Work on strength, distance Hoilett tells 400m runners

July 08, 2017
Nathon Allen
G.C. Foster College's Demish Gaye winning the men's 400 metres in 45.57 seconds at the NCB Intercollegiate Track and Field Championships at the National Stadium.
Akeem Bloomfield

Olympian Rupert Hoilett is advising the island's 400m runners to improve on their strength.

Hoilett, the 1964 Olympics athlete and a star 440 yard runner for Kingston College in the 1960s believes the runners of today need to be stronger in the abdominal and low back area and do more over-distance work.

Those measures will help to repeat their fine performances in championships, he recommends.

Speaking at an event where he was honoured alongside 1948 Olympic 100 metre finalist Cynthia Thompson and sports administrator Freddie Green, the 71-year-old Hoilett praised the young men who have been speeding in the 400 metres this season.

Hoilett described the newly-crowned Jamaican champion Nathon Allen, along with Demish Gaye of the GC Foster College, Allen's Auburn University colleague Akeem Bloomfield and Steven Gayle, as a good crop of youngsters. All have broken 45 seconds this year.

"But we have a problem maybe it's the core, weak cores that are unable to run a series at a meet," he said.

"I see it changing with Nathon Allen but I can't say that for Bloomfield because he broke down," he added.


Final standings


After lowering his personal best to 44.74 seconds, Bloomfield finished lower down the final standings at the NCAA Championships than expected and was unable to run his semi-final at the recent National Senior Championships.

He reckons the weakness prevents repeated fast running and believes it has hampered other 400 metre runners in recent times.

The three-time Boys Championship 440 yard champion added, "they need to do strength work, they need to run over distance more than quarters and below."

That formula helped Hoilett when he was a star schoolboy. Though he was a specialist in the 440 yards and 400 metres, he also ran the 880 yards and placed second in the 1963. In addition to winning the class 1 440 yards in 1963, 1964 and 1965, Hoilett was British West Indies 400 champion in 1964 and silver medallist at the 1966 CAC Games.

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