Coaches to 'cool down' red-hot Ackera Nugent

By February 05, 2019
U18 world record holder Ackera Nugent U18 world record holder Ackera Nugent

Coach of the red-hot Ackera Nugent, Douglas Williams, says he plans to ‘cool off’ the talented sprint hurdler, who on Saturday broke the U18 world record for the 100m hurdles (76.2) at the Youngster Goldsmith track meet at the National Stadium in Kingston.

The 16-year-old fifth former at Excelsior High School raced to a time of 12.89s erasing Jonique Thompson’s 12.94s set at the World U18 Championships in Donetsk, Poland, in 2013.

“A personal best at this moment, you have to cool her off,” Williams told while revealing that Nugent, who in October 2018, won a bronze medal in the 100m dash at the Youth Olympics in Argentina in, had set a personal goal of 12.7 seconds for her favoured event this season.

“This was her third meet and her first hurdles race because she has not been doing a lot of running. We were looking at this time for about June so we have to regroup and make alternate plans.”

That said, Williams admits that he was expecting a fast time from Nugent on Saturday. Training has been going well for the athlete, but there was nothing different about her pre-season training that would indicate that she was in world-record shape after only two races into the new season.

“She is much stronger than last year and faster and we have not been doing any speed work with her or anything,” said Williams. “I knew she was going to run fast but not that fast at this time of the season.”

He continued: “In the heats, she ran 13.3 hand-timed, which was kind of a regular performance, so when we saw the time in the final we were both shocked. The next day when we saw it was a national record we were very surprised.”

The focus now for Williams and the coaching staff at Excelsior is to keep Nugent healthy so as to ensure that she is ready to perform when it really matters. She has the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships coming up in March, the CARIFTA Games and she hopes to make the team to the Junior Pan Am Championships in late July.

“Our training programme is basically trying to keep the athletes as healthy as possible,” he said,  confessing that this could be a really special season for the young athlete.

“She can go faster and will go faster. It just now remains to be seen what happens later this season.”

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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