|Great series of runs for Mathieu|
Guardian Sports Editor
Published: May 16, 2012
Bahamian Michael Mathieu is running as fast as he has ever ran in his life. He is one of only four Bahamians to run Olympic ‘A’ qualifying times in two individual events, and has seen time on both relays. He has been quite prominent in all three sprints, setting a national record in the half lapper on Sunday, May 6.
It’s the 400m where he got his start though. On Sunday past, he came within an eyelash of becoming the ninth Bahamian to run under 45 seconds in the one lapper. Mathieu said that he was very pleased with his race as he picked up his third consecutive victory on the Brazilian Athletics Tour, and is certainly looking forward to continuing his progression as the Olympics rapidly approaches. He ran a national record time of 20.16 seconds in the 200 meters (m) on Sunday, tied a personal best time of 10.30 seconds in the 100m last Wednesday, and ran a personal best time of 45.06 seconds in the 400m on Sunday. That stunning time was a new track record at the Stadium of Sesi-Gravatás, in Uberlândia, Brazil.
Concerning that race, Mathieu said that his intention was to come out with the win, but even he wasn’t expecting it to be that fast.
“I felt pretty good about the race, but that track isn't known for being fast, so I wasn't really looking to run anything fast. I was just focused on coming out with the win,” he said. “I ended up with a personal best so I'm very thankful for that. The personal best and meet record came as a surprise to me, but I’ll take it. I know I'm capable of going a little faster now.”
Mathieu said that his focus for the Olympics is still the 200m. He is very likely among the four fastest Bahamians in both the 100m and 400m, but will most likely only be utilized for the 4x400m if both teams run at the Olympics.
“The Olympics only come around once every four years so that won't be a time to experiment,” said Mathieu yesterday. “I'll definitely be focused on just one event there, and of course the relay. I think, with the relay, our chances are always good. It’s just going to come down to health, how we set up the team, and execution. If we get those three things right then I think we will do extremely well.”
Mathieu plans to run at the 51st Ostrava Golden Spike Meet in the Czech Republic next week Friday, and quite possibly the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League Meet in Eugene, Oregon, on June 2.
He wasn’t the only Bahamian competing this past weekend though. Rising star Antonique Strachan was a double winner at the Georgia Tech Invitational in Atlanta, Georgia, as she clocked 11.35 seconds in the 100m and 22.75 in the 200m. In the heats of the 100m, Tia Rolle, representing Alabama State, ran a time of 11.98 seconds and failed to advance to the final, and Gregria Higgs, from Florida Memorial, ran 12.56 seconds, also failing to make the final. Rolle and her teammates, Jasmine Pope, Asha Tavernier and Latrice Lee, won the 4x100m relay in 45.59 seconds, and Higgs and her teammates, Krysten Black, Anika Jno Baptiste and Javonya Wilson, finished 11th overall in the relay, in 47.05 seconds. In the men’s 100m, Shawn Lockhart ran 10.79 seconds and failed to make the final. He ran 21.77 seconds in the 200m, and failed to make the final of that event as well.
Also at that same meet, in the men’s triple jump, J'Vente Deveaux had a best leap of 15.65m (51’ 4-1/4”) for fourth place. Avard Moncur was ninth overall in the 400m, in 46.79 seconds, and Stephen Newbold was ninth overall in the 200m, in 21.13 seconds. The Savannah State women’s 4x400m relay team, featuring Bahamian Amara Jones, finished second overall, in 3:37.82.
Over at the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championships in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Arkansas sophomore Raymond Higgs won the men’s long jump with a monster leap of 8.36m (27’ 5-1/4”) but it was wind aided, and Auburn sophomore V'Alonee Robinson was seventh with a best jump of 6.23m (20’ 5-1/4”) in the women’s long jump. In the women’s 100m hurdles, Ivanique Kemp ran a time of 13.25 seconds to finish second overall, and Auburn senior Krystal Bodie was sixth in that same race, in 13.54 seconds. Nivea Smith finished eighth in the women’s 100m, in 11.51 seconds.