Although he did not advance to the semifinals of the men’s 110m hurdles, Cayman’s three-time Olympian Ronald Forbes says he still views Monday night’s heat as “a success.”
For him, his performance was a victory because he had been training for only about two weeks, following a severe calf injury he suffered in May which left him temporarily unable to walk.
Forbes, 31, finished 34th out of 35 competitors, in 14.67 seconds, well short of the qualifying cut-off of 13.70.
He said, “It was raining in all nine lanes and it was cold in all nine, [but] the weather factor [Monday] night was insignificant to the storm I faced in the last three-and-a-half months.”
“I was able to get some of the best help in the world, medical-wise. Less than two months ago, I couldn’t walk. Right now, I am springing hurdles and my times in practice reflect where I was pre-injury,” said Forbes, whose personal best time is 13:36 seconds.
“I had about five doctors say this is going to take a long period of time to get over. I’ve beaten every single timeline by far on the recovery phase of this. I am very glad to be where I am right now,” he said.
Forbes’s coach Joey Scott said the injury should have kept him from competing for the rest of the year.
“He just got injured 12 weeks ago and for him to come out and do this, and make it over 10 barriers” showed a lot about Forbes’s character and relentlessness, Scott said.
Before the Olympics, Forbes said he would not be using his injury as a crutch and would compete.
“I go out there and execute to the best of my ability – that’s what people expect from me and that’s what I have to deliver,” he said before the heat.
“It takes an unbelievable amount of effort and unbelievable amount of dedication just to make it here [to the Olympics],” Forbes said after the competition. “Being a professional at the level I am, you don’t make excuses about whether it was raining, or a bird flew by or whatever the case should be.”
Crossing the finish line, Forbes said, “I didn’t even know what time it was and I didn’t care at that point. The fact is I just cleared 10 hurdles after having less than two weeks of hurdle practice.”
“I was super proud of him,” said coach Scott. “Even though we didn’t get the results that we wanted, he showed me that he has a lot of heart. He has a lot of pride for his country, he has a lot of pride for himself. He showed me a lot in that race.
“It’s crazy because 24 hours before the race, I was going to yank him out the race, but … he wanted to carry his country’s flag on his back across the line. And that showed me a lot about what type of athlete he is,” Scott said.