Could sprint ace Jason Yaw win a global Track and Field medal for Guyana?
Yaw, as well as his coach of the Running Brave Athletic Club and former national sprinter Julian Edmonds, believes he can.
In fact, Edmonds opined that once the 16-year old stays dedicated and has the support, he could be the next big thing.
After smashing the 200m and 400m records at the schools championships for the second year running, winning a Junior Carifta Games bronze medal and two South American Youth Games bronze medals this year, the 16-year old has the potential to become one the Caribbean’s brightest stars.
“Jason has great potential,” Edmonds told Stabroek Sport yesterday. “He came from a system that produced Stephan James [who is on a scholarship in the USA] and if you look at it there’s not many 16 year olds in the Caribbean running 47 seconds in the 400 metres.
“When we look at his size, speed and endurance, we think he could be one of the prospects for the Olympics 2016 and beyond.”
The 6 feet, 2 inches Beterverwagting Secondary School pupil cosigned his coach’s beliefs.
“I want to go to the 2016 Olympic Games [in Brazil] and run with [quarter milers] Kirani James and LeShawn Merritt and break the 400m record,” Yaw boasted.
Yaw certainly has the potential and the confidence but is it enough to be in the final eight in Rio de Janeiro?
“Yes I have the ability,” said the quarter finalist at the World Junior Championships. “I definitely feel I will be an Olympian.”
Edmonds believes that Yaw’s progress hinges on the stakeholders.
“Once Jason stays dedicated to the sport and is supported by a good system he can win a global medal for Guyana, the GOA and the AAG needs to put systems in place for athletes like him to succeed,” the coach said.
Edmonds added, “If this guy has got the potential we have got to support this guy whether training camps abroad or overseas meets. Although I could wish well for Jason, we need all the stakeholders to come together because if Jason should stop training that’s the end.
“That’s the difference between Guyana and the rest of the countries. They have clear cut plans for their athletes, I don’t know if people really understand how good Jason is, he is only the third school boy in Guyana to go under 50 seconds (in the 400m) at Nationals and when Tai [Payne] and Stephan ran under 50 they were both 19, Jason is still 16.”
When quizzed about goals for 2014, Edmonds intimated that his charge will be “looking to better his performance at the Junior Carifta Games and to medal at the World Junior Championships.
“He has been improving every day and his confidence level is extremely high. Once he remains injury-free the sky is the limit for him.”
Notes: At this year’s National School Championships, Yaw finished with four gold medals and a bronze medal. In the race of the meet, he came from 20 metres behind to anchor East Coast’s 4 x 400m relay team to the gold medal, broke the 200m and 400m records and emphatically won the marquee 100m event.
Yaw’s bronze medal came in the final of the Boys Open 4 x100 metres final.
James is on a scholarship at the ASA College in Brooklyn, New York.