Sprint sensation Kemar Hyman heads into the London Olympics in a couple of weeks grateful for the support that track queen Cydonie Mothersill has given him.
Mothersill, 34, is going to her fifth Olympic Games and this is Hyman’s first, but he enters the Games confidence boosted by his sizzling 9.95 seconds 100 metres in Spain twice on Saturday.
It lowered his old Cayman Islands national record from 10.04 seconds and raised expectations for the arduous 100m rounds in London.
Mothersill knows what it takes to get through the rounds having reached the 200m final four years ago at the Beijing Olympics. Hyman, 22, is inspired by her longevity and success in winning a world championship bronze and the Commonwealth Games gold two years ago.
Hyman said: “Cydonie told me that she likes the young person I have become and seeing that she’s been there and done it all, she wants to pass that baton on to me. She also said that I’m a very nice person and I really appreciate that critique.
“I’m happy she said that and it gives me extra motivation. To tell me that I am going to take on her legacy feels good. Kareem Streete-Thompson and Cydonie have set a trend and I want to take it over and then pass it on to the next person.”
The swimming brothers Shaune and Brett Fraser represent the Cayman Islands at the London Games which start on 27 July and on track besides Mothersill in the 200m and Hyman, Ronald Forbes races in the men’s 110m hurdles.
Hyman is looking forward to bonding with Forbes having received a few tips from him in the past.
Kenrick Williams, the Cayman Islands technical director of track and field, had a huge influence in Hyman’s formative years. Ken Harden is his coach now in Florida but it was Williams who had the biggest input early on.
“Coach Kenrick has definitely been there for me along the way,” Hyman said. “He knows what to say. I remember doing this new workout and calling him for advice. I like to hear his advice and he will always be there as a mentor having watched me grow up.”
Hyman was one of the local athletes at the inaugural Cayman Invitational two months ago, coming fifth in the 100m. It was his first professional run after graduating from Florida State. The 9.95 seconds clocking in Madrid was only his second pro meet.
“I think that the Cayman Invitational is going to get bigger and more popular,” Hyman said. “Hopefully next year we’ll reach that level where guys like Usain Bolt will be coming down.
“I really loved it and I think it can excel even more if we have the support from everybody, such as the sponsors, government and having more people coming out to watch us and make this meet go from a ‘B’ level to ‘A’.
“The other athletes really enjoyed it. I talked to Kim Collins (the former world champion) and he said he’s coming back next year.
“He said it was a really good meet and was impressed with all the support we had on island. Hopefully, he can tell other people and they will join in.
“Me being on the circuit next year I’ll also put in the word and make everybody know about the Cayman Islands and put us on the map.”
Local coach Tyrone Yen said: “When I first saw Kemar’s 9.95 second result I was really impressed. He had been training exceptionally hard. We expected him to win the NCAAs but didn’t so it was nice to see him bounce back and redeem himself.
“He is on the pro circuit now which is a plus and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him on the Diamond League circuit and running much better times.”