By Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis, Special to TrackAlerts.com
The Boys’ class one 400m event has been one of the most fascinating races over the past two years. The main reason for this renewed interest is the fact that the championship record has been decimated both years. The great news for track fans and equally intimidating for competitors is the return of ‘Champs’ record holder Akeem Bloomfield (44.93) of Kingston College. Blessed with raw speed and power, complemented by his height and expansive stride pattern, Bloomfield is a dream quarter-miler prototype.
Many persons who witnessed last year’s sub 45 run stood speechless and in shock looking at the clock with wild eyes and open mouths. During the race, there was no respite to the relentless way in which Bloomfield attacked the backstretch and left his opponents in shock and awe. At that point the damage was already done and coming off the second curve he turned it on like a light switch in the home straight.
This year at Champs, his greatest concern is not his rivals in the opposite lanes; it is staying healthy because he has been beset by injuries the past two seasons. Good things come to those who wait. His long-awaited season opener at the recent CARIFTA trials was greeted with relief and joy as he cruised to 47.44 in the heats and 46.51 seconds to win the Boys’ Under-20 400m final. It was one of those feel good moments that cannot be easily explained.
Many track and field fans are hoping his body will withstand the rigours of the season and Bloomfield will reap the rewards he richly deserves in all upcoming competitions including World Juniors and the Rio Olympics.
Bloomfield, the Kingston College team captain, will be aiming to leave a lasting impression on the fans and record books with another electrifying sprint at ‘Champs’. This race might make the hairs on your neck stand to attention a bit longer than 44 seconds.
Trackalerts.com’s contributor Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis caught up with Akeem Bloomfield after a hard day’s workout.
Q: Akeem, how healthy are you at this point in time?
A: "Right now I’m healthy, in terms of fitness I can’t say but I’m healthy.”
Q: What are your goals at ‘Champs’ this year?
A: ”Well my goals are to have a full ‘Champs’ that includes my events and also relays and just to come through injury free and get some gold medals if possible.”
Q: This year your focus is a bit different, a lot of competitions coming up – World Juniors & Olympics, what are your goals for this season?
A: “Yes, the World Juniors and the Olympics are the main aim right now, Champs is really a stepping stone. I would love to make the World Junior team as well as the Olympic team.”
Q: Do you have any targets in terms of any times you would like to run this season?
A: "I would like to run some personal best in the 400m as well as the 200m which I will be doing later down in the season.”
Q: Will you be doing the 200m at the World Juniors?
A: ”I’m not sure as yet; my coach will decide.”
Q: We spoke about the 200m last year and I know it’s dear to your heart. Is it still your favourite event?
A: ”It is my favourite event, but, right now I’m mainly focusing on strength training which is why I’m doing the 400m. I just work with my coach and see where it goes.”
Q: You have been beset by injuries for the last two years, have you done anything different this year in terms of preparation to prevent any recurrence?
A: “Well, we broke it down into certain phases. We saw that my nutritional programme was not very good so we made a lot changes to that whereas vitamins, proteins and supplements were concerned we made drastic changes as well. My strength programme, I lacked core strength so the main aim this year was to get my core strength to a level where it could manage the output of my body as well as overall muscle strength. I have been doing a lot of strength work.”
Q: How do you see Kingston College doing this year at ‘Champs?
A: ”Well, the team is ready I think. We are healthy; we have no major injuries right now in the camp that will be to our detriment. I feel the team is mentally ready as well and we are going to give a good account of ourselves come Champs 2016.”
Bloomfield has the potential to do great things and become a National Treasure. He is fully aware that limitations only live in the mind and the more reasons someone has to achieve their goal, it is the more determined they become.
Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis is a very exciting and creative freelance sports writer specializing in the fields of athletics and cricket. His colourful down to earth yet professional personality makes him a favourite amongst athletes and fans. Readers are often exposed to his detailed knowledge and passion which usually increase their interest in the athletes, events and the sport overall. He has a first degree in Banking & Finance and works in the financial industry. Contact Noel at [email protected]