Fri | Sep 22, 2023

Dwyer searching for speed at Speed Fest

Published:Saturday | March 18, 2023 | 12:56 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Rasheed Dwyer
Rasheed Dwyer

WHEN 2021 Olympic 200-metre finalist Rasheed Dwyer settles into his blocks for the last section of the men’s 100 at today’s John Wolmer Speed Fest inside the National Stadium, Dwyer will be continuing his quest for early speed. It’s a key element of a plan that he hopes will put him in the World Championships 200-metre final this August in Budapest, Hungary.

Dwyer, the 2014 Commonwealth 200 champion, will line up in lane seven. Among those drawn with him are 2019 World long jump champion Tajay Gayle, newcomer Kadrian Goldson, 2022 World 4x100 gold medallist Brendon Rodney of Canada, World 100 finalist Oblique Seville, 2010 Commonwealth 100 finalist Oshane Bailey, and speedy youngster Conroy Jones.

While he will doubtlessly try to win, Dwyer will be hoping to continue the promising start he has made to this season.

The 34-year-old hit a 60-metre personal record (PR) of 6.63 seconds into a headwind at the Western Relays last month and followed that by a wind-hampered 10.58-second 100-metre dash at the GC Foster Classic last Saturday.

Asked about his focus on shorter races, he replied, “I PR’ed in the 60 so that is a good sign and the 100, this is my first one so trying to get some more in the bag.”

In still air, his fast 60 would glimmer even more at 6.54 seconds. As things stand, the 6.63 is a significant improvement from the 6.72 seconds he produced last year.

“Training has been going very well,” said the 2011 World University Games 200 champion.

“It has been very competitive, so it’s going very good so far,” he commented, referencing his Sprintec training partners, which include Rodney, Bailey, and Goldson.


Understandably, the Maurice Wilson-trained sprinter has his mind set on Budapest. “Most definitely. I’m just taking it one step at a time and trying to execute as best as possible each race,” Dwyer offered.

At his best, he has run the 100 metres in 10.10 seconds. In his favoured event, his benchmark is 19.80 seconds from his semifinal at the 2015 Pan-American Games. That run removed no less than legend Donald Quarrie from the Games record books and was followed by a silver medal performance in the final.

Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir, the top three from the 2012 Olympic final, are the only men ahead of Dwyer on the all-time Jamaican performance table.

He hasn’t broken 20 seconds since that fine 2015 season but an improvement in his early speed could change that this year.

The three-time national champion thoughtfully responded to queries about the possibility of retirement.

“I’m not sure. It depends on how this season plays out before I think about next season, but for now, I’m working very hard for even a PR and getting to the finals in Budapest,” Dwyer declared.