NATION Sports Personality Of The Year
APPARENTLY the best is still to come. Just ask Shane Brathwaite.
It’s already hard to imagine anyone having the type of season he just completed yet the Barbados Olympic Association’s Senior Male Athlete Of The Year turned 2018 Nation Sports Personality Of The Year will tell you he’s only just scratched the surface.
“Technically, I’m still in my prime. They say most hurdlers don’t get good until they’re 27-plus, so I think I still have a lot to learn and I’m constantly with my coach in the weight room trying to get a lot stronger,” explained the multi medal-winning 28-year-old.
“So my main goal is to be on the podium for the Olympics but at least if I make an Olympic final I would be satisfied with that for my career. I was able to make the World Championships final in 2017 so it’s there I just need to put it together and be more consistent with it.”
Bar set high
They’d typically sound like lofty aspirations if they weren’t coming from a man who already set the bar high this year by copping medals at major meets.
The Central American and Caribbean Games alone seemed like his personal highlight reel, as Brathwaite won the men’s 110 hurdles before helping to set a national record in the 4x100 relay as part of another gold medal-winning performance.
Then, as if to prove those were no flukes, Brathwaite returned to the podium yet again by grabbing bronze and silver in those same events at the higher
NACAC Championships level.
And this was after an inspiring finals appearance in the 110 hurdles at the Commonwealth Games.
“Personally, I felt I had a rough season at the beginning. But we made some adjustments leading up to CAC and NACAC and I was able to get it together through the rounds at CAC. Got the gold in a season’s best and then carried that over to NACAC and got bronze in the hurdles,” said Brathwaite.
A good season
“To run consistently like that is always a good feeling but overall I’ll say it was a good season.”
Yet those achievements may not mean as much for a man who already owns medals from the World Youth level right up to the Commonwealth Games and Pan American Games.
After all, the Olympics are still the big prize.
“I have a lot of work to put in and I think I have at least two more Olympics in me. There are World Championships every two years, so I have a few more of those. But I’ll just keep going till the wheels fall off,” Brathwaite said.
“I went to the 2012 Olympics at 22 and I fell in the first round [of the hurdles], so I feel like I still have a lot to do to redeem myself.”
But a lot has changed in six years, namely the seven medals he’s copped at senior meets since that Olympic debut at the London Games.
And Brathwaite has given himself an even better shot at medalling in Japan by proving to be a vital cog on the bend of Barbados’ fast-rising relay squad.
“Yeah, I’m known for the hurdles. But I also do the 200 and my personal best is 20:50. It’s not the best, but it’s not slow either. That helps a lot with my relay running,” Brathwaite revealed.
“My training is mostly for the 200, but it’s always a good feeling to compete for Barbados, especially with a good group of guys. It’s always great to work with them. We did our best to get that record and more may be in store.”
That’s right, because his best is yet to come.
by Justin Marville Shane Brathwaite won two CAC gold medals, in the hurdles and 4x100 metres relay, and two NACAC medals – bronze in the hurdles and silver in the relay.