Raymond Higgs eager to get going
DAEGU, South Korea – The high jumper turned long jumper… at least for these World Championships is becoming more anxious with each passing day awaiting action here in Daegu, South Korea.
When the Men’s Long Jump qualifying competition finally gets underway on Thursday here at Daegu Stadium (late Wednesday in The Bahamas), Raymond Higgs will be right in his element.
He might be in his first World Championships but the 20-year-old Bahamian loves the spotlight and competing on the big stage.
“I just want to go out there and do my best,” said Higgs. “I think the experience I get alone will be big – to learn what I need to do and what I don’t need to do at a meet of this caliber. This will be a great experience for the Olympics,” he added.
Higgs has already qualified for next year’s Olympic Games, by posting that personal best 8.15-meter (m) – 26’ 9” – leap in May. With that leap, he became the first Bahamian to qualify for the 2012 London Games.
He is a three-time gold medalist in the High Jump at the CARIFTA Track and Field Championships but experienced more success in the Long Jump this year. The versatile athlete also experienced success in the Triple Jump as well. According to reports, he is the only Bahamian to have ever jumped 26 feet in the Long Jump, seven feet in the High Jump, and 49 feet in the Triple Jump.
“I haven’t totally switched from the High Jump to the Long Jump… it’s just that the High Jump wasn’t really clicking for me this year,” said Higgs. “Right now, I’m just going with the one that I qualified in.
“I had some good jumps in practice so that distance (8.15m) wasn’t really a shock for me. When I saw Bianca struggle in her competition on Saturday, that got me a lil nervous but I’ll do what I need to do to adjust – just put back my run-up and just get on the board,” he added.
With that 8.15m leap, Higgs trails just national record holder Craig Hepburn and Osbourne Moxey in terms of furthest jump for Bahamian long jumpers. Hepburn is the only Bahamian to ever jump 27 feet with his 8.41m (27’ 7-1/4”) national record, and Moxey has a personal best of 8.19m (26’ 10-1/2”).
“The qualifying mark for the final should be around 8.15m, so if I PR (personal best) I should be able to make the final,” said Higgs. “That right there would be a big accomplishment for me. I know it’s going to be stiff competition but I’m ready for it. I’m just going out there to perform,” he added.
The Men’s Long Jump final is set for Friday at 7:20 p.m. here in Daegu.