Gibson set to defend Pan Am Games title

LIMA, Peru — It was four years ago in Toronto, Canada, when Bahamian Jeffery Gibson completed the 400 meters (m) hurdles final in 48.51 seconds for gold at the 17th Pan American Games. He stands as the only Bahamian defending champion, here in Lima, Peru, for the 18th Pan Am Games.

He has won an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships bronze medal (2015); has won a Diamond League race (2015); captured silver (2018) and bronze (2014) Commonwealth Games medals; and he garnered a Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championships silver medal (2013). He has a personal best time in the 400 meters over obstacles, of 48.17 seconds.

That’s quite a resume, but Gibson is an unsung hero at home, despite accomplishments other countries would be proud to own. He is in Lima, though, to give his best contribution to enhance The Bahamas’ sports brand.

Gibson has faced injuries at inconvenient times over the last three years but says he is ready to defend his 2015 championship. Thus far this season, he has a best clocking of 49.73 seconds, done in Germany back in June.

“It’s nice to be here four years later. I’m looking forward to competing. Just like how I medaled in the Commonwealth Games in 2014, and again last year in 2018, I want to repeat, do the same this time, here in Lima,” said Gibson who disclosed that thus far he has been satisfied with his training this year.

“My training has been good. There have been some lulls, like dealing with personal matters, like deaths in the family, but I’m back on track. You know, it’s six weeks until the world championships and I’m just taking it one race at a time, one major competition at a time. The Pam Am Games are here and my main goal is to qualify (for the worlds), not only qualify, but to lower my times,” said Gibson.

After the bronze at the worlds in 2015, a number of factors hampered his rise to a further elite level.

“I’ve had my injury issues. You know that just before the 2016 Olympics I ended up suffering a leg injury and that sort of threw me off for the 2017 season. Then, changing coaches and other issues like that came into play. I’m just starting to get back into my groove now and enjoying track like I used to,” said Gibson who brushed aside the 100 percent conditioning term.

“I don’t pay much attention to the 100 percent status, but when the moment comes I know I will be ready,” he said confidently.

What about goals at Pan Am?

“I know the main goal, the first goal, is to qualify, and second goal is to win a medal,” added the Grand Bahama native.

He is definitely one of the true Bahamian medal hopefuls.

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