Forbes needed five CARIFTAS

Olympic sprint hurdler Ronald
Forbes will be taking a close eye at the CARIFTA championships this weekend
because he is a veteran of five of them.

Yet Forbes, 24, only won his sole
medal – a silver in the 400 metres hurdles – in the final championships he

The Games in Grenada in 2000 were
his first, then Barbados, followed by Trinidad, then the Bahamas and finally the
triumph in Bermuda.

“It was such a relief to get that
medal. I failed miserably before, coming fifth all four times,” said Forbes.  

“I knew what it took to win but all
the time I could see myself improving but they were nowhere near the times I

“In that final year I went off to
college and just ran meet after meet so by the time I went to CARIFTA I was
bigger and stronger than I’d ever been and pulled off that second place
finished in 2004.

“It was a big relief. Most of
Cayman’s CARIFTA team will probably go through two or three Games before they
get too old for it.

“I know the feeling when you’re
sitting at the closing ceremony sitting on the grass and you see the ones
playing outside with their medals on, swinging and blinging. You think: ‘Man, I
wonder how that feels?’ You think that year after year, but somehow you never
lose hope.

“It’s just for this team to keep
their heads up. For them to go through Games one or two and not get a medal
should not discourage them. I went through five.

“The medal is not the most important
thing. To the public it is, but to the competitors they have to look at it
through a time stand point. You’re basically competing against the clock.”

A month ago Forbes overcame a
niggling hamstring injury to post a fast time in New York that qualified him
for the World Indoor Championships in Qatar soon after in the 60m hurdles.

In the first round the resident of
Northside ran a relatively sluggish 7.86 seconds but still got through to the
semi-finals. Between Forbes and Eric Campbell (head coach at Florida
International University) they tried to rectify the mistakes in the semis but
Forbes was slower still and went out.

“I didn’t run too well in the semis
but the one thing good from it is that I am still healthy. No reoccurrence of
injury on my left hamstring, which is my lead leg.

“The indoors was a short time span
but the outdoor season is long, lasting up to October for the Commonwealth
Games in India.

“There’s also the CACs in Puerto
Rico in July, so I’ll have a lot of time to get ready to do what I have to do.”

Forbes will be competing mostly in
meets in Florida to try to get his race sharpness back.

He was at the last
Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia in 2006 but was injured there and
did not perform as well as he wanted, so that too is a target, just like the
CARIFTAs were.