. I did that so we'll see what happens from here," Hylton noted.
"The aim was to just progress and stay focused. I didn't really look at any time or anything like that, so I am happy with how that went. I am looking forward to tomorrow," Riley added.
The quarter-miler will certainly have his fair share of tests as he looks to realise his Olympic dream, with the likes of national record holder Jermaine Gonzales and Ricardo Chambers expected to push him all the way.