Bloomfield couldn't resist the lure of Puma

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior Staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, June 25, 2018

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Having announced himself to the world following his magnificent 43.94 seconds clocking, Jamaica's Akeem Bloomfield said he could not resist the lure of Puma as several contractual offers came in quick succession from a number of sportswear companies.

Bloomfield, in an exclusive interview with the Jamaica Observer last Saturday, announced his decision to become a professional athlete.

“I feel pretty excited for this opportunity to work with Puma. Puma basically is the backbone of Jamaica's track and field, and I am just really excited to be working with them.

“I hope we develop a long-standing relationship,” said Bloomfield.

“I had a lot of offers from other sports gear companies. But I think Puma is the best decision for me. They gave me a pretty good deal and working with them is in my best interest,” he pointed out.

“I really love Puma products. I really love Puma shoes. It's what I feel most comfortable in and makes me run my fastest. I really like the look of Puma gear and that's what really made me decide on them. Plus they have been working with Jamaica's athletes forever; they are like a family,” Bloomfield added.

The former Kingston College and Auburn University star had a magnificent season in which he broke the Jamaica national 400m Indoor record with 44.86 seconds and was just a whisker away from the national outdoor record of 43.93 seconds, clocking 43.94 seconds while finishing second at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships on June 8.

“I was thinking of becoming a professional athlete with Puma before the times were even dropping like that. But this season, I have had a very successful season and, you know, with the times I have run both indoor and outdoor, that's what really pushed me to become a professional athlete; and the NCAA championship kind of sealed the deal for me in making a decision,” he explained.

Bloomfield, who will turn 21 on November 10, just saw his National Junior Record for the 400m of 44.93 seconds, set at the Boys' Athletics Championships in 2015, lowered by Christopher Taylor to 44.88 seconds.

The 6ft 5-inch sprinter has drawn comparison with the legendary Arthur Wint because of his long legs, but his story is similar to that of another legend, Usain Bolt, in some ways.

In 2008 Bolt was working on his speed for the 200m and tested himself over 100m and ran 9.72 seconds in his third 100m event in New York, and the rest is history. Bloomfield, who ran 100m and 200m, was working on his stamina and in his first 400m race he clocked an amazing 45.41 seconds, now he is down to 43.94.

Bloomfield has forfeited his athletics scholarship at Auburn University, but he will be finishing his education elsewhere.

“I will be continuing my education. I haven't decided yet where I will be settling at a school to complete my computer science degree. I finished half of my degree, so I have two more years left,” said Bloomfield, who left KC with 10 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate subjects.

“It's really lucrative. I will be able to fund my school and be comfortable,” said Bloomfield of his contract.

The promising sprinter, who can run anywhere between 100m and 400m, said he will definitely be leaving Auburn and has nothing but high praises for the institution.

“Auburn helped me a whole lot as I was getting injured a lot. This is the longest I have ever gone in a season without getting injured,” Bloomfield revealed.

“They were excellent with injury prevention and injury management. The coaching was superb by Coach Ralph Spry. I think he is the one that has really elevated me to this level. He believed in me and told me I would run certain times and I didn't believe it. But he kept working with me and had patience.

“I had a good relationship with the trainers and staff, so they were instrumental to my development and I wouldn't be where I am without Auburn,” ended Bloomfield.

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