FOLLOWING his massive personal best time at the World Under-20 Championships last month, sprinter Bouwahjgie Nkrumie has set his sights on becoming the first Jamaican junior to run a sub-10 time in the 100-metre event.
Nkrumie, 18, clocked 10.02 seconds to set the new national junior record and claim the silver medal at the Under-20 Championships held in Cali, Colombia, in August. The gold medal was won by Botswana's Letsile Tebogo in a championships record of 9.91.
Motivated by his performance, Nkrumie told the Jamaica Observer he will be a lot more focused and determined next season.
"The goal is to be the first schoolboy in Jamaica to run a sub-10 but — at the same time — I don't want to feel pressured, because that is something that I am fearful of," said Nkrumie.
"Training wise [last season] I had not done many things that normal athletes are required to do because I did less core and abdominal work. But for the upcoming season I have more things to improve on and, once I do these things, then I think the sub-10 is very possible," he said.
The Kingston College (KC) athlete, who holds nine Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate subjects, pointed out that he is also planning on changing his diet in order to have a healthier and fitter lifestyle.
Nkrumie has made rapid improvements over the last three seasons in the 100m event. In 2020 he ran a personal best time of 10.57 before lowering the mark in 2021 to 10.47. Then came the outstanding 10.02 clocking in 2022.
He said one of his ambitions next year is to secure a spot on Jamaica's senior team to the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, from August 19-27.
"I am planning to drink a lot more water next season and my nutrition level has to increase, and so definitely everything has to be on point for me," he said.
"My goal is definitely to make the World Champs team," he said. "But obviously I am going to be at Champs (Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls Athletics' Championships)," Nkrumie said.
"This is going to be a life-changing season for me and so this season is one that I will take very personally — and I am going to stay away from all the negative stuff and just stay focused on myself," he said.
"It [silver medal win in Cali] has given me a lot of confidence because it is the biggest junior meet in the world, and to get second place and to be in the fastest 100 metres race ever as a junior is humbling for me," Nkrumie said.
Nkrumie, who was a fourth-place finisher in the Class One boys' 100m final at the Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships, will be aiming to help KC to retain the boys' title next season.