Hyde on a mission
400m hurdler eyes spot in Olympics finalSunday, August 01, 2021
Tokyo, Japan – Jaheel Hyde wants to make a statement at this his second Olympic Games.
His first appearance at the Rio 2016 Games was just to have fun and enjoy the atmosphere. Now he believes he has grown in his 400m hurdles discipline and wants to compete against the best, and that is in the final.
Well, on Sunday he contests semi-final three inside the Olympic Stadium here in Tokyo, at approximately 7.25 am (Jamaica time). He is ideally drawn in lane four, just rewards for his effort in the first round on Friday.
“This one (Olympics) is more serious, 2016 I was just happy to be at the Olympics, this one I want to be in the final and competing against the best,” he told the media at the end of his first-round race.
He added with a sense of purpose: “This one is not just about competing, I want to be in the final and the race is run for a reason, so I want to get myself in the final and give myself a good shot.”
On Friday Hyde clocked 48.54 seconds to win heat two ahead of American Kenneth Selmon (48.61 seconds), driving to the finish line to ensure victory, and a favorable draw in the semis.
“I always want to win, especially (at) these championships with a lot of top guys, so it's good to set up yourself for semis to get a good lane so that you know you can perform at your utmost best.”
The 24-year-old said he had not competed since the Jamaica National Championship in late June, but his plan going into the race was to advance from the first round and he did just that.
“The plan was to come qualify first and I kind of got the first part nippy and I did that and just be comfortable coming home.”
The execution of the race pleased the former Wolmer's Boys' School standout athlete, though he “felt a bit sleepy before but I kind of got it together and did what I needed to do to qualify”.
He credits “growth, maturity and a good environment to train, good people around, good coach” for his improvement this term.
“Mental fitness level is up there too, know what you need to do to come out on top,” he added.
Hyde was among the last athletes to exit the mixed zone on Friday, a situation forced upon him after suffering a bout of vomiting immediately after leaving the track. “It always happens when I run in a new atmosphere, so I'm not too worried and I'm glad I got it out, that's why I ran that hard in the first part, so it should be good.”
At the time he said his plans were to get sufficient rest between Friday and Sunday, so that he can continue writing his story at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
- Ian Burnett
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