Forde advises Gale to press on
Look at the bigger picture and set your goals even higher. Unhappy that the officials took until the next day to announce Kyle Gale’s disqualification after winning the Under-17 Boys’ 400 metres at the 47th Flow CARIFTA Games, one of Barbados’ greatest athletes, Elvis Forde, is urging the promising young athlete not to be discouraged.
“I wish him all the best and hopefully he would learn something from the mistake that was made. You can look at it and cut it and dice it however you want, but the rules are the rules,” two-time Olympian Forde told MIDWEEK SPORT.
Forde was among the dozens of coaches from universities and colleges in the United States visiting The Bahamas over the Easter weekend, scouting for athletes.
“I think, sometimes, that is what makes you stronger, because I could remember when I first got left off the CARIFTA team, it gave me a little more determination,” said Forde, head coach at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennyslavania.
But he wasn’t happy with the procedure which led to Gale’s disqualification even though he wasn’t aware Jamaica had protested within the 30-minute period.
“Learning about how the young man got disqualified from the 400 metres, I was very taken aback by it, especially after it had been overnight. So that was very surprising to learn after the fact that he was disqualified the next day instead of right immediately after the event had happened,” he said.
Forde said he was oblivious to the full extent that the Athletics Association of Barbados had protested the disqualification.
“I don’t know how much the association protested the incident, but you have to fight for a young man like that when something like that happens, to show them that you care,” he said.
Concerned that his own Barbados senior 400 metres record of 45.32 seconds, set at the 1984 Olympic Games, is still standing after more than three decades, Forde wants Gale to see that as his long-term target.
“Having lost that gold medal, I hope it would catapult him to some bigger and better things in the future and hopefully that 400 Barbados national record would be something that he can shoot for.”
Forde said the breaking of records would signal improvement by the current crop of athletes.
“I am always hopeful someone will come by and take that off the list quite soon because I think when that happens, it makes me believe we are making progress. I think it has been up there for too long.
“Over the years, I thought people like Seibert Straughn and Wilan Louis would’ve been the first to take that record down, but I am still optimistic that Anderson Devonish has a chance to do that over the next couple of weeks and months,” he said. (EZS)