Barbados’ top senior athlete Roland Waithe will compete at the Empire State Games in New York on June 18th for the first time and said he is looking forward to the experience.
The Over-60 sprinter will compete in New York before travelling to participate in the Washington Senior Games on July 23rd in Washington, D.C.
During an interview with Barbados TODAY, Waithe explained that he was invited by the organizers to be part of the event where he will compete in the 100m and 200m races. While it was short notice and he did not get the opportunity to thoroughly prepare, he is hoping to still put In a good showing.
Scheduled to race against some of the world’s best in the 65 to 69 age group category, Waithe’s fastest times are 12.17 seconds in the 100m and 25.95 seconds in the 200m.
A member of the Barbados Senior Athletes Club coached by Rawle Clarke, Waithe is no stranger to attending major track and field meets. He has attended the World Games held in Utah every October and the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles held every two years.
Waithe revealed that he will be part of the Barbados team this year at the senior games in Utah.
“As soon as I am finished with the Washington Senior Games in July, I will be back to full training mode until September when we leave for Utah,” he said.
It is unlikely that the annual senior games in Barbados will take place this year.
However, Waithe, an avid road tennis player, assured the public that this is serious business for the seniors when it comes to competition and for those who think otherwise, they are wrong.
“I had a problem with an article written sometime back when we were referred to as joggers in 2016. I ran 12.17 seconds and I had to ask the journalist if this is jogging. Don’t be fooled these guys run really quickly for this age and I tell people 60 years old running 12.17 which some 21-year-olds can’t get done.
“So it is unfair to think that guys this age, running that time, are seen as slow. You don’t get to that level sitting in a rocking chair because you have to train just as hard as the young people. You have to go to the gym, use supplements, vitamins and those things and our bodies take longer to recover,” Waithe explained.