Mon | Sep 26, 2022

Anderson’s sports hero Arop excited for his future at 800m

Published:Sunday | July 24, 2022 | 12:07 AMDaniel Wheeler - Staff Reporter
Canada’s Marco Arop, the sporting hero and training partner of Jamaica’s Navasky Anderson competing in an 800-metre heat on day six of the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon last Wednesday.
Canada’s Marco Arop, the sporting hero and training partner of Jamaica’s Navasky Anderson competing in an 800-metre heat on day six of the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon last Wednesday.

Jamaica’s Navasky Anderson (right), a World Championship debutant and national record holder in the men’s 800m,  competing in on day six of the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Wednesday.
Jamaica’s Navasky Anderson (right), a World Championship debutant and national record holder in the men’s 800m, competing in on day six of the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Wednesday.
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EUGENE, Oregon MIDDLE-DISTANCE RUNNER Navasky Anderson’s first World Athletics Championships campaign may have been brief, but it has lit a fire, a fire that makes his training partner and sports hero, Canadian Marco Arop, proud. Arop has...

EUGENE, Oregon

MIDDLE-DISTANCE RUNNER Navasky Anderson’s first World Athletics Championships campaign may have been brief, but it has lit a fire, a fire that makes his training partner and sports hero, Canadian Marco Arop, proud.

Arop has witnessed Anderson’s rise first hand, in a season that saw him break Jamaica’s national 800-metre record, which stood since 1977 at the college outdoor championships last month and included winning the national title in his first meet back on home soil.

Anderson said that he looks up to Arop for guidance, and after winning his first-round heat on Wednesday, Arop was proud of how much Anderson has improved in the short time in college.

“Ever since he came to Mississippi State it’s been a pleasure to train with him. He has grown so much in the past couple of years that it’s amazing,” Arop said. Arop said that he was disappointed that Anderson did not join him in the semi-finals. He finished seventh in his heat in 1:48.37 seconds. That heat also included Canadian Brandon McBride, who was involved in a collision that also affected Anderson.

Fall affected him

“Unfortunately, he was in the same heat that Brandon (McBride was in). I think that fall affected him a bit. I was hoping to see him in the semi-finals, but I know that we will catch up afterwards,” Arop said.

Anderson said that his experience has only fuelled his drive as he hopes to be a beacon in the discipline as he became the first Jamaican athlete since Marvin Watts to complete at the World Championships in the 800m, a gap of 20 years.

“The disappointment that I am feeling, I will use that to fuel me in future years. Use that to train hard. On the mornings that I get up and I don’t feel like running. I’m going to remember that the first time that I came to the World Championships, this is what happened,” Anderson said.” And I am going to use that for better success.”

No one is rooting harder for Anderson to make that dream come true than Arop, who is excited about his future.

“It means a lot. I know how much he loves to represent his country. I think he wants to be a role model for Jamaicans who want to run the 800m in future. I hope that he takes that step, and it’s amazing to see,” Arop said.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com