Veteran Nesta Carter welcomes track and field's return
Sprinter says Tokyo 2020 will be 'my final one'Wednesday, March 03, 2021
After a full year without international competition and six months without any form of competition at all, Nesta Carter was happy to be back doing what he loves, when he ran at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Qualification Trials at National Stadium on Saturday.
Carter gave credit to the authorities for allowing the event to take place after so many delays to the restart of the season, thereby giving the ring-rust athletes an opportunity to return to action.
“I give the credit to the Ministry of Health for giving the go ahead for this meet to go on. We have to jut observe the protocols and just abide by them,” he said.
Carter upstaged the more experienced Yohan Blake over 200m in one of the most exciting races of the day and said he was “feeling good” as he began preparation for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, this summer.
Running into a very strong headwind of -3.65m/s, Carter, the 100m specialists, who represents MVP Track Club was first in 21.42s, way ahead of his Jamaican relay partner Blake, who finished third in the heat in 21.72s and fourth overall.
“Coming out here after almost a year of not competing, it feels really good. I'm not a big fan of the 200m, but we have to get these runs in so we can prepare for the Olympics later on this year.”
Even though things got off to a late start for the local-based athletes, Carter is confident that they will be ready when the time comes, as he expressed confidence in his coach adjusting the programme to be ready for Tokyo.
“Things are going very good. I train with Mr [Stephen] Francis, you know he is a master of what he does and he will make the necessary adjustments to have us performing at our optimum.
“We don't feel left out, everybody programme is different. “Frano” will be doing the necessary adjustments, he's been doing it for quite some time, we just have to leave it up to him.”
Carter, who has won multiple gold medals as part of Jamaica's 4x100m relay teams, admitted that it took some time to adjust to the new protocols.
“It's over a year, so we are adjusting quite fine. It wasn't easy at first, but we have to do it to prevent the spread, things have been shaping up pretty good.”
The 35-year-old has been a fixture on Jamaica's team to major championships for over a decade, but insisted that this would be his last hoorah at the Olympics, while expressing uncertainty about whether he thinks it will actually take place.
“It's definitely my final one. At the moment we are not sure, so we will see how things shape out.”
Despite Carter's apprehensions, however, hosts Japan have given assurances that the Games will be held this summer, starting in late July.
— Dwayne Richards
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