Off-season training reaping rewards for record-breaking Arinze Chance
By Akeem Greene
USA-based Guyanese sprinter Arinze Chance is bursting with speed in 2019. A student at South Carolina University, Chance firstly clocked the third fastest indoor 300m for the year, stopping the clock at 33.00s.
Over the weekend, the 23-year-old broke Guyana’s national 400m indoor record with a blistering time of 46.15s, which is also the second fastest in the world currently.
The rewards he reaps now are just the tip of the iceberg since the ultimate aim is to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The groundwork for the current success comes from the sweat and pain of arduous hours in the off-season.
“Preparation for these meets was just a good off-season training. Six days a week on the track and four days in the gym is basically all it took. We did some tests during the off-season which gave an indication I was going to open the season pretty very fast,” he conveyed to News Room Sport in an exclusive interview on Sunday (January 20).
Some athletes spend an entire lifetime hoping to break or even equal a record. That wait for the former Bishops’ High School Student was not as long.
“Being in the record books is a great feeling because there is nothing like having a record next to your name. You will be a part of history and the younger generation to come will know you as the person who had the record.”
There is still humility and deep desire to keep getting faster while he enhances his academia in Global studies with a focus on Leadership and Economic Development.
“I just have to keep practicing, get more races with stiffer competition and I think I am on course to do pretty exceptional things this season. I want to stay healthy, run as many races as I can and keep having fun.”
Chance’s coach Curtis Frye stated in an interview with Gamecocks online: “Last year it took 46.1s to get to the NCAA so somewhere near a time that would ensure him that we would get to the NCAA. He has got more work to do, he stumbled the last few steps into the finish line so he has got a bit more left.”
Chance, who spent his elementary years in Guyana, moved to the twin-island republic where he competed at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. With a desire to make Guyana proud, he hopes he can earn support from those with the means.
“I have gotten little or no support from any organising body when I was in Guyana, Trinidad and now here. My hope is that I am never an automatic pick…if I am not fast don’t send me. Guyana has a policy where they always send someone who they know could run fast or used to run fast rather than sending the person who is running fast at the said time. Track and field is sometimes about timing.”
“Somebody cannot be the fastest every single month, every single year. If the AAG [Athletics Association of Guyana] is talking about keeping trials, I think people should be selected from those trials rather than just sending people because they are fast. I don’t want that for me. I want to work and feel accomplished for making the team.”
Chance is expected to be back at the track on February 2, with the aim of lowering the record time as he builds momentum towards Olympic qualifying times.