Who is Oblique Seville? Jamaican sprinter's road to Olympics paved with setbacks and injuries
The 20-year-old sensation equaled his personal best of 10.04 in a second-place finish in the heats of his first senior international 100m competition
Jamaican sprinter Oblique Seville is looking to make the most of the experience he gained from competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The promising athlete shot to prominence as he entered the roster for the men's 100m and 4x100m relay, but his journey to the world stage has been nothing but hard.
The 20-year-old sensation equaled his personal best of 10.04 in a second-place finish in the heats of his first senior international 100m competition. He subsequently clocked 10.09 for fourth in the semi-final, missing out on a spot in the final. However, he has displayed tremendous moxie for Jamaican fans to get excited about his future.
Who is Oblique Seville?
Seville, who was Class One champion in the 100 meters at the 2019 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships for Calabar High in 2019, recently told the Jamaican Gleaner how competing with the best in the world had convinced him that he belonged with them and that his experience would help him prepare for upcoming championships.
“This experience has told me that I can do well at this level and that I can do better than I did here when the opportunity comes to compete at another championship like this. I know that with work, I can continue to improve and do better,” Seville told The Gleaner. “It is a tremendous feeling just knowing that I am one of the youngest athletes out there and I am competing like this and going against the big guys,” he added. “I think that is a great achievement for me.”
Seville hopes that he can contribute to Jamaica's return to the top of male sprinting, considering the country's male athletes have continued to struggle at major international championships. They failed to secure a sprint medal at the 2019 World Championships. Furthermore, there was no Jamaican finalist in the men’s 100m at Tokyo 2020.
“I am just taking it gradually in the sport, but hopefully, I can bring back some success to Jamaica in the (men’s) sprints,” Seville told The Gleaner. “I would like to say that I appreciate all the support from back home and I am really thankful to everyone."
Seville's veteran coach Glen Mills described his protege as a fierce competitor and believes the youngster has a bright future ahead of him despite a number of setbacks in his training practices.
"Oblique has given an indication of what he is capable of by making the Olympic team at his first attempt of making a senior team on the international level," Mills told Star Sports. "He is a very tenacious youngster and his preparations going into the Olympics is fairly good, but it fell short of the targets that I set, but I am certain that he is going to go there and give the best performance of his life and I am very confident that whatever happens, he will do well," Mills added.
It's worth noting that Seville's road to Tokyo has not been easy. Several challenges, including a stubborn toe injury, have thwarted his progress this season.
"Oblique he did not finish his final year in high school, so he came to me pretty young and the transition from high school to the professional ranks is usually a very testing one and so far what we have been able to do, is work out a program that will allow him the time to mature and develop in the process of becoming successful at the highest level," Mills said.
"So far, as in many cases, he has had a number of setbacks," the coach explained. "In the very first year, he got a hamstring injury and it wasn't very severe but we pulled him out of any further competition for the year to ensure that he was able to rehab and so on," he continued. "Then with the pandemic, we lost several months during the lockdown, during the development stage and it has slowed us down, but in the case of young Oblique, I think he is very talented and he has the kind of speed that can take him very far up the ladder."