J’auza James looking to shine as Bermuda Pacers fly out to New York
J’Auza James is determined to put his best foot forward in pursuit of more glory at the 2023 Armory Youth Championships in New York on Saturday.
The Berkeley Institute student is representing Bermuda Pacers Track Club and has his work cut out competing in the boys’ 17-18 age group as he takes on the high jump, long jump and 400 metres.
James is in excellent condition going into the USA Track and Field-certified championships and he hopes to add another gold medal to the one he earned in the boys’ 15-16 high jump on his debut at the indoor event three years ago.
“I feel good. I went swimming and got an ice bath the other day, so the body is feeling 100 per cent,” he told The Royal Gazette.
“I am just looking to see what I am capable of this time around; go for personal bests and try to improve with a little bit of fine tuning here and there. I haven’t been in the last two years so I don’t generally know what my competition is looking like. I am going in a little blind this year but I will still persevere and fight for a top spot on the podium.”
The 17-year-old reckons his previous experience at the track meet will come in very useful.
“I think my experience there should help me a bit this time around, knowing what to expect and knowing the conditions indoors,” James added.
“It’s loud and warm indoors so generally for the distance-running events you have to control your breathing a bit because you are not getting that 100 percent air from outside.
“The weather out there is also a bit different from the weather here, whereas it’s probably more humid and dry here than there”
Personal goals aside, James is thrilled to have been afforded another opportunity to showcase his talents on the international stage.
“It’s just a great experience and feeling to be able to travel abroad and compete at this level,” he said. “It’s always an honour to represent Bermuda internationally.”
Bermuda Pacers will be represented by Shayla Cann, I’aura Golding, J’Naz Richards, Cameron Adkins, Amaris Munya, Azari Jones, Miles Outerbridge, Maximillian Reid, Anthony Harkness, Andre Hollinsid, Riana Robinson and Jasmine Reid-Rubaine.
“I think we have a pretty strong team going to New York,” James added. “We have quite a few people who have qualified for Carifta going on this trip.
“Some of them are new to indoors, so this will be their first time going. They won’t really know what to expect but we will see how they cope with the conditions.”
The local track club’s team features eight athletes who will represent the island at the 50th Carifta Games in Bahamas next month and James is looking forward to the experience.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to compete at Carifta again,” added James, who is competing in the multi-discipline octathlon at the upcoming regional championships for the second straight year.
“My first year qualifying (2021) we missed out, so it was kind of an upset, but we kept on training and had some fun at Carifta in Jamaica last year.
“I met new people, achieved new personal bests and gained more knowledge and experience overseas at that calibre of an event.
“This year it’s in Bahamas, one of my favourite places to go, and I am hungry for the top spot and it’s definitely going to be a fight for the win.”
The Carifta Games will be held at Thomas A Robinson National Stadium from April 8 -10.
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