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Mouchette out to end 1500 metre medal drought

It’s been decades since a Bermudian stood proudly on the podium for the Carifta Games Under 20 boys 1500 metres.

The last local runner to earn the distinction was Kavin Smith after he won a silver medal in 1985.

However, if all goes accordingly 17-year-old middle distance runner Juma Mouchette hopes to put an end to the long drought during this year’s Games to be held for the fourth time on local soil.

“I have been running pretty good so my expectations are to medal, whether it be bronze, silver or gold,” he declared. “Last year I was at the bottom of my age group but now I’m in the middle and my times have been improving so I feel pretty confident. “I’m one hundred percent fit and everything is going good.”

The Berkeley Institute student has already tasted success at the Carifta Games having won a bronze medal in the Under 17 boys 1500m in the Cayman Islands two years ago and he hopes lightening will strike twice.

To enhance his chances of standing on the podium again Mouchette, whose personal best in the 1500m stands at 4:11, has gone the extra mile in training in the lead up to the Games.

“My training has been a lot harder because I have set a goal to run four flat or under,” he said. “I know that I need to train extra hard because I’ve looked at the times from the rest of the countries that are coming in and they are running 4:01 or 3:59 so in order for me to medal I would need to run that time.

“Right now I have been running 4.11 by myself and I feel the added adrenalin and harder competition is going to make me run even harder because that’s what happened in 2010. I went out there running 4.26 and ended up running a 4.12, which got me a medal.”

Mouchette says competing in front of the home crowd will give him added incentive to put his best foot forward in the hope of fulfilling his medal ambitions.

“I have been looking forward to running in front of my home crowd,” he added. “I feel it will give me more energy and push me more and the excitement will be that much better because I know they will be cheering for me.

“I love competing on the bigger stage and the attention, especially after you do good and everyone recognises your accomplishment. That’s why I always show up for the big occasion.”

Former top middle distance runner Mike Watson, who won a gold medal in the U-20 boys 1500m at the 1977 Carifta Games, reckons Mouchette has what it takes to earn a place on the podium.

“I think Juma has as much of a chance as anyone else if he applies himself,” Watson said. “Bermuda is known for producing good middle distance runners, and Juma is one of those who has that middle distance ability that should be in contention.”

Mouchette is also scheduled to compete in the U-20 boys 5000m at this year’s Carifta Games.

Juma Mouchette (left) Photo by Glenn Tucker

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Published April 05, 2012 at 10:13 am (Updated April 05, 2012 at 10:13 am)

Mouchette out to end 1500 metre medal drought

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