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Ryan’s wrong turn

Sherrylyn A. Toppin

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A FAILED experiment has been the reason for Ryan Brathwaite’s sub-par run of form on the international track and field circuit this year.This was revealed in an interview with at the recently concluded North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Under-23 Championships in Miramar, Florida.“This year I was working on some new stuff, some new training drills and techniques but that is not working out, so I am going back to the old-school way,” the Barbadian said. “It is now improving and I am going to surprise the world later this year.”The 22-year-old placed second behind American Ronnie Ash in a wind-aided 13.10 seconds in the 110-metre hurdles and described the race as challenging.“My old training mate Ronnie Ash ran a good race. I am starting to get back into my rhythm, because I had a bad fall this year and had some minor injuries.“I am going to be improving and improving more this year and make, hopefully, a legal time on the circuit.”The world champion’s performances this season have raised eyebrows as he struggled on the circuit, and he is yet to come legally close to his national record of 13.14 seconds.Brathwaite opened the season with a wind-aided 13.33 seconds, but the times have fluctuated – from 13.41 to 13.67, then to 13.75, 13.34 and 13.53 when he placed last at the Prefonatine Classic earlier this month.That was one of the reasons why he went to NACAC: to “get back in my rhythm and try to take the pressure off of me on the circuit”.He said finishing second at that meet wasn’t important because he is trying to improve his times.Brathwaite was also asked to address the issue of dealing with the fact that he wasn’t at his best.“It is normal right now. Sometimes you get ups and downs and you can’t really worry about what happens. This is life. “Life is all about ups and downs. You have to go through them, learn from your mistakes and come back again.”Next year will bring the World Championships in Daegu, Korea, where he clocked 13.67 this season, and he is looking forward to defending his title.“I am going to go the old-school way, go hard and retain my gold medal,” he said.Brathwaite is part of the Barbados team to the Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico, where he will test whether the “old school ways” are working.