Jah-Nhai Perinchief adamant the best is still yet to come
Jah-Nhai Perinchief is determined to build on his early success as a professional athlete and believes the best is yet to come.
The Bermudian made a flying start at a higher level, having earned the silver medal in the men’s triple jump with an indoor best of 16.55 metres on his professional debut, competing at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Staten Island, New York, this month.
He then went one better in his very next outing with victory at the Tyson Invitational athletics meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with a new personal indoor best and world-leading 16.91 metres.
While pleased with his recent displays, Perinchief reckons he has more to offer.
“I feel I have more in the tank because I felt at that meet [Tyson Invitational] it got rushed towards the end and I was a little tired,” he told The Royal Gazette. “We went from ten jumpers, to nine, to six, to four in the finals.
“It felt like a practice session where you jump, have a two-minute break and then you’re jumping again. It’s not like you get a full recovery.
“I feel I have a lot more in the tank but I could not put it together due to me just being tired, which is not a bad thing.
“It gives me something to work on and I’m going to feed off doing this, [securing victory] off limited rest.
“I have a lot more that I can work on, like keeping my speed through the board. “I got a lot faster but I’m still not comfortable with the speed. It’s changed up my timing a little, so I have to slow up my phases.
“It’s the hardest thing coming down the runway, going fast and then you have to be in the air going slow.”
Perinchief is delighted to have jumped further that anyone else in the world so far this year but refuses to get carried away by the feat.
“It feels good but I don’t really ever look at stuff like that because I look at it like on the day,” he said.
“You can have a world lead but on that day you still have to produce.
“It’s a good accomplishment and it’s nice because it brings some recognition to me and what I have been doing and people can see that this kid is really legit. But at the same time it’s just another accolade that can possibly go away.
“I’m grateful to have it and blessed to be healthy. But I just pass through that stuff and I’m ready to compete.”
The 24-year-old also refuses to take all of the credit for his recent success, which he largely attributes to coach Travis Geopfert, who also coached him at the University of Tennessee.
“I think I have one of the best coaches in the world,” Perinchief added.
“He’s humble, so he doesn’t like taking any credit. We tell him he’s the goat and he doesn’t like to be called that.
“He was my same coach at Tennessee and was also my first coach here when I first moved to Arkansas.
“That’s my coach and he hasn’t failed me, not once. I fully trust him almost with my life, that’s how much I trust his training.”
Perinchief graduated from the University of Tennessee last year as the Southeastern Conference champion and second-ranked nationally in the United States.
He won gold at the SEC Championships with a wind- assisted personal best of 16.89 to become the first Tennessee triple jump champion in 34 years.
He then claimed silver at the NCAA Championships with a new best leap of 17.03, which broke the previous Tennessee record of 16.94 that had stood for 36 years.