Mothersill brushes aside fears

Judging by all the negative media
coverage Delhi has been getting, the Commonwealth Games in India will be a
disaster. The opening ceremony is on Sunday and it seems that the last-minute
clean up job and essential works will be going on right up to the first speech.

Nevertheless, Cayman’s most
seasoned professional athlete, Cydonie Mothersill, takes all the negativity in
her stride. She is just focused on being in top shape for the 200 metres and
bringing home another major medal. He is the most likely of Cayman’s track and
field members to cover herself with glory and on the evidence of her brilliant
form this year; the 32-year-old sprinter has every right to feel confident. Being
relatively injury free for the first time in years has helped, especially as
it’s been an exceptionally long season. Even Usain Bolt bowed out a month ago,
claiming injury but because he couldn’t be bothered. 

Mothersill is upbeat on Monday
morning immediately after her final serious training session at the Truman
Bodden track. “I’m definitely excited to be at another major Game and for my
season to be officially over on a high note,” she puffs having just finished a
set of tortuous 200m runs. “I’m looking forward to the Commonwealths for many,
many reasons.”

The scary media reports around
terrorist threats, poor sanitation, incomplete facilities and general chaos are
no significant concern to the seasoned sprinter. She’s seen and heard it all
before.  “As a professional athlete you
always want to be comfy, but if you’re not you just have to roll with the
punches. If we were talking about the Olympic Games you’d still get your mind
ready and be as physically fit as possible to compete. Sports people used to
loathe travelling to India – especially cricketers – because so often food poisoning,
aka ‘Delhi belly’ was inevitable.

“I’ve never been to India before.
To be honest, what I heard was a bit frightening, but I know we’re all covered,
not just physically but spiritually. They say they’re going to have great
security. Just like any country you go to, you bring the necessities that make
you comfy. So if you think you’re going to have an upset stomach then bring the
appropriate medication. You have to be prepared just in case. It’s just like
the Beijing Olympics. Everyone created an issue; you know, the weather, the
fog. I thought that was a great Olympics. One of the greatest. Sydney was my
best Olympics but Beijing was right there. I’m going to Delhi still cautious
but with an open mind.”

Many top names have already cried
off but it will still be highly competitive. Mothersill is not concerned about
who will turn it; she knows it will still be tough despite boycotts and absences.
“I’m not sure who my biggest rivals are. This year I pretty much just said: ‘I
have to take care of Cydonie and if I do that everything else will follow.’
That’s just what I’m doing.

“I had a rough year last year and I
know I had to get mentally tough and once I did that I knew that I could hit
certain workouts without freaking out. I do have a nagging Achilles heel
injury. It comes and goes but I’m thankful that this year I was able to
showcase my talent.”

She feels her best form was at the
Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico in July. “I really enjoyed
the CAC heats best. I felt great. We had a little bit of delays early on in the
first round and I wish I didn’t back off. I wish I had ran (flat out) the whole
race and I could have got an exceptionally fast time. But each of my successive
races this year I took something positive from them. Overall, I was very pleased.”

Her best advice to the other 16
members of the Cayman Islands group is to compete as a patriot, not individual.
“Forget self. You are representing the Cayman Islands, not yourself. Think of
country. Pride. If those things are at the forefront then great things can
happen. Track and field is a selfish sport so for me because I’ve always been
the only senior female athlete. I tend to be selfish. Sometimes in my sport it
requires that. But I always put country first. If each of the athletes do that
they’ll be awesome whether they make the finals or the second round, at least
they know they’ve put their best foot forward. And that is a tremendous
feeling.”  

SPORTSMothersillSTORY

Mothersill is having a great season.
Photo: Ron Shillingford
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