Sports

'Expect better from me'

Matherson upbeat about future as he envisions sub-10, Olympics, World Champs medals

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, July 16, 2018

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TAMPERE, Finland — A concern of one of the island's most promising male sprinters, Jhevaughn Matherson, that will linger in the minds of most Jamaican track and field fans is the litany of disappointments over the last three seasons.

Matherson pulled up in back-to-back Class One 100m finals, tearing off his Kingston College top and throwing it on the track in utter frustration at the 2018 ISSA Boys' Champs, and was inconsolable.

Earlier on that Friday afternoon in front of his legions of fans, he had glided through the semi-finals with a broad smile on his face as he sought to exorcise the demons that had wrecked his 2017 season, leaving him on the track writhing in pain.

On Saturday afternoon in far-flung Tampere on the southern coast of Finland, it was a different picture — this time his smile was broad and he stood proud with the rest of the Jamaican 4x100m team that had just claimed a silver medal in a National Junior Record 38.96 seconds, and he walked off the track on his own.

Next month he starts a new chapter as he starts school at Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee, Florida, and said on Saturday that the best is still to come. “Expect better from me,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Matherson, who has a personal best 10.25 seconds in the 100m — done in 2016 when he was second at the national junior trials — and got to the semi-finals at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships and 20.66 seconds in the 200m done last year, said he came into the championships in Tampere “a bit rusty, but through the rounds I had to run out the rust and come better each time”.

He was pleased with the National Junior Record. “After years of trying, years of failing, and to come out here collectively and deliver a silver in a new national record, it is an amazing feeling.”

He is also excited about his next move, going to FSU. “Yes, I am very excited. It is an amazing school with an amazing coaching staff which I hope will get the best out of me for the future, so expect better from me.”

He said the choice to go to FSU was easy. “They have a great coaching staff, facilities, great conditions, support systems, and I do believe they will take me to where I want to go and beyond.”

Asked where that destination was, he said: “Sub 10 seconds, the Olympic Games, World Championships and medals.”

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