The London Olympics start this weekend and the five Cayman Islands athletes are fine tuning for the biggest challenge of their careers.
Track queen Cydonie Mothersill runs in the 200 metres from 6 August, Ronald Forbes is in the 110m hurdles from 7 August and Kemar Hyman is in the 100m from 4 August.
Swimming brothers Shaune and Brett Fraser are the first Caymanians in action, in the 200m freestyle on Sunday.
At the Spectrum Sports track in Guildford, 30 miles south of London, on Monday, Forbes and Hyman were working hard with last minute adjustments under the watchful eye of track technical director Kenrick Williams and Joey Scott, Forbes’s specialist coach.
“I’ve sent a link on Facebook for all the fans watching,” Forbes said. “When me, Kemar and Cydonie go at it, we’re on track.
“Our training sessions have been going good. The weather, believe it or not, has more or less been on our side. I’m finally glad to see that I’m back in full training. The injury I had earlier this year has gone and I’m just going to go out there and give it my 100 per cent as usual.
“Hopefully, I’ll pull off a personal best performance which I think I’m capable of achieving and I really think my teammates can do the same, especially Kemar who has been having a great year.
“I think we should all be very proud of him and also the whole of the Cayman Islands contingent in London. These Games are certainly going to be very exciting. I’m not an amateur anymore. I went to the last Olympics in Beijing and kind of know what to expect with the opening ceremony on Friday. I do hope that London can top what Beijing did.
“The opening ceremony is fit to be a blast and I’m really looking forward to it and the Games really kicking off.”
Hyman said: “I’m the Cayman Islands 100m record holder with 9.95 seconds. Training has been great for me and Ronald. We’ve put in a lot of hard work throughout the year.
“I’ve had a really successful year so far and for him I want to see him do his best and hopefully get to the final. For me, I’ll just try to get through the rounds.
“My first major meet was in 2009 and hopefully, I can bounce back and in these Olympics make it through the rounds and maybe surprise some people who doubted me and make it to the latter rounds and surprise myself.”
Hyman’s improvement this year has been phenomenal. He has shattered the Cayman Islands 100m record and gone from a fringe competitor to genuine world class performer.
“My progression throughout this year has been immense. My coach always said that the times I do in training if I could produce that in races then I could be a champ. I really doubted him without worrying about my times and it produced my personal best in Madrid three weeks ago with the sub-10 run.
“I really don’t know what to expect but hope to go faster than 9.95 seconds and give the Cayman Islands another record. I just want to keep shocking myself and stay injury free.
“Even after the Olympics, I’m definitely sure Ronald and I can get in meets in Europe. I’m looking forward to that and in the years to come. I just came out of school in June. This is fresh and new to me and Ronald is like a mentor right now. He can teach ne and hopefully he will be good for me in the upcoming years.”
Coach Williams said: “I’ve noticed that Ronald and his coach Joey are getting on well and look ahead of what he was at Beijing when he made it to the second round. Hopefully, this time he can go straight through to the finals – and this time we can get a least a third of the pie.
“Kemar was working with his personal coach in Birmingham and I’m just supervising him until he links up with him again in the Olympic village. The only drawback for us was that in the first week it was very cold and coming from a hot and humid climate.
“Two days ago the weather improved and I hope it transpires for the Olympics.
“On Thursday we have a flag-raising ceremony, the day before the opening ceremony. We know the athletes have been training really hard. Cydonie is not here with us at the moment, however, she will join us in the near future and we hope that the track and field team will do great things for the Cayman Islands. “
Coach Joey Scott said: “This is my first season with Ronald. I got him just before the Commonwealth Games and he has actually improved a lot and is more mentally mature. “Ron has overcome a lot of injuries this year and setbacks and now our training is going 100 per cent. When we go into the village on Wednesday we will still have plenty of time to get ready for competition.
“Ron has not had as much competition as we would have liked, but we’re going into the mindset that he is going to represent the Cayman Islands in the best way possible. Ronald doesn’t have any aches and pains – apart from when I kill him on the track. We set out a schedule and hopefully he will be able to go through the rounds and end up on that podium.”