Devontie Archer wants to have fun at the World Athletics U-20 ChampionshipsTuesday, August 17, 2021
By Dwayne Richards
While admitting that this season has been like no other, Devontie Archer is committed to giving it his best shot when he represents Jamaica at the World Athletics Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, this week.
The 400m hurdler is grateful for all the people who have been instrumental in keeping the sport of track and field going in Jamaica, despite the fallout from the pandemic, and says that their efforts have been a motivation for him.
“The season has been different. Because of the pandemic it has been different in many ways, but I can see people fighting for the sport to continue and that just motivates me even more to train even harder and to go and represent my country to the best of my ability,” he proclaimed.
None of the three men who represented Jamaica in the 400m hurdles at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympic Games made it to the final, but for Archer, just becoming an Olympian is a huge deal in itself.
“I think most of the athletes, even if they didn't get a medal or make it to the finals, they went to the Olympics to participate for their country, and I think that's a very great achievement.”
The Excelsior High School 2021 graduate believes that becoming a Jamaican Olympian is a part of his destiny also.
“I would love to go to the Olympics myself. In due time, I will work as hard as possible and I will definitely get there.”
Archer is not putting pressure on himself to medal, instead his aim is to do as best as he can and let the chips fall where they may.
“I am looking forward to doing my best. That's the most important thing; to go out there and do my best, finish injury-free, and have fun in the process,” he said.
A quite bubbly character, Archer believes that being upbeat adds to his ability to compete.
“I am a very energetic young man…but I think despite whether you are happy or sad the results will remain the same. But I keep myself highly motivated because I think I perform better when I am…more excited. I think that gives me the drive, so I love it.”
Archer is fortunate to have his high school coach at the championship, as David Riley, who conditions him at Excelsior, is also the technical leader for the Jamaican team in Nairobi.
“The partnership between the coach and the student athlete is very, very important for success, so I am very happy, excited that my coach will be there with me, guiding me, and I know that I will do my best.”
While Archer has not set winning a medal as a target at the games, his fifth-place ranking certainly makes him one of the favourites for a medal at the Games since the top-ranked Sean Burrell of the USA and fourth-ranked Haruki Omura of Japan will miss the event as their countries will not be participating.