LIKE most Jamaican track and field enthusiasts, Rasheed Broadbell was glued to his television set to watch the Birmingham Diamond League event last weekend — but for him, it was the men’s 110m hurdles race that grabbed him the most.
The event featured the last two Olympic Champions, Omar McLeod from Rio 2016 and Hansle Parchment from Tokyo 2021.
Despite being a challenger to these athletes, Broadbell is still in awe of the two Jamaicans who have stood top of the podium at consecutive Olympic Games while the national anthem of Jamaica reverberated around the two magnificent stadia.
He admitted that it was both a pleasure and an inspiration for him to watch the two men finishing first and second in Birmingham, with Parchment running a world lead 13.09s to win just hours before he himself was set to compete at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series meet at the National Stadium, in Kingston.
“I woke up extremely early to watch and I was inspired and ready to come out here,” he said.
“I look up to the older guys. From I have been young I have been watching the older guys crush it, so I always want to see if I can come and match up to them and do great things like them, so it’s good to see the guys out there,” he continued.
Broadbell won the Men’s 110m hurdles last Saturday in 13.36s but was left disappointed with his execution of the race.
“Unfortunately [I had] some mishaps; it was just one of those days. Hopefully my next race I will be even greater.”
He is unable to judge exactly where he is physically but Broadbell feels as though he is definitely in a good place at the moment.
“I can’t really say [much about] the condition I am in now because every time, I surprise myself. I just have to come out here [and] execute.
“Today [Saturday] wasn’t my best but if it wasn’t my best and I almost ran the same time as last week, which was my first race, it speaks to where I am at,” he reasoned.
The 21-year-old says he was left devastated after suffering an injury that caused him to miss out on a possible spot at the Olympic Games last year.
“Last year was very, very promising. One week before the trials [I got hurt]; anybody would be devastated. This year I am just trying to stay healthy, stay focused and locked in every day.”
The former St Jago High school standout says he has cleaned up his act to prevent a repeat of what happened to him in 2021.
“I started taking the strength programme more seriously and started going to bed early, started eating correctly. I am making the small adjustments, staying focused every day at training, going hard every day,” he said.
The Elite Performance athlete is going through the heavier part of his training at this stage of the season and believes that when the physical demands in his training regime are reduced, even greater things will happen.
“This is the strongest I have felt in a while. I am feeling stronger than last year so when the day comes and it’s time to get to the light phase, it’s going to be crazy,” he assured.
The time between the National Championships, World Championships and Commonwealth Games is very small, but Broadbell believes he will be ready to answer the bell at that time.
“I know my coach will be preparing me and [keeping] me fast right through to the championships, so I think it will be good,” he said.
Broadbell , who switched camps from MVP Track Club to Elite Performance Track Club at the end of last season, is hoping to make his first World Championships team this year.
— Dwayne Richards