Forbes focused on redemption

Ronald Forbes at Truman Bodden Sports Complex.

The islands’ top hurdler is working to put a disappointing 2017 behind him as he puts in the work ahead of the 2018 season, in which he hopes to bring the Cayman Islands some glory on the international stage.

The past season was the first time in about a decade that Ronald Forbes did not have a time fast enough to qualify for the IAAF World Championships. But it was not as though the national record holder did not give it his best shot.

The 32-year-old North Sider was battling back from a devastating 2016, when he tore his calf muscle and part of his Achilles tendon ahead of the Olympics in Rio.

“2017 started out fairly good. I was opening up with some fairly decent times and just started having issue after issue,” Forbes said in a recent interview with, pointing to hamstring cramps and wind issues with some of the races as part of the problem (not that he’s one for making any excuses).

“One of the races leading up to the end of the season, I was on target to run the exact time, got off of hurdle six I think it was, the guy next to me collided arms [with me] and I literally turned sideways in the air,” the Florida International University alumnus recalled.

Looking back at the 2017 season and the series of unfortunate events that resulted in him watching the IAAF World Championships in London from afar like the rest of us, Forbes sounded resilient.

Photo courtesy Cayman Islands Olympic Committee

“It was one of those experiences I don’t want to ever have again. I’ll just have to become stronger and more resilient to whatever changes or ‘hurdles’ that get in my way in preparations for these major championships,” he said.

So, training started in early September for a year in which he plans to represent his home country at the IAAF World Indoor Championships (after missing the last one due to an administrative error by the Cayman Islands Athletics Association) and the Commonwealth Games.

“The work for 2018 has started and we will continue all the way until December, when you start to get yourself into a race type of mind frame because when January hits, it’s not time to knock the rust off. You got to hit the ground running because of the closeness of World Indoors in March,” Forbes said.

When Forbes was last in top shape, he turned in a career best time of 13.36 seconds in the 110m hurdles to set the Cayman Islands national record in April 2016. Weeks later, he was hit by the devastating injury that kept him from training and competing heading into the Olympics, where he failed to advance. Couple that with the disappointment of this year when his fastest time was 13.67 seconds and you can understand why he’s eager for redemption in 2018.

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