Fatherhood puts quarter-miler Demish Gaye in new laneWednesday, May 26, 2021
BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
Former National 400m champion Demish Gaye returned to the National Stadium in fine style on Saturday, winning the men's 400m at the JOA/JAAA Olympic Destiny Series 1.
Gaye had not been seen at the stadium since the start of the season and, with only one race previously under his belt, was nevertheless able to come away with the win in 45.84s.
Running out of lane five in section two of two and with a time of 46.06s, set by Rusheen McDonald in section one to beat, Gaye ran a composed backstretch, before going to work at the 200m mark.
Clearly pacing himself off of Jaheel Hyde who was just outside of him in lane six, the 2019 World Championship finalist took the lead in the race after coming off the final turn, with about 70m to go and slowly opened up a gap, to win by five metres in the end.
Akani Slater of GC Foster College was second in 46.15s and third overall, while Hyde, who is a 400m hurdles specialist, was third in a new personal best of 46.23s and fourth place overall.
Gaye was pleased with being able to compete and win on his return to the National Stadium.
“I feel good, I am grateful for the time and I am just glad I finished the race injury-free,” he said.
He was also happy with the improvement in his time, after opening his season a few weeks earlier.
“I feel pretty good. The first race was 47 and then to come here and run 45 today shows great improvement, so I am just thankful,” he said.
When asked about attending the rest of the series, Gaye confirmed that he would be involved in the remaining weeks, as he continues his preparation for the National Championships next month.
“Yes, most definitely. The key is to get in as many races as possible, before the national trials,” Gaye shared.
The Sprintec Track Club athlete, who is conditioned by Maurice Wilson, revealed that his season had been set back by injuries, but that he was committed to working his way back to full fitness.
“Right now, I must say, earlier I had a couple of setbacks, so my coach had to adjust the programme accordingly, but every day I just have to work harder,” he explained.
Gaye, who has grown in stature as an athlete, says that experiences over time have taught him how to cope with injuries and not allow them to be major setbacks on his journey.
“The key thing is when you know the type of athlete that you are, it kind of motivates you when you know what you are capable of,” he noted.
The 28-year-old, who recently became a father, says that being a parent has given him a new outlook on life.
“It has a big influence because, you know, being a father, you want to know your child can see you in the future and you can say, I did this, I did that, so it's a great motivation for me to work hard,” Gaye expressed.
The doting dad was beaming when describing what it felt like being a father for the first time.
“It's a blessing and a joy, most definitely a blessing and a joy,” he said.
Gaye has been a key member of Jamaica's 4x400m quartet in recent years.
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