BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Already a world beater at 400 metres, Antonio Watson is striding to accomplish a global golden feat yet again when he races in the 200 metres at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, which gets underway this evening (6 Oct) with Oblisco, the Opening Ceremony.
Watson, the World Youth 400 metres champion, says he has a preference for the shorter sprint.
“Most people would say the 400 is my pet event. I really feel more comfortable in the 200m. This gives me the opportunity to show what I can do in the 200,” he said.
The young man notes that he is a speed merchant and claims it is another reason spurring his interest in the half-lap because it gives him a chance to show off his speed.
“First of all it’s a shorter sprint so (there is) less distance. It gives me the chance to show off my speed because I like to show off my speed. In the 400 it takes a longer time, but in the 200 I will just use raw speed and that will take me throughout,” Watson explained.
The Petersfield High School athlete looked his usual powerful self while training here and notes that apart from being warned by his coach Machell Woolery, he has been adjusting well to the climate.
“The condition is not normal, but my coach gave me the pep talk before and said I’ll have to acclimatise before the competition. I think I’ve been adjusting well,” he assessed. “At training, most days it has been more breezy than I’m used to, but I’ve adapted to the wind movement fast.
“Before I got here my preparation was basically on power and strength. Now I’m here I’m putting in the speed work so it was great coming in because I wasn’t doing a lot of long runs as normal. I feel at 80 percent readiness, but as the week progresses I’m feeling more comfortable,” he added.
Seasoned with the achievement of ultimate success on the global stage, the Westmoreland resident admitted he is feeding off the experience.
“It boosts my confidence a lot because I got experience from the previous Games that I went to. It really plays back through my mind and (helps to) get me ready and confident,” he admitted.
“I haven’t seen the opponents’ time, but my coach always says ‘once you go out there everyone is at zero’. So I don’t really watch the noise of the market, I just go out there and deliver what I have to do,” stated the optimistic Watson.