Archer quiets critics as he books final spot in 400m hurdlesSunday, August 22, 2021
NAIROBI, Kenya — The captain of Jamaica's team to the World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Kenya, Devontie Archer feels he has answered his critics and is hoping to close his junior career in style.
The Excelsior High School graduate ran a personal best 49.93s seconds in the semi-finals of the men's 400m hurdles yesterday to march into today's final, and is delighted to have been able to accomplish this feat at this stage of the season.
“It's a very overwhelming feeling knowing that we had a long season and we had to peak multiple times for the season. The training has been hard and very difficult. A lot of training sessions couldn't be held because of the [novel coronavirus] pandemic, so it's a very exciting feeling knowing that I could PB [personal best] at this time,” he said.
He is happy to have silenced persons who have doubted his abilities as a hurdler, and declared that breaking through the sub-50 barrier at the World Championships makes it all the more special.
“It makes it a lot more special. I know a lot of people doubted that I could break the 50-second barrier, and I actually did so. I went sub-50, and it's a very good feeling knowing that most persons didn't think I could peak at this time again.”
Archer goes into the final with the second-fastest time behind Berke Akcam of Turkey, who ran a personal best and national record of 49.73s to beat him in the semi-finals. As far as winning a medal today, Archer is taking full responsibility for that to happen.
“My chances are up to me. How I execute my race, that is what is going to determine what I get in the [end].
Archer is of the belief that a medal-winning performance from him could spur on the rest of the team to a medal rush on the last day of the championships.
“Knowing that I am the captain of the national team, I would like to set an example for my teammates to show that if I can do it, you can do it as well.”
Always the life of the party, Archer is leading the fun in Kenya — even in a safe and secure manner.
“I am having an excellent time, even through the pandemic. We learned to keep safe and also have fun in-between,” he stated.
Jamaica will chase a possible eleven additional medals today and Archer will be hoping to personally add to the four already won by Jamaica at these championships.
So far Jamaica has won two gold, one silver and one bronze medal at the World Athletics Under-20 Championships.
— Dwayne Richards