Rookie hurdler looking towards Carifta Gold for Jamaica

By Dwayne Richards
Observer writer

Saturday, April 20, 2019

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If you ask most track and field experts they will tell you that learning to navigate the 400m hurdles is one of the hardest things to do in the sport.

The pacing, the stride patterns, the switching of the lead leg and all the other variables that must be considered, just to be able to complete a race makes it hard to do.

Then there is trying to actually beat seven other competitors in a race. Plain and simple the 400m hurdles is a difficult event.

If you ask 400m hurdler Jayden Brown, he will tell you the same thing. He began training for the discipline only last December and were it not for his coach, one probably would not have gotten to know his name, not in this event anyway.

He disclosed that it was his coach who made him stick with the event when he just began training for it.

“When I started in December I really didn't like it, but thank God for coach Eddie (Rhansome Edwards), he was there to motivate me and just to make sure that I continue training.”

The Class Two athlete quickly adapated to the rigours of the one-lap obstacle race and has had nothing short of a remarkable season up to now.

Winning race after race at the various development meets, Brown's first real test came at the Corporate Area Development Meet which formed part of the Digicel Grand Prix Series and won gold there.

He then went on to win again at the Digicel Grand Prix Finals, which set him up as the clear favourite going into the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships.

Showing true grit and determination he was able to deliver the gold medal and nine crucial points for his school Kingston College as they romped to victory at Champs.

Brown has continued to show his prowess in the event, winning again at the Carifta Trails, to earn a spot on the national team to the Carifta Games in Cayman, which begins today.

He still has not gotten used to winning as was evident in his response to finishing first at the trials.

“It feels great knowing that this is my first year doing the 400m hurdles and I picked it up, I grasped it and knowing that I just came first is the best feeling.”

He was clearly beaming with pride at his qualification to represent the country at the Games.

“It's amazing knowing that I have been selected to run for Jamaica, I really hope I can do my best and do well for my country.”

When quizzed as to what his main goal is at his first Carifta Games, his response was clear and precise.

“I am looking to do everything I always do at every track meet: come first and bring home the gold medal.”

Brown also revealed that his desire for national representation this year does not stop at the Carifta Games.

“I want to try out for Under-18 which is Pan Am and NACAC coming July,” he said.

With the season that he has had so far, it is difficult to see him not checking all the other boxes through to the summer.

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