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January 11, 2013
Star Sport


100m/200m trouble? Try the 400m! - Bert

Bertland 'Bert' Cameron - File

World Championships 400m gold medallist Bert Cameron has advised fringe sprinters to consider changing their focus to the 400m, an event that has seen little Jamaican success in recent times.

The 1983 champion, who has coached at the high school, university and professional levels, recently stepped out on his own with his recently formed Cameron Blazers Track Club and believes that there is an opportunity to fill the void of quality Jamaican quarter-milers.

The island has failed to produce a medallist at the senior international level since Cameron topped the podium in Helsinki, something the coach hopes will be corrected in the near future.

"I grew up on Herb McKenley, I have seen him and his passion. I always saw him as a quarter-miler even though he ran the 100m and 200m," said Cameron during a chat with Star Sports.

"Jamaica was a quarter-mile nation, we had Raymond Stewart and a few others but we were known for the 400m, so it's not something new, it's a tradition for us."

"There are a lot of sprinters out there; these guys running 10.1s and 20.2s, there is not really any room for them right now in the 100m and 200m, if they wise up and give themselves a chance in the 400m, there may be many more opportunities for them," Cameron reasoned.

"We need to have stronger quarter-milers and with the speed that we already have now, there is no doubt that we can be doing much better in that area," he added.

The coach admitted that the tougher workload for quarter-milers might be a deterrent for some potential quarter-milers.

"They are a bit soft, they are used to just running up and down the straightaway and not feeling too tired. They don't understand that it becomes much easier to prepare for the 400m after the first conditioning phase, so there is a fear for the event. They are afraid of the background training so they stick to the 100m and 200m and I don't see why," Cameron said.

Cameron coached Jermaine Gonzales to a national record 44.40 in 2010.

- A.L.

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