Forbes: Rio was ‘toughest performance’ of career


Ronald Forbes described the 110m heat he ran at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janiero on Monday, 15 August, as the toughest performance of his career, as he refused to make excuses for his failure to advance to the semifinals.

Forbes finished a distant sixth in his heat with a time of 14.67 seconds and was eliminated from competition after one race. Entering the Games, Forbes was Cayman’s best hope to make a final and possibly medal.

Ronald Rio 2“It was not one of my best performances but my toughest performance to date,” the North Sider said a day after the race, his first competition since May when he tore a muscle in his leg. Only two and a half weeks ago did Forbes resume running over hurdles.

“My coach said this was going to be the most ready you’re going to be at this point. He was like ‘all I can tell you, man, is to go out there and rely on experience, rely on faith, rely on God, rely on everything you possibly had in your being to execute in that race’,” Forbes recalled.

His race was run on a wet track after the qualifying rounds were disrupted by persistent downpours. Runners in two heats most affected by the rain were given another chance to qualify for the semifinals.

“Being a professional at the level that I am, don’t make excuses about whether it was raining, a bird flew by or whatever the case is, all eight or nine guys had line up just like I did. It was raining [in] all nine lanes, it was cold in all nine lanes,” he said.

The Florida International University graduate was in superb form earlier in the season, running what was then the sixth fastest time in the event for 2016 to break his own national record with a time of 13.36 seconds on 30 April in Florida. Then he was sidelined until the Olympics.

Forbes was in a reflective mood after the race.

Forbes was in a reflective mood after the race.

“The weather factor last night was insignificant to the storm I’ve faced in the last three and a half months,” Forbes told CIOC Press Representative Jade Webster.

His season was also punctuated by an administrative error by the local athletics association that prevented him from representing the Cayman Islands at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Oregon.

“I was super proud of him. Even though we did not get the results we wanted, he showed me he has a lot of heart,” said Forbes’ coach, Joey Scott. “He has a lot of pride for his country. He has a lot of pride for himself. He’s shown me a lot in that race.”

Scott said up to Sunday, he considered pulling the hurdler from starting the race. “I was going to yank him…but he wanted to carry his country’s flag on his back across the line and that shows me a lot about what type of athlete he is,” the coach said.

“A lot of people don’t understand that with the injury that he had, he’s supposed to be out for the rest of the year, but just with his determination and his heart, he came back,” Scott said.

Ronald Rio 4

“For him to come out and make it over 10 barriers and just put aside his pride, you know that no matter what the outcome is, he wanted to carry the Cayman Islands across that line. That says a lot about an athlete. That says a lot about his character and says his relentlessness.”

Forbes recalled what was going through his mind when he got under the starter’s gun.

“I got out and I was like ‘okay, I’m about to do this’. This was the first time that I’ve seen 10 hurdles lined up [at] competition height for three months. I don’t know how I’m going to do this and as I kept going I was like ‘just keep clearing them’…and I made it through the line and just bent down and I did not know what time it was. I didn’t even care at that point. I was just like ‘I just cleared 10 hurdles after having less than two weeks of hurdle practice,” the 2015 Island Games gold medalist said.

He described the race as a success, even though it was not of the quality he wanted to produce. “It takes an unbelievable amount of effort, an unbelievable amount of dedication just to make it here. Many people don’t understand what it is to make it to the Olympics,” he said.

Scott said he was confident the Cayman Islands 110m hurdles record holder still has a lot in the tank at age 31 and described him as one of the best hurdlers in the world. He said the immediate focus now the Olympics are behind them is making sure Forbes is fully recovered through rehabilitation of the injury, but in the meantime, Forbes said he’s going to take a few weeks of downtime.

Of the future after rehab, Scott said: “The sky is the limit for him.”

See video from CIOC Press Representative Jade Webster below:

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.