Athletics

'I feel very happy!

Bloomfield revels in record run for first Diamond League win

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior Staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, July 15, 2018

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Jamaica's rising star Akeem Bloomfield won his first Diamond League race on Friday in a scorching 44.33 seconds and cited the morale-boosting victory as a major stepping stone in his professional career.

Bloomfield, 20, who signed a professional contract with Puma recently, won the 400m at the Rabat Diamond League in Morocco in a meeting record of 44.33, well inside Lashawn Merritt's 2016 record of 44.66.

“I feel very happy that my first race on the Diamond League circuit resulted in a victory. This is a major stepping stone for me on my journey in the professional world of track and field. It is a major confidence booster and now I am just looking forward to my next race,” Bloomfield told the Jamaica Observer.

The tall sprinter, formerly of Kingston College and Auburn University, dominated from start to finish and looked very like a seasoned professional campaigner on the circuit.

With his training partner Nathon Allen withdrawing because of a precaution, as did Babololi Thebe of Botswana, the race was down to six runners. Bloomfield kissed the Puma logo on his vest and proceeded to execute an almost perfect race for victory in his second-fastest time ever.

He went out fast for the first 200m and was upon the shoulder of Matthew Hudson-Smith of Great Britain in lane six and established a five-metre lead on Abdalleleh Haroun of Qatar in lane four before relaxing into the straight, where he turned on the afterburners again.

Haroun was second in 44.69 and Hudson-Smith third with 44.79, just ahead of Luguelin Santos of Dominican Republic in 44.80. The American pair of Paul Dedewo and Michael Cherry were fifth and sixth, respectively, with 44.82 and 45.40.

“I tried to run a very even race and pace myself properly... I just went out there to have some fun and get experience. I am just excited to the level of comfort to which I ran it with,” he explained.

“A major aim of mine is to keep the times in the 44 low range, so 44.33 is acceptable. I am more so happy for the win,” Bloomfield added.

Bloomfield, who has a personal best of 43.94 — the second-fastest time by a Jamaican and is the current indoor record holder with 44.88, has had a long season and won't be running any more 400m for the year.

“I will be running a 200 at the London Diamond League where I will try to correct some of the mistakes I made in my 200 in Luzern,” he pointed out.

Just last week, Bloomfield in his professional debut was second in the 200m in 20.00 seconds in a race in which he was left in the blocks, but he recovered well in what was his first 200m of the year.

“This season has been phenomenal for me... it is my healthiest season ever and the times just keep dropping. It has really showed me what I have the potential to do and it makes me more excited than ever to race. I'm having the time of my life,” said Bloomfield.

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