Looking forward to a productive year

first_imgAFTER finally completing his first year of his 4-year scholarship at the University of the West Indies (Mona Campus) Guyanese athlete Emanuel Archibald is looking forward to having another productive year when he starts out his 2018 season.Like many Guyanese athletes, he’s also eyeing the upcoming Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Australia in April, for which the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) has been allotted five places.Archibald specialises in the sprints, as well as the long jump. He also has a personal best of 10.36s in the 100m, and 20.95 seconds in the 200m, but it is his skills in the long jump that have gained him most of the attention. So far he has a personal best of 7.88m, which he achieved last year.Guyana’s national record in the men’s long jump, according to reports, stands at 8.07m and was achieved some 25 years ago. Archibald is just some seven inches off the record and is hoping to get even closer as his 2018 season progresses, and maybe even to surpass it one day and go down in the record books himself.“I’m looking forward to becoming Guyana’s record-holder in long jump, and maybe even the sprints. I’m looking forward to one day representing my country at every major championship and international games, if possible; maybe bringing home a medal from Olympics as well as putting my country out there on the international scene and showing the world the talent we have,” Archibald established.Training in Jamaica under jump coach Kerry Lee Rickets, Archibald feels even more prepared to reach his goals. Having entered 2017 with a-then personal best (PB) of 7.2m, Archibald has already added over two feet to his previous PB, and is looking forward to not letting up anytime soon.“I’m healthy and looking forward for a productive track season, with new personal bests,” Archibald shared.But despite his natural talent in athletics Archibald has actually not been into the sport that long, and he has University of Guyana Sports Coordinator, Lavern Fraser-Thomas to thank for leading him down the path.But with natural talent like that, it comes as no surprise to learn that the former UG student is a product of Linden, which has well established itself as the hub of Guyana’s athletics talent.Unlike many athletes with a trail of athletic achievements from a young age, Archibald boasts no such record, despite the skills. Despite growing up in Linden and being encouraged into athletics, it just never stuck for Archibald.“Basically track was something I used to do when I was small, but I grow to dislike it the older I got; so even throughout secondary school I never really did it. I preferred basketball, but when I joined the University of Guyana, Miss Lavern invited me out to the University sports day and I did well so she asked me to come to the trials to make the university team.”Though the University did not have its own coach, they were able to utilise the skills of Police Progressive Youth Club’s coach, Mark Scott, who eventually roped Archibald into his club, where Archibald’s skills progressed.“Miss Lavern and coach Scott encouraged me to keep doing it because they saw talent, so I fall back in love with the sport,” Archibald explained.But Scott and Thomas-Fraser were not the only ones noticing the bright future for Archibald. Travelling and representing UG, Archibald was spotted by a UWI coach, who offered Archibald a place at the college. Thanks to the benevolence of the Guyana government, Archibald, along with three other athletes, was given a four-year scholarship to make his attendance possible.Even as he focuses on his athletic pursuits it was not all easy for Archibald at the beginning at UWI, juggling classes and training“It was longer training hours, sometimes 2 times a day, and a lot of gym work I was not used to. Training started at 06:00hrs until 10:00hrs then my first class was 11:00hrs -13:00hrs and the next one was 15:00hrs -17:00hrs; so basically after a hard morning session I’d have to go to class tired,”“But I was able to cope pretty well; but sometimes I would miss class. But the advantage is how the school system set up. All notes are posted on the internet as well as I can go into another lecture timing and get the information (that was) taught earlier.”last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *