High schooler Wasome leaps for Olympic spot
When the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association Boys and Girls' Athletic Championships get under way tomorrow with the preliminary round of the Boys' Class One long jump, O'Brien Wasome of Jamaica College will have two targets.
The JC captain, Wasome, will be expecting to advance to the final and to repeat his 2015 victory.
He will also be chasing a big goal a place on the Jamaican team to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
To reach that goal, he needs to jump 8.15 metres or further, before the period for seeking qualifying marks ends on July 11.
If that happened at Championships, it would take him well past the Class One record of 7.87 metres set by Leon Gordon of Vere Technical High School in 1993.
It's a task that isn't daunting for the outgoing JC senior.
"I'm looking forward to making the Olympic team," he said with quiet assurance before a recent training session.
He would also need to earn selection through his performance at the National Senior Championships.
"My training is going good, so I'm putting in all the work," said the Ruel James-coached athlete.
Signs of the quality of his preparation came at the recent Carifta Trials where he won the Under-20 long jump with a distance of 7.59 metres. That is his best of the season so far.
WON BOTH CLASSES
Wasome won both the Class One long jump and triple jump last year and is aiming to repeat.
"I'm looking forward to breaking that long jump and triple jump records," he said.
The triple jump record belongs to his teammate Clayton Brown at 16.04 metres. Wasome won with a wind-aided jump of 16.24 but had a legal effort of exactly 16 metres.
His 2015 winning long jump of 7.71 metres places him in joint second place on the all-time Champs performance list with Neil Gardner of Wolmers' Boys and Maurice Wignall of Calabar.