Sport

Sprinter Andre Ewers comes of age

Opts out of National Champs to set sights on next year's World Champs

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

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FOLLOWING his breakout year, in which he became Jamaica's fastest man, Andre Ewers will skip the JAAA National Senior Championships this week with the view of exploding on the local scene next year in time for the World Championships in Qatar.

Ewers, who turned 23 on June 7, sped to 9.98 (1.9 mps) seconds in the 100m preliminaries of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Championships on May 25.

He also ran a wind-aided 19.98 (2.3 mps) seconds earlier on May 12 over 200m.

Ewers, who represented Florida State University (FSU), finished third in the NCCA 100m final in 10.19 behind the University of Houston's Cameron Burrell — the son of former 100m world record holder Leroy Burrell — who won in 10.13. His teammate Elijah Hall was second in 10.17 seconds.

Just under an hour later, Ewers just missed the gold in the 200m, clocking 20.29 seconds for second behind University of Texas's Divine Oduduru, who took the gold in 20.28secs.

Ewers, who attended Shiloah Primary School in St Elizabeth before he migrated in 2007 as a 12-year-old, told the Jamaica Observer he will be by-passing this year's Jamaican National Championships with his eyes firmly set on making Jamaica's team for the 2019 World Championships.

“I am going to shut my season down and get ready for next year, big year,” said Ewers.

“I plan to compete for a spot on the Jamaica team. I will be representing my country,” he added confidently.

It has been a remarkable season for Ewers starting in January when he clocked 6.52 seconds for 60m, which was the then world leading time.

Ewers' 9.98 makes him the fastest Jamaican this year with the 11th best mark in the world.

“Andre Ewers is a man of God and father who wants to inspire other people with his testimony throughout his journey,” he told the Observer.

“I started track and field when I was in the ninth grade running 11.77 in the 100m and 57 seconds in the 400m. My first year in track people laugh at me and told me to give up. But I kept going because I see the vision of me doing great things,” he pointed out.

“I did two years in junior college, where I became the 2017 100m NJCAA National champion,” he added. Ewers, who can be deemed as late bloomer, said he played soccer and occasionally participated at sports days before taking the sport seriously.

The stocky Ewers has become a household name in the USA, and now just on the lips of the more knowledgeable athletics fans in Jamaica.

“My season was amazing. I'm still learning. My coach is teaching me how to run and all those good stuff. I came in the season with 10.13 and 20.6 PR, but I kept my faith in God and trust my training and my coach,” he noted.

“I accomplished more than I set, and I'm thankful because I made the sacrifices and put in the work. I got about 70 per cent base and strength of a 400 runner, so that helped with my top-end speed,” said Ewers, who switched from studying sports management to social science.

“I don't really have an idol that I look up to, but I do get inspired by other's accomplishment. For example, for the longest I wanted to be a part of the sub-10 club to inspire others that were once in my position when I was running slowly. If I can do it, you can do it,” said Ewers.

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