Jaheel Hyde seeks to go higher... and higher

Jaheel Hyde seeks to go higher... and higher


BY SHERDON COWAN Observer staff reporter

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

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HAVING set the tone at every major international youth championship last year, the talented Jaheel Hyde now has his sights on making Jamaica's team to the IAAF World Championship in Beijing, China.

Despite still being in the junior ranks, Hyde has also set himself a long-term goal of achieving a spot on the team to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And if his past success is anything to go by, then these goals may not be out of reach for the multi-talented youngster.

Hyde, who is dubbed 'Superhuman' by his peers, is also known for his prowess on the football field. But the son of former Jamaica standout Lenworth 'Teacher' Hyde has tasted much more success on the track compared to that attained on the football pitch.

In 2013, Hyde declined to join the national Under-17 football squad in order to concentrate on athletics. His choice was later justified when he took home a gold medal in the 110-metre hurdles at the World Youth Championships.

The 17-year-old clocked a blistering time of 13.13 seconds, which was the second fastest ever, just one-hundredth of a second behind the Frenchman Wilhem Belocian, a performance that surprised many, including his coach Chris Harley.

He subsequently used his speed and hurdling dexterity to transition to the 400-metre hurdles that saw him successfully becoming the second junior to break the 50-second barrier in the event.

He produced a smashing performance to clock 49.49 seconds on his debut at the ISSA Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships to lower Omar McLeod's 2013 record of 49.98 seconds.

The impressive World Junior and National Junior record clocking has placed him in contention for the RJR Sport Foundation People's Choice Performance of the Year Award.

Hyde, the Carifta youth gold medallist, told the Jamaica Observer that he is proud of his achievements so far.

"It's a great feeling to be awarded and nominated for multiple awards. This means a lot to me because I like when people honour good work," he said, subsequent to being named the Howard Aris Scholarship recipient.

The Wolmer's boy is up against the performances of Kemar Lawrence (football), Nicholas Walters (boxing), Andre Russell (cricket), Andrew Gutzmore (football) and joint record holder in the 100-metre breaststroke, Alia Atkinson (swimming), who is the only female nominated for the People's Choice Performance of the Year Award.

"These are all great performances and all the other nominees worked hard to win, but only one can win. My chances are equal to all the other performances and I would be very elated if I win, but win or lose, I am happy," he noted.

"My main focus right now is to continue training and working towards the World Championships," he added.

Hyde closed out a remarkable year when he ran a stunner to win the 400-metre hurdles event in a new national junior record time of 49.29 seconds at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon. After this, he posted a world youth best time of 12.96 seconds to win gold in the 110m hurdles at the youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.

After hanging up his spikes, he laced up his boots and played a significant role for Wolmer's Boys during the schoolboy football season, where he scored nine goals, including two hat-tricks.

The confident young athlete attributed his performances to his parents, who he says played a "significant role" in his routine as they are a "motivational push" for him once they are present.

Looking forward to the championships in China, Hyde confirmed that he only intends to contest the 400m hurdles event.

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