Cheery Carter targets 100m PR
HAVING finally achieved an individual global medal, newly-minted IAAF World Indoor Championships 60m silver medallist Nesta Carter said he wants to lower his personal best over 100m this season.
Carter claimed second spot in Istanbul, Turkey over a week ago in 6.54 seconds, behind American Justin Gatlin.
The Jamaican athlete who had one of his best seasons in 2008 when he clocked a PR 9.78 seconds over 100m, making him the fourth fastest man in history, is not resting on his laurels, however, and said he wants to go even better this Olympic year.
"I definitely want to beat my PB (personal best) this year, so I'll be working on it," the 26 year old told the Observer in a recent interview.
Carter and 2010 Commonwealth Games 100m champion Lerone Clarke were the two Jamaicans entered in the Men's 60m at the World Indoors, but Clarke, who clocked a personal best 6.47 seconds in February and was tipped to take the gold medal, finished fourth in the heats and was eliminated.
Carter said being the less favoured of the Jamaican entrants may have worked to his advantage.
"I think it helped me to do better," he posited. "The calmer I find myself, the better I perform and I find that everyone was hyping up Lerone Clarke for the gold at the Indoor Championships because he ran 6.47 and I ran 6.49, so most people were expecting him to do well and he didn't pass the first round."
"It's part of the sport. You're going to have ups and downs. It's a good thing for me," he added.
Carter, who is a member of the Stephen Francis-coached MVP Track and Field Club, was a member of Jamaica's gold medal-winning 4x100m relay team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and also part of the World Championships quartet in Daegu last year. He said both his Olympic and individual world medal are dear to him.
"Both of them mean something to me because it's two different championships. Winning an Olympic medal, a lot of people dream of winning one, and winning a world championship individual medal is really something special to me," he said.
"I always wanted an individual medal. Being the fourth fastest man in the world and having an individual medal, that is something to look forward to and it also boosts my confidence level," he said.
Carter, who will be using the IAAF Diamond League meet in Qatar in May, as well as the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, a few weeks later as preparation for the National Senior Championships in June, knows making the Jamaican team will be tough with so many talented runners around.
"There is going to be pressure to make the team. A lot of youngsters coming up (are) trying to make the team,' he said.
"The word on the street is that the Jamaica finals is going to be like the Olympic Games, excluding a few, so the pressure is going to be there and it will always be there knowing the distance that I run in the sport, so I'm getting used to the pressure; it's not so much of a big thing to me," he added.
As for training, the former Manchester High star said it has been going well and he continues to prepare without placing too much emphasis on the Olympics just yet.
"At first you can't really focus on the Olympic Games; you have to continue focus on training and try to make the Jamaica team because if you focus on the Olympics you might not even get there.
"First, you have to focus on making the Olympic team and stay focused on training, which is is going really good, so I'm expecting a lot of good performances," he said.