|Mathieu runs 10.30 in 100m; will focus on half-lapper at Olympics|
Guardian Sports Editor
Published: May 10, 2012
Michael Mathieu is one of just three Bahamians to qualify at the ‘A’ standard for the athletics portion of the 2012 Olympic Games in two individual events, creating a precarious situation of whether or not he would go after the double at the Olympics.
Well, prior to running in the second leg of the Brazilian Athletics Tour yesterday, he squashed that notion, by stating that he intends to focus solely on the 200 meters (m) at next month’s Scotiabank Olympic Trials, thereby setting himself up to run just that individual event at the Olympics. Although he won’t contest the 400m, Mathieu said he will still be available for the men’s 4x400m relay, which is scheduled to start the day after the men’s 200m final, at the London Olympics. On Sunday, he ran a national record setting time of 20.16 seconds for first place in the 200m at the first leg of the Brazilian Athletics Tour in Belem, and yesterday in Fortaleza, he tied a personal best time of 10.30 seconds for first place in the 100m. Brazilians Bruno Lins Tenorio de Barros and Diego Henrique de Farias Cavalcanti were second and third respectively, in times of 10.31 seconds and 10.42 seconds.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” said Mathieu yesterday. “ I just want to thank God for blessing me with my heart’s desire. My goal was to set the national record (200m) at this meet, based on my training and fitness. Going into the race, I felt that I could do it or at least come close to it, so it’s a great feeling to set my mark for a particular event and reach it.
“Dominic Demeritte was a great sprinter for The Bahamas and I knew the record was going to be hard to obtain, but I had faith in my ability. Last year, my focus was on the 400m, but I managed to run 20.38 early in the year so I decided to focus on the 200m for the World Championships. This year my focus is on the 200m and that’s all I’m focused on,” he added.
Former St. John’s College sprinter Demeritte had the old national record in the 200m, 20.21 seconds, which he ran twice in 2002. On Sunday, Mathieu was able to lower that time in 35 degree weather in Belem, Brazil. He was poised to qualify for last year’s 200m final at the Daegu World Championships but pulled up with a hip flexor injury in the semi-finals. He
finished the year with a season’s best time of 20.38 seconds, and was more than two tenths faster than that time on Sunday.
“Last year, I think I would have done well if I didn’t get injured,” said Mathieu. “This year, I’m prepared to run the 200m and hopefully the 4x400m. The schedule for the 200m and the 4x400m at the Olympics is different than it was for last year’s World Championships, so if I do make the final for the 200, I will still be able to run the 4x400 final, so that shouldn’t be a problem,” he added.
Last year, the heats and semis of the 200m and the final of the 4x400m were held on the same day at the World Championships. This year at the Olympics, the men’s 4x400m heats are scheduled to be held the day after the men’s 200m final. The final of the men’s 4x400m is scheduled to be held the day after the heats.
As for the Scotiabank Olympic Trials, they are set for June 22-23 at the new Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium, and the athletics portion of this summer’s Olympics are set to run from Friday, August 3 to Sunday, August 12, in London, England.