Still on track ...O'Hara remains confident of fulfilling promise

June 02, 2018
File Wolmer's Jaheel Hyde (left) and Calabar's Michael O'Hara match strides as they head down the track in the final of the Class One Boys 110m hurdles at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships in 2015.

Despite his lackluster performance recently and his inability to compete consistently since he left Calabar High School, Michael O'Hara is still brimming with confidence that he can fulfil the potential he showed as a junior. This, he said, is because he has faith in his coach, Glenn Mills.

"It doesn't bother me that I am not running now, because I trust my coach and his management team, so I am not worried," O'Hara said.

The Calabar High School standout has looked a shadow of himself after that stellar final year in high school, where he won three individual gold medals at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girl's Athletics Championships.

Even before that, he promised the world that he is one to look at for the future in 2013, when he won the 200m at World Under-18 Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine. He followed up that performance with a bronze medal at the World Under-20 Championship in Eugene, Oregon, a year later.

However, he has raced sparingly since he decided to become a professional athlete in the autumn of 2015, running less than a handful of times over the past two seasons.


O'Hara attributes this to the challenges athletes go through as they transition.

"It is just the transition, the type of transition and how it is being done. It is just moving from amateurism in high school to professionalism. Not everybody can adapt to the programme quickly. Some people can just leave high school and make it, while others take some years," O'Hara explained before a training session at his Racers Track Club training base on Thursday. "There are a lot of things that you thought you already knew in high school, but when you come to the professional level, it is a whole different learning process and things to know."

Last weekend, O'Hara ran a time of 22.12 seconds in his opening race of the season. But the 21- year-old said he is not fazed by the results.