Kennedy – Not looking back at Cali calamity
The low point in Jamaica’s 16-medal triumph at last year’s World Athletics Under 20 Championships came at 5:50 p.m. in Cali, Colombia on August 4. After racing to the fastest time in the semifinals, Carifta champion Delano Kennedy moved before the...
The low point in Jamaica’s 16-medal triumph at last year’s World Athletics Under 20 Championships came at 5:50 p.m. in Cali, Colombia on August 4. After racing to the fastest time in the semifinals, Carifta champion Delano Kennedy moved before the starter’s pistol was fired and was ejected from the final.
His coach said Kennedy recovered quickly from the disappointment. Speaking last Saturday Edwin Allen High School’s boys’ coach Leon Powell remarked, “He’s a strong fellow. I would say he has recovered from there (Colombia) because after that event, we spoke on the phone and he was like, ‘coach, that’s gone’. I said yes, that’s gone. You have the 4x400m to focus on. Just go out there and deliver what you can deliver.”
Kennedy delivered a 45.1 second leg to help Jamaica to second place.
“So I’m not worried about him being concerned about the past. We always look ahead and not back,” Powell added about the 18-year-old John’s Hall native whose semifinal personal best of 45.49 seconds would have won the silver medal.
Asked on January 7 at the Jamaica College development meet about his objectives for the new year, Kennedy quietly replied, “Well, my plan is to run a personal best in my event, and I’ll be okay.”
That came after he had opened his season in the Class One 800m with a time of two minutes 01.49 seconds. Regarding Kennedy’s preparations for this season, Powell detailed, “he’s on schedule basically in terms of what we hope to achieve at the end of the season and the 800m was somewhat his decision. He wanted to challenge the 800m again, just to see where he’s at, but I do know where he’s at, but he wanted to see for himself.”
Kennedy, the 2021 NACAC Under 18 victor, is ready for 2023.
“Coming off last year, he’s a lot more confident and he believes that he can go a lot faster,” the coach emphasised.
Kennedy concurred. “Training is going good. I feel much better than last year,” he agreed.
Chasing personal bests in sprint friendly climes like Cali can be difficult, but, with last year’s top three, Greg Prince, Deandre Watkin and Shemar Palmer, all gone, Kennedy is the early season favourite for the Boys’ Athletics Championships Class One 400m title. A defence of his Carifta title and a medal run at the Pan-American Under 20 Championships in August might be on his agenda too.
Asked whether Kennedy might become the second 400m runner to break 45 seconds at Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships, Powell was cautious, but did not rule it out.
“At Champs? Ahh, now it’s January. I can’t really say about that now, but on what we want to do and what he wants, it’s very much possible,” the coach said.
Representing Kingston College, Akeem Bloomfield set a Class One record of 44.93 in 2015.