Tue | Jul 23, 2024

Bloomfield hangs up his spikes

Published:Saturday | May 25, 2024 | 12:11 AMGregory Bryce/Staff Reporter
Akeem Bloomfield
Akeem Bloomfield

Former schoolboy standout and the second-fastest Jamaican ever over 400 metres, Akeem Bloomfield, has retired from track and field at the age of 26. His decision was confirmed by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) president Garth Gayle.

Speaking with The Gleaner, Gayle confirmed the JAAA was informed about Bloomfield’s decision to step away from the sport earlier this week. Gayle sought to thank Bloomfield for time as a national representative as well as wishing him the best for the future.

“We have recognised his decision and we at the JAAA respect his choice,” said Gayle. “We wish him all the best in all his future endeavours. He was a bright prospect for us especially in the 400m so we would have appreciated all that he has done to develop the sport of track and field.”

Bloomfield first rose to prominence as a junior athlete while he was a student at Kingston College. He was a rising star during his time at the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championship (Champs) where he became the first athlete to dip below the 45-second barrier in the Class One boys’ 400m at Champs back in 2015 when he ran a blistering 44.93.

Throughout his junior career, Bloomfield was also a back-to-back Carifta Games Under-20 gold medallist when he claimed the 400m title in 2015 and 2016.

He would further impress in his senior career, becoming a double World silver medallist as a member of the Jamaican 4x400m relay team in the 2019 and 2022 World Athletics Championships.

However, his career was marred by major injuries and personal loss following the passing of his mother in 2021 from cancer.

Bloomfield retires as the national record holder in the men’s indoor 400m with his best-time of 44.86 and the second-fastest Jamaican in the outdoor event with his personal best of 43.94.

His last professional race came last year when he competed at Tom Jones Memorial track meet, placing sixth with a time of 45.52.