CATHERINE HALL, St James — Today's start of the 200 metres can't come early enough for Rohan Walker after a long lay-off from competitive track and field.
The Jamaica College (JC) sprinter was not entered for the recent ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys Champs due to his low grades and had to watch as his school won their first Mortimer Geddes Trophy in 21 years.
But all that is now behind the youngster they call 'Sharkhead' as he says his focus is representing his country at the Lime CARIFTA Games at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.
"I'm running for my country now," he told the Sunday Observer after a 90-minute practice session at the venue on Friday.
"There is no bigger honour than to run for your country and this is my 'Champs', so I just have to go out there and do my best," he said, adding that he will "make the effort and make everybody, my school and my country proud".
Walker said he used the time between the CARIFTA Trials to get rested up and work out on his own and now he is "ready to perform, well rested and eager to go."
While he said he was disappointed to have missed 'Champs', the Windward Road area resident sounded a lot more mature than his 16 years, saying, "Things happen for a reason to make you realise what you need to do".
He said the lessons he has learned was to pay attention in class and apply himself so he can be eligible for 'Champs' next year.
Walker, who will be running the 200 and both relays, told the Sunday Observer he was happy for JC's 'Champs' victory and wanted to be part of the winning team.