Carolyn Feith, agent and her athlete, Kerron Clement, Beijing silver medalist, 400 meter intermediate hurdles
This interview was done after Kerron’s return from Beijing. A busy man, Kerron was the silver medalist in the 400 meter hurdle sweep by the US, lead by 2000 champion Angelo Taylor. Clement is immensely talented, and is learning to race better in championship environments. In Beijing, there was no stopping Angelo Taylor, although Kerron stayed very close. In this interview, Kerron gives you, our readers a look into his professional life as an elite athlete.
RBR1. How did you get started in the sport?
Kerron: I started when I was about 5-6 years old competing in church organizations in Deliverance Temple in Trinidad.
RBR2. You run both the 400 meters and you are the world champion at 400 meter hurdles, what is your favorite event?
Kerron: My favorite event will have to be the 400IH, at this moment I only do the 400m for conditioning.
RBR3. What is your biggest challenge in the 400 meter hurdles?
Kerron: My challenge is my mind, I have to be confident in my own mind that I can actually produce the times I set out. And once that is accomplished I can put together a great race.
RBR4. You set the world indoor record for 400 meters in college and then went pro? What is the difference between being a college athlete and a pro?
Kerron: Definitely the number of races you do while in college, for example 4-5 races a day, whereas being professional you only run 1 race a day. And of course financially.
RBR5. You are now in California , training with Bobby Kersee. We know Bobby is pretty tough, what are his workouts like?
Kerron: Bobby’s workout are extremely hard and only the best will survive. But what I love he’s dedicated to each and everyone of his athletes. On Tuesday we have “suicide Tuesdays” because that day is the hardest of the week and you know you have to be ready mentally and physically for the workout. But I love working with him.
RBR6. Your race in Osaka last year was a near perfect race? How do you focus on such a race so late in the season?
Kerron: Well all season you work around that one particular meet, you train a certain way to peak at that meet. I just mainly focus on those championship meets, because those are the only things that matter to me at that moment.
RBR7. When you race in Europe , do you feel the jet lag?
Kerron: Everyone feels jet lag, what I normally do is go to sleep when I first get there…and try and stay up late as possible so i can adjust to their time.
RBR8. Edwin Moses, Harald Schmidt, both great intermediate hurdlers, also ran the 800 meters pretty well. Will we see you run the 800 meters?
Kerron: Well I basically train like a 800m runner, but I dont think you will see me in the 800m in a race. I did that in High school and i didn’t like it very much…
RBR9. What kind of athlete were you in high school?
Kerron: I was a very successful high school athlete, I won several prestigious national championships and awards. Including Gatorade National athlete of the year, Nike athlete of the year and 3x Texas 5a State Champion and lots more…
RBR10. What is the difference now, as a professional athlete and your relationship with your coach, as opposed to high school or college?
Kerron: Your coach doesn’t have a watchful eye on you being a professional athlete because he knows or he’s hoping you are responsible for your actions and you suppose to know that this is your profession and you wouldn’t do anything that would jeopardize your athlete career.
RBR 11. Do you like running relays still?
Kerron: Yes I do like running the relays. I have been running them since high school.
12. Does running the 400 meter flat throw off your cadence in the 400 meter hurdles?
Kerron: I don’t think so, it more so helps it. For me I need speed for the hurdles, and anything that allows me to do so I will do it.
Kerron Clement won the silver medal in Beijing this year, his first Olympic medal.
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