Dream to reality
National 400m champion Jevaughn Powell living it up
POWELL... It was just about my race and execution, but it’s a great feeling in the end (Photo: Dwayne Richards)

THE University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) student-athlete Jevaughn Powell lived up to expectations at the National Championships recently when he won the men’s 400m title, beating back a number of well-established names in the process.

Powell has been the fastest Jamaican man over the distance this season, with a personal best time of 44.87s on May 27.

To be able to make the grade to represent Jamaica is a dream come true for the 21-year-old former Kingston College athlete.

“I am really excited to be living out my dreams,” he said.

This is where I have seen myself from I was smaller, so I can’t wait to go and compete,” he added in reference to the July 15-24 World Athletics Championships in Oregon.

According to Powell, it was just a matter of following the race plan set out by his coach, Davian Clarke, during the National Championships.

“Coach Clarke told me that it’s either I stay one foot ahead or one foot behind, so I tried to keep it even and I was confident in my speed, my abilities and then I just finished the race strong,” he said.

Jevaughn Powell competes in the 400m event during the National Championships at the National Stadium in June 2022. (Photo: Collin Reid)

“It feels really great to compete against all the big names at the National Championships, however, it was all focus on me because I know I had the qualifying standard, but I don’t get complacent, I still wanted to get the win and not focus on the big names. It was just about my race and execution, but it a great feeling in the end,” he said,

Surprisingly, Powell’s focus at the start of the year, wasn’t the 400m but the half-lap event instead.

“To be honest, I wasn’t focusing on the 400m at the World Championships, I was more drawn to the 200m for the World Championships. That was my goal, and I was working towards it, but it came for the 400m instead of the 200m. But I definitely did imagine myself at the World Championships this year,” he noted.

Though Powell has made the Jamaican team this year, this level of success has come sooner than he imagined.

“Last year I didn’t see myself in this position, but I worked hard and all I had to do was believe in myself and just do the job.”

He hailed the impact that Clarke has had on him both on and off the track at UTEP.

“Coach Clarke is a great person. Outside of track he is the person you could talk to. He is just a real person and I trust him and anything he tells me to do, I know it will work because he is a person that as done this before.

“He has been to the World Championships, the Olympics, he won the Jamaica Trials twice, so anything he says I should do, then that’s the same thing I come out here and execute,and it has been successful all year.”

Powell only needed to run 45.50s to win at the National Championships, but he is eyeing his personal best when he makes his debut at the World Championships.

“Based on Coach Clarke’s programme, over the years, he sets the programme from his athletes to run fast at championships, so it’s up to me to just go out there and get in the finals and get a new PB,” he said.

It will be a busy summer for Powell as he has also been selected for the Commonwealth Games set for July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham.

BY DWAYNE RICHARDS Observer writer

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