Pan American Games gold medallist Shane Brathwaite says he has his sights set on one major goal and that is breaking the Barbados 110m hurdles national record of 13.14 seconds set in 2009 by former world champion Ryan Brathwaite.
Braithwaite, currently based in Texas, said his aim this year was to run more consistently and most importantly qualify for the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics having missed out on Rio 2016.
“The objective this year is to run consistently. Every race I want to be at least in the top three placings. I really want to get the Barbados national record that Ryan Brathwaite currently holds, 13.14. That is something that I feel it is about time. I have been running consistently for the last six years. So, I think it is about time for me to break that barrier and go ahead and claim that record,” Brathwaite told Barbados TODAY.
He added: “I have been working on a lot as far as my speed, my start, everything to put together a full race. I feel that I haven’t put together that complete race. Of course, it is not going to be a perfect race by any means. But I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of putting together that good race as yet.
“There were a lot of little things for me that were a problem. Maybe some strength issues in the gym. My start was off, a lot of little things that I am learning more as I get older that I need to work on. So, I am trying to put all of that together for this year.”
A former Texas Tech all-American, Brathwaite explained that the weather hasn’t been so great the last two weeks or so. But he noted that training with his coach Darryl Woodson was still going well.
Every year Brathwaite usually starts his season indoors to gauge where he is at but opted not to do so this time around. Instead, he will feature outdoors firstly starting in March.
The first Barbadian to ever win a Pan American gold, Brathwaite who has had a stellar international career is also looking to create another historic moment. He is working towards qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics this summer and possibly becoming the second Barbadian to have an individual medal at the games.
Obadele Thompson so far is the lone Barbadian to have achieved such a magnificent feat in 2000 at the Sydney Olympics competing in the 100m.
So far none of Barbados’ athletes has yet qualified for the Olympics including Brathwaite who isn’t too worried at this stage.
This is due to the fact that the Olympic qualifying time for the 110m hurdles is 13.32 seconds and Brathwaite ran 13.31 seconds last year when he captured gold at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.
“A lot of times I don’t worry about the times because I think as long as you are running consistently and you are training hard, the times will come. And that time that Ryan put down is pretty fast. That is a time that would medal in pretty much any championships including the Olympics.
“Last year at world championships I believe that would have gotten silver because the guy who won ran 13.10. So, anytime one ran in that region it would secure a medal. Once I am in that range and could do it consistently when it is time to be in the final, it would be a lot easier,” he added.
Now 30-years-old, Brathwaite, a multiple national award winner, doesn’t have plans to retire anytime soon and said he has at least five more years in track and field.
“My body has been feeling really good. I don’t want to put any limits on myself and the way training has been going, the way I have been taking care of my body makes me feel like I can go out there and compete.
“As far as training wise, this is probably the best I have felt in a really long time if not the best. I put a lot of things in place, I think this year I am more structured. I set it up where I get treatment at least once or twice a week consistently, instead of just going off how I feel.
“Regardless of if I feel good or not, I get treatment, versus like in the past, oh something got tight and I need treatment. No, I put a lot of things in place, I changed my diet. Body wise I have been feeling good. So, I still think that I can compete for another five years or so,” Brathwaite said.