Kyle Webb remained philosophical despite being dissatisfied with his performance in the 200 metres heats at Carrara Stadium yesterday.
The 22-year-old, competing at his first major competition, finished sixth in heat nine in a time of 21.73sec, some way off his personal best of 20.82.
Movement by another sprinter in the starting blocks, causing the race to be restarted, hardly helped Webb, who admitted he struggled to regain his focus.
“It didn’t go how I wanted it to,” Webb said. “When they called us up it really distracted me. I tried to focus back into the race but it threw me off from jump. It’s hard to come back from that … you’re pumped up and ready to go. After that you stand up, try to walk back slow and get your mind right to hop back into the box. That’s really hard at a competition like this. I had a goal in mind and I didn’t reach it. I did learn a few things and I have to keep moving forward.”
The former Berkeley Institute pupil has time on his side and hopes the Gold Coast Games will be the start of promising career at the elite level.
“It’s my first one and it’s a learning experience,” he said. “It certainly makes you hungry for more. I’m still pretty young and just getting my foot through the door. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is the big dream, but little steps like this are the learning path to success.”
Webb, who is in his final year at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, has vowed to come back stronger as he sets his sights on a busy summer.
He plans to race at the Grenada Invitational this month to prepare for the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia in July, and the North American, Central American and Caribbean Championships in Toronto in August.
“I’ll now mentally prepare myself for what’s coming up later in the season,” Webb said. “I still have some really good races to go. I just have to go back to the drawing board, train hard and stay focused. Just live your dream.”
Webb is hoping to relocate overseas to train full-time, with Florida his favoured option, in his attempt to reach the Tokyo Games.
“It’s trial and error but at the same time I have a lot of support,” he said. “Troy Douglas [the former Bermuda director of athletics] is out in the Netherlands and he called me before the race.
“He and DeVon Bean [Douglas’s successor] and both talk, my family is a big support system and the Bermuda Olympic Association has my back. We just need to find the next step for myself.”