By Calvin Chapman
It has been nine years to date since former 800m champion, Philip Drayton, has competed but he is confident that he has what it takes to regain his middle distance crown and usurp current champion, Devaun ‘Scobby’ Barrington.
The 30-year-old explained that the reason for his comeback was simply because his love for Track & Field is endless. However, he knew that it was not going to be an easy task to compete with Guyana’s best so he devised a three-year plan in 2018 to train and make his way back to the track in the 2021 season.
He posited that further motivation came from, “Seeing athletes here performing at the highest level and running international qualifying times. My physical and psychological states along with my availability to make such a rigorous commitment have given me the motivation to step back into the battlefield. My dedication and discipline are what have helped me through the intense workouts and pains since the latter half of 2018 in an effort for an awesome season come 2021.”
The Police Progressive Youth Club (PPYC) athlete shared that he is not too fazed by the competition because almost a decade ago his personal best was 1m 55s and the top athletes of today have only shaved off a few seconds off that time.
In terms of the challenges of training due to the ongoing pandemic, Drayton related that, “Covid-19 has forced all international and local competition to be postponed and training has been altered to be in keeping with the safety guidelines set out by World Athletics and the local safety officials.”
“However, our certified coaches at the police progressive youth Club (PPYC) successfully adjusted and are executing the necessary programmes to keep us on track throughout our training cycles, with the highest priority being on safety.”
Reigning 800m champion; Barrington’s best time of 1m 50s will make him a very formidable opponent for Drayton, plus the likes of Anfernee Headecker and Daniel Melville should make for an exciting race whenever the four get to compete again.
But Drayton is backing himself to the end, “My experiences as a national athlete are profound. I know what is required to be #1. I’m aware of the sacrifices needed along with the psychosocial adjustments required to be the best. My experience is a major help in coming back, it’s never easy, but it’s worth it.”
Drayton’s Coach, Anson Ambrose, explained that currently his athlete is in preparation mode, getting his conditioning right. Ambrose expressed sadness with the Covid-19 pandemic and highlighted that the crisis has allowed the pair to focus more on conditioning without looking to get back into competition too quickly.
Ambrose hailed his athlete’s adaptation as being good and he is very pleased with what he has seen so far. He decreed that with God all things are possible and with the new season he is optimistic that fans can see wonderful performances from Drayton.
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