The Usain Bolt effect
How Bolt’s Carfita Games talk fuelled Nkrumie
The lasting image from the 2022 Carfita Games under-20 100 metres boys final at the National Stadium was silver medallist, Kingston College’s Bouwahjgie Nkrumie standing with his spikes in hand listing to sprinting legend Usain Bolt imparting his...
The lasting image from the 2022 Carfita Games under-20 100 metres boys final at the National Stadium was silver medallist, Kingston College’s Bouwahjgie Nkrumie standing with his spikes in hand listing to sprinting legend Usain Bolt imparting his guidance and feedback.
It is that guidance that has continued to fuel him in 2023, reinvigorating his belief as he hopes to take the boys’ Class One 100m prize at next week’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships. Nkrumie, the world under-20 championship silver medallist and national junior record holder, has had a strong season this year, clocking sub 10.20 times, his best being the 10.18 he clocked at the Carifta Trials.
He has been boosted from the second half of last season which saw him win that silver at the world under 20 championships last August in Colombia since that talk with Bolt last April. The contents of the conversation are a well-guarded secret, but what Nkrumie will say is that it made all the difference for the rest of his 2022 and now.
“Well he said I am not to tell anyone,” a coy Nkrumie told The Gleaner. “But what he said to me was very touching knowing that he is an idol for me from a tender age. But that was an inspirational moment for me. That just made things better mentally for me to go out there and prove that I can do great things because I was born for this.”
Nkrumie said that his execution was the one thing that was holding him back last year, something that came together after his talk with Bolt.
“I was not just cooperating last year when it was came to execution. So when I got the message from him everything started clicking. I would say thanks to the great Bolt,” Nkrumie said.
It has certainly been clicking for him this season as he is the favourite to win the 100m title currently held by Edwin Allen High’s Brian Levell. With the weight of expectations, Nkrumie said he has ensured to eliminate any distractions as he hopes to attain the goals he has set for himself this year.
“I deleted social media, all of those things that have to do with comments. So I don’t get distracted or feel any way when I see a negative comment,” Nkrumie said. “I am a very emotional person so I do get sad when I see a negative comment. I don’t feel the pressure but I know that I am going to do well.”
That belief has not only come from his performances so far this season and staying healthy, but also the lessons that he learned from last year, as well as the successes.
“It makes me hungry for all the goals that I have put out for myself this year. Last year gave me the biggest motivation that has made me very eager to do well this season.