Saturday, 22 August 2015

GOOD SPORTS: The latest updates on sprinting sensations Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Jaheel Hyde

AYE, AYE CAPTAIN: Leading Team Jamaica’s gold-hunting squad at this month’s IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing is a huge responsibility. Naturally, Asafa Powell has opted for the team-work approach. “My aim, with or without the captaincy, is to lead by example, showing them that what it takes can speak louder than any words you can say,” the 100M contender noted in a recent interview. “But I have always been there if they need to talk or if they need advice. And I will continue to be there long after [this championship].” Powell, who is co-captaining with fellow sprinting veteran Veronica Campbell-Brown, says positive vibes and high spirits in the team camp will play keys roles in their quest to bring home the medals. “The team is not necessarily the strongest we have had, but it’s pretty strong all around. And not only for sprinting but also in the field events and in the middle-distance events. Everyone’s attitude is great and that makes a huge difference in performance as well.” Celebrating his 12th year as a senior athlete for Team Jamaica, Powell will grace the track in the 100M and the sprint relay at the Aug. 22-30 champs inside the Bird’s Nest Stadium, Beijing, China. 
SAFE BET: Sprint hurdler Jaheel Hyde’s transition from schoolboy phenom to the major leagues got a solid boost this week when show-and-apparel giants PUMA inked a deal with his management team. Such a collaboration, his management feels, will greatly benefit Hyde’s pursuits as he balances sports with academics. “[He] will be pursuing tertiary studies at the University of the West Indies and will continue training under the watchful eyes of his coaches who have led him to three global titles, as he aims at Rio 2016,” a statement from the Garfield Coke Management Company informs. “He is looking forward to the continued support of all his sponsors, management team and fans, as he commits to excellence on and off the track as a pro athlete.” 

STAYING THE COURSE: Like so many other professional pairings in sports, the coach-athlete relationship between Glen Mills and Usain Bolt has had to navigate its share of peaks and valleys, especially over the course of the past few years. But, as Mills tells it, it comes with the territory and they’ve been taking it all in stride. “The last two years have been challenging for both Usain and myself. Unfortunately, he has had a number of different injuries to overcome, which have affected his training and the number of competitions he has been able to compete in,” the well-decorated coach recently told journalists while preparing for this month’s IAAF Champs in Beijing. “But Bolt is a champion who knows nothing but excellence when performing on the world stage. We have been making a number of changes on the way he trains and have been getting results.”

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