Newman: Myton was a loving human being
When Carlando Chambers of St Jago High School won the 800 metres at last Saturday’s Jamalco/Puma development meet, his reward was the brand new Myton/Newman Challenge Trophy. The presenter was Seymour Newman himself, the 1978 Commonwealth 800...
When Carlando Chambers of St Jago High School won the 800 metres at last Saturday’s Jamalco/Puma development meet, his reward was the brand new Myton/Newman Challenge Trophy. The presenter was Seymour Newman himself, the 1978 Commonwealth 800 metres runner-up, who said he felt like he was representing his friend Neville Myton.
In 1964, Myton set a world junior record one minute 46.5 seconds to qualify for the Olympic team and though he retired after running in the 1968 Games, he served the sport until his death in 2021 as a mentor, national junior team manager and as part of the Jamalco meet’s organising committee.
Newman was taken aback that Jamalco Track Club founder Dennis May chose to recognise him for his contribution to athletics, but he was honoured to represent his old friend.
“It was a great surprise for me and it’s also very, very ... I’m trying to find the words ... satisfying to see this award,” he said quietly at the meet.
“Neville Myton was very close to me, a very close friend of mine. I’m forced to come because I’m actually here representing him, in a way,” he revealed.
He has rich memories of Myton.
“Very peaceful, loving human being, joyful, happy, and that’s good. It helps me at times because if I’m down, his spirit will bring me up,” Newman reflected.
He emerged as an athletic prospect at Wolmer’s Boys’ School, losing a thriller to Boys’ Champs legend Trevor ‘TC’ Campbell in 1972 over 400 metres. They both broke the Class One record twice and then Newman won the under-20 400m at the Carifta Games.
Now 69, the fit looking Newman took his first international medals at the 1974 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, with silver in the 400m and bronze in the 4x400m. In 1976, he was bundled out in the Olympic 800m semis. Despite a controversial disqualification, he ran brilliantly in the 4x400m final, tearing past Cuba’s 400-800m champion Alberto Juantorena with the fastest 4x400m leg of the Games – 43.8 seconds.
In June 1977, he recorded a national 800m record of 1.45.21, a national record that stood until last year.
In August, he beat Juantorena in the CAC Championships over 400 metres with a personal best of 45.66 seconds. That lowered a Jamaica record shared by Herb McKenley, George Kerr and Clifton Forbes, and he set a meet record in the 800m to win – 1:46.13.
In 1978, he took the bronze medal at the CAC Games in the 400m and gold in the 4x400m and later in the season, he was second in the Commonwealth Games 800m.
Newman later shared his knowledge at Knox College and Holmwood Technical High School, developed Linton McKenzie into Jamaica’s top road racer in the 1980s and1990s and served as coach to national cross-country teams to international assignments.