#WorldChamps2023: Rohan Watson eager to take on 100m quest in Budapest
One of the most highly anticipated events at any track and field championships is the 100m, particularly the men’s equivalent of the event. It is commonly referred to as ‘the blue ribbon event’ of athletics.
So, it was with great anticipation and excitement that I somehow found myself at trackside for the 100m of the Jamaican Senior and Junior Championships at the National Stadium, and having watched Shericka Jackson blow away the field in 10.65 seconds in her 100m final. Even then, I was prepared for what was to come in the men’s race, although many had no idea what they were about to witness.
It was Rohan Watson, the little dynamo, who attended York Castle in St Ann, who had done it – clocking 9.91 to win.
It was then that I heard it, the whispers seemingly inaudible at first but then rising to a deafening crescendo, a quizzical harmony ringing around the national stadium, ” a who him”?
Yes, he was never an ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships (Champs) star, and no he was not one of the favourites coming into the finals. But surely, the Jamaican track and field fans would have seen him run 10.12 a few weeks earlier, or if not, they would have seen his first-ever sub-10 clocking in the heats of 9.98.
With the shock of that race now firmly behind them and with Watson having what many deemed an average European outing after winning only one of his three races after the national championships, while failing to go sub-10, it is a possibility that Jamaicans would have forgotten his capabilities.
It was with this in mind that I caught up with the youngster just to get some insight into what life has been like since he burst on the scene with his storybook victory.
DN: How has winning the men’s 100m title at the Jamaican trials affected your life?
RW: “Well, winning the trials has not really affected my life too much as yet. I try not to think too much about or too deep into that day and try to keep my mind focused on the next task as such life-changing performances can be distracting. I do have some very good people around me who are constantly making sure that I am ok and focused, from my family to my old coach and the people at MVP, so I am grateful to them for that”.
DN: You have made your first national team, what has the experience been like for you so far?
RW The energy here at Budapest is excellent, it has a nice calm vibe to it and I can say so far, so good.
DN: You never made an ISSA ‘Champs’ finals after several tries, was there a point where you felt like giving up?
RW: Giving up has never crossed my mind. Veron Peterkin, my coach at the time, would always remind me that we are not training to be high school championships but to be world champions and it would give me comfort in those times of defeat but we always looked ahead to when our time will come”.
DN: What made you decide to train with the MVP group?
RW: MVP approached me at a track meet that was held at Jamaica College in 2022 and it was a joy for me, my family and my coach because that was in the time of COVID and things were not as smooth as pre-COVID with getting to training, gym and other stuff so when they approached me I was eager to join”.
DN: What has it been like training with the MVP group?
RW: Training at MVP has been wonderful. The experience here has been nothing but good. The training is hard but there is always someone there motivating you and that is something good.
DN: What can we look forward to from Rohan Watson at the world championships?
RW: Great things can be expected from Rohan Watson. I am feeling good and eager for the championship to start. I am trying not to pressure myself though; I have achieved more than anyone has expected for this year, even myself, so I am just going out into the championships to execute a proper race and to have fun.