Anderson targets men’s 800m at Worlds
After recently clocking the fifth-fastest 800m time by a Jamaican, Navasky Anderson hopes to become the nation's first male to compete at the World Athletics Championships since Mario Vernon-Watson and Alex Morgan in 1997.
Anderson, who ran a personal best of 1:45.89 minutes to win the men's 800m at the South-East Conference outdoors track and field championships in Oxford, Mississippi, last Saturday, said he is taking small steps to achieve the qualifying standard of 1:45.20 to compete at the World Athletics Championships at Oregon in July.
However, to do this he will have to go faster than the national record of 1:45.21 set by Seymour Newman in 1977.
"My aim is to achieve the highest level I could possibly achieve, surpassing the national record and performing at the highest level possible for Jamaica; putting 800m for Jamaican men into the spotlight, and to let the younger generation know that we can be dominant as well," he said.
As a part of the process to achieve these goals, Anderson had to run a personal best, which he said was not easy.
"It has been a lot of hard work and sacrifice," he said. "It is not just work that has been done throughout one year, but over time it's being able to run constantly, and hard reps in practice; doing sprints, long runs and stuff like that."
However, to achieve his bigger goals, the Mississippi State University student said he is putting his trust in his coach.
"I trust in the process that my coach has for me because coach Chris Woods has done it numerous times, he has a steady routine and he knows what he is doing," Anderson said. "For us, it is process over product, so that's why I focus on my short-term goals and as I do that, everything will fall into place."
The 2020 NJCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships second-place finisher said religion has also played a huge role in getting him to this stage and will help him to go further.
"As I go by, God always provides a pathway for me so that I can achieve whichever goal that is within my reach," Anderson said.
He said balancing sports and academics has also been important to him.
"Going to St Jago High School has created a sturdy educational background for me, so school was never a problem for me (because) I always get what I have to get done and I am strictly an A student," he said.
Anderson recently completed his bachelor's degree in business administration and will be furthering his studies with a master's in sports management and administration.
- Sharla Williams