National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago

media_artricles :: 2016


Hurdler Thomas banking on his faith for a podium finish

Sean Nero :: Trinidad Guardian :: 06.08.2016

Mikel Thomas, the 2015 Pan American Games 110-metre hurdles silver medallist, gets ready to challenge the world at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which started yesterday, with the intent to deliver results that will make the T&T populace proud.

This is the 29-year-old athlete's third consecutive appearance at the Olympics, having proudly worn the national colours in Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Having grown spiritually and emotionally and with his mind and body conditioned for the task ahead, Thomas, revealed to the Guardian before heading to Brazil to fly the red, white and black national colours that: "This is my third consecutive Olympic appearance and I believe it's the one I have the best composure and physical fitness for. So, I am looking forward to going out there, hopefully, leaving a performance that will leave my country proud and inspire and encourage others along the way."

He sees representing T&T as a blessing, an honour, a privilege and a curse at times saying, "We dedicate countless hours, years for moments that hopefully will leave an impact for the nation that we represent and the sporting fraternity. To represent T&T has always been a privilege, to show what is possible when we as a people put our minds together and work towards something, because I am not an island, so I can't say that did this on my own. It's through support (from) coaches, family, friends, countless others who have become part of my journey, representing sporting bodies that envision something that we are willing to support."

He expressed hope that nationals accessing social media platforms and live streaming services would truly become a part of this journey and in the process humanise the process, helping people understand just how hard it was to walk the road of an elite athlete.

"I need to help people understand how hard it is to walk this road at times through defeat, through questions of worth and self sacrifice. Your life is literally on hold for a number of years. There is very little to gain than people may think and it's very, very hard to say that in your field, your craft, you are trying to be the very best in the world: not just at your company, not just in your country, but in the world. It's a huge gamble that we take, but we do it out of pride and love and the chance that we can leave something that would last longer than our time here," said the champion hurdler.

Reflecting on his participation at the Beijing Olympics and then in London, Thomas said, "You just don't wake up the year of, and decide you want to make it to the Olympics. Years of hard work, blood, sweat and tears that builds up, for moments, a few seconds that allows you an opportunity. And, making the team does not end the journey. You are just continuing to press on, continuing to refine yourself, your skills, in order to achieve greater."

While he described 2015 as one of his best years, the top athlete was firm in his belief that for him, the best were yet to come. Competing at last season's international championships and knowing what it felt like to be expected to win, as well as being the underdog and registering performances that allowed the favourite to take notice, empowered him.

Apart from the Pan American Games in Canada, at which he captured a silver in 13.17 seconds, he won gold for T&T when he took the 110m hurdles in 13.23 and inked a new championship record at the NACAC senior championship in Costa Rica.


Hurdler Thomas banking on his faith for a podium finish
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Mikel Thomas

Guardian Media

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