Two weeks ago when sprinter Oblique Seville said he would soon join the Jamaican sub-10 seconds fraternity in the 100m, not many were expecting him to get there so soon, or for him to run as fast as he did on Saturday evening at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA)/Sports Development Foundation Jubilee meet at the National Stadium.
A fortnight after he flirted with the sub-10 threshold with a 10.00 seconds in the 100m, the 21-year-old not only joined the club on Saturday, but he jumped all the way to the sixth best Jamaican ever with a sensational 9.86 seconds (0.2m/s), the second best in the world so far this season behind Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala’s 9.85 seconds.
Seville, coached by the revered Glen Mills, who conditioned retired sprint legend Usain Bolt, became the second Jamaican man this season to go under 10 seconds after University of Southern California senior Davonte Burnett, who ran 9.99 seconds on April 13, and is the 20th man on that exclusive list.
Norman Peart, Seville’s agent, who is no stranger to having a front row seat to watching sprint prodigies, said while they knew he would run fast, they were not expecting him to run that fast.
“I knew he was on the verge of breaking 10 seconds,” Peart, who helped to guide double world record holder Usain Bolt, told the Jamaica Observer on Sunday.
“But I was pleasantly surprised he went sub 9.90 instead.”
Only six other Jamaican men have run as fast. He trails only world record holder Bolt (9.58), Yohan Blake (9.69), Asafa Powell (9.72), Nesta Carter (9.78), and Steve Mullings (9.80).
Michael Frater’s 9.88 seconds is just behind Seville.
He started his junior career at Holmwood Technical before competing for Calabar High in the 2019 season when he won won the Class One 100m gold medal at the Boys’ and Girls’ Championships and took second in the Pan Am Juniors at Costa Rica.
Though it would appear to some that Seville has the world at his feet, Peart is urging caution.
“We are taking it step by step for him to have a full career and take the best opportunities as they come. So, we prepare him to perform at his best.”
Peart said the perfectionist that Seville is, he was more “focusing on execution and not the time”.
The agent added: “[At the] end of [the] race he was happy with the time.”
Running so fast so soon in the season might force changes to plans, but Peart said there is no intention to have Seville run overseas before the JAAA National Championships in late June.
“I am certain he won’t be travelling for competition before the national champs. As to whether he will compete at the final jubilee meeting, that’s entirely up to coach Glen Mills as he fine tunes him for the trials.”
Peart, who is now the finance and investment manager for Bolt, said it was too early to start setting long-term targets. “I am not one to set times but in terms of performance I am hoping he can get a medal at the ‘World Champs’ in Oregon,” Peart told the Observer.