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Perinchief returns in style

Photograph courtesy of University of ArkansasRaising the bar: Jah-Nhai Perinchief was in fine form at the NCAA Arkansas Qualifier and UCS Invitational in Fayetteville and Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Jah-Nhai Perinchief believes his long bout with injury may have been a “blessing in disguise”.

The University of Arkansas jumper was forced to undergo extensive rehabilitation for a hip injury last summer.

His troubles seemed to be behind him and he was given the green light to resume competing but suffered another setback after tearing his hamstring early during the NCAA Indoor season.

After more treatment, Perinchief made a spectacular comeback from his ordeal by establishing two personal indoor bests and shattering his own national record at the Arkansas Qualifier and UCS Invitational in Fayetteville and Winston-Salem, North Carolina last week.

The 20-year-old broke his own national indoor record en route to winning the high jump with a leap of 2.22 metres. His jump vaulted him up to No 9 on the NCAA leaderboard and tied him for No 8 on Arkansas’ all-time best list.

Perinchief then completed an impressive double by winning the triple jump with another personal best leap of 16 metres to debut on the NCAA triple jump list at No 13.

“It was my first performance in ten months and really I have no complaints,” Perinchief told The Royal Gazette.

“I was out there having fun and was just more happy to jump because I had been out for so long. I was happy to go out there healthy and compete and to get a personal record in triple jump too was a plus.

“I really wasn’t supposed to compete in triple jump as I hadn’t trained because of the injury. But my coach said, ‘Let’s do this as a practice and have fun’, and I ended up with personal records in both.

“The injury is more like a blessing in disguise because we have figured out what I need to work on and I feel stronger and continue to get stronger every day and every week.

“I still have some nicks I have to work out. But I rehab twice every day and they [coaching staff] stay on top of me when it comes to taking care of my body and prevention. Their main thing is getting me strong enough to compete and train more.

“I do a lot of general strength training to help prevent and build my strength, so I don’t have injuries for future years to come.

“Their main vision is long term and not short term and I respect that.”

Donna Raynor, the Bermuda National Athletics Association president, is excited about Perinchief’s return to form.

“I am so excited that Jah-Nhai has got over his injury and is now back to jumping,” she said. “Not only is he just jumping, but jumping very well and breaking his own indoor record.”

Rohaan Simons, the national jumping coach, said he always felt confident that Perinchief would perform well at the Arkansas Qualifier and UCS Invitational.

“I knew Jah-Nhai was going to jump over 2.20,” Simons said.

“I think he can go 2.30-plus indoors before he graduates if he stays fit and continues to improve.

“That’s not putting any pressure on him but general progression if you factor in he was injured for nearly a year and was on a pretty good path coming into his first year at Arkansas.

“From now until he completes his collegiate career I see no reason why he couldn’t do that indoors because he has the ability and strength and resources out there with the coaching staff.”