By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Coming up against the best 400m Hurdles field assembled so far this year, Kyron McMaster had the biggest test of his athletics career on Sunday, in his debut in an International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League competition.
For McMaster, the London Anniversary Games was a tune up for his August 6 preliminary run in the IAAF World Championships, in the same stadium where he will showcase his talent to the world in less than three weeks.
Competing in the IAAF Diamond League event for the first time, McMaster got a fast start and led the race but stumbled on the ninth hurdle, still led after ten, before Rio Olympic 400m Hurdles champion Kerron Clement of the USA on his outside corridor, seized control and ran a season’s best 48.02 seconds to win. McMaster, predicted to finish second in the August 9IAAF World Championships final by Track and Field News, placed second in 48.12, the second best time of his career, behind his world leading 47.80, from May in Jamaica.
The 20 year old said he felt that he ran a fairly decent race up until the last 150m, mainly because he wasn’t able to catch a rhythm and his race fell apart.
“I wasn’t able to execute the last part of the race, not because I was fatigued or anything, it was just poor execution of what I was supposed to do,” he noted of his fourth race of the season. “I was running too fast. When I wanted to go over (the hurdle) with my right leg, the left leg came and I over rotated too much and went a bit too high in the air. It all has a lot to do with how fast I’m moving, so it’s a matter of controlling the speed with the technique.”
Coach Dag Samuels said Kyron is a sprinter running the hurdles and he got concerned during warmup because of his speed and if he hit even just one hurdle, it would throw him off.
“It so happened that to No 7 and No 8, he went so fast that he actually jumped over the hurdle rather than hurdle it and came off, off balanced and he just couldn’t get his composure after that,” Samuels said, noting that there are some things he’s going to do different ensure Kyron keeps the speed but has the control for the World Championships. “If he doesn’t have the speed, chances are, he won’t be a medalist. But we just have to get it under control and will do the things to get it to that point.”
The environment McMaster said, was nothing like he has ever experienced.
“It was an uplifting one, nothing like what I’ve been accustomed to,” he noted. “This helped me with confidence and what I wanted to do in the race.”