Romaine Beckford's Olympic dream hangs in the balance after national championships setback Featured

Romaine Beckford, the NCAA National Division One high jump champion, is nervously awaiting the announcement of Jamaica's team for the 2024 Paris Olympics, set to be revealed on Monday. Despite finishing fourth at the national championships last week, Beckford remains the highest-ranked Jamaican high jumper this season, courtesy of his impressive 2.27m clearance at last month's NCAA Division One Championsips.

With the Olympic standard for the high jump being 2.33m and the quota set at 32 for the event, Beckford’s 2.27m has him ranked 32nd in the world.

Beckford's season has been noteworthy, marked by a standout performance in June when he cleared 2.27m to win the NCAA National Division 1 title. In May, he also won the SEC title for the University of Arkansas with a 2.22m jump. However, at the Jamaican national championships, things did not go as planned. He finished behind newly crowned champion Lushane Wilson (2.25m), Christoff Bryan (2.25m), and Raymond Richard (2.20m), managing only to clear 2.20m.

Reflecting on his performance, Beckford said, "Everything felt good until the 2.25m bar. I prayed before the competition. I cannot complain. I pretty much had, I wouldn’t say a perfect season but a great season before coming to this meet. I can't doubt myself, I can't beat myself up. I wanted to defend my title or jump better than what I did. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, but I can't stay on this. I have to move forward and, hopefully, Jamaica will take me to the Olympics."

With Jamaica expected to name more than 60 athletes for the Paris Olympics, Beckford is keeping his fingers crossed. Despite his national championship setback, his season-best 2.27m places him right on the bubble in the World Athletics global rankings, making him a candidate for Olympic selection.

Beckford attributes some of his recent struggles to technical issues in his approach. "The approach is the main thing that we need to work on, and that was one of the factors that was giving me problems at 2.25m because the bounce and strength and everything was there; it’s just a little technical issue," he explained.

However, Beckford remains optimistic even if he is more than a bit nervous. "But it's nothing to worry about, Jermaine Beckford will always find a way, and it’s just for me to go back to the drawing board, remain focused and stay calm," he said confidently.


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Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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