I expected Champs double - Watson
Petersfield High's Antonio Watson was one of the outstanding athletes at last week's ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships, capturing the Class 2 boys' 200 metres title in 20.50 seconds and the 400 metres in 47.08 seconds.
Watson also got a third gold when his 4x400-metre relay team, which finished second behind Calabar, was promoted to first after the disqualification of the Calabar team.
When Watson won the 400 metres, it was no surprise, given his status as favourite going into the event. After all, Watson is the IAAF World Under-18 champion in the quarter-mile event. However, his win in the 200m came as a shock to many, with Watson surprising Sachin Dennis of St Elizabeth Technical. Dennis had earlier captured the 100 metres in a record 10.20 seconds and was expected to add another gold medal in the half-lap event, but Watson came on strongly in the end to get the better of Dennis.
For Watson, his 200m/400m double was always expected as long as he stuck to his late-burst plan, which he underlined was as a result of a need for improvement on the first part of his race.
"I am not really surprised. I was very confident, especially in the 400 metres, but I had a little doubt in the 200 metres as Dennis had a fast time to win the 100 metres. But my coach told me before the race not to worry about that, as I just needed to execute well, and that's what I did", Watson said.
In the 400m, Watson gave his fans and coach anxious moments as he was way off the pace in the event after seemingly jogging in the early stage. With even 20 metres to go, he was looking to be out of contention as Calabar's Evaldo Whitehorne appeared destined for gold. However, Watson turned up the heat to get the better of the Calabar man on the line.
"No, it's no disrespect for my opponents, this is just something that happened and, at the moment, I am working on the first part of my race. It will take time, and I will have to do more pace work in training in trying to improve on this," Watson continued.
Watson noted that he will be going back to work to prepare for the National Championships in June in order to qualify for the World Under-20 Championships in July.
"I know it is going to be much different running against these older boys, and I will just have to go back and work out with my coach on the entire race execution, especially my early part of the race, and once I do that, I am confident I will be able to do well", said Watson.