I like Nickel Ashmeade. He is a strong runner, and I have watched him come up through the ranks overs the past few years. In truth, the Jamaican sprinter has paid his dues.
In 2011, Nickel Ashmeade was fifth in the 200 meters in 20.29 at the World Outdoor Athletics Championships in Daegu, Korea. In 2013, in Moscow, Nickel was 4th in the 200 meters in 20.05 and fifth in the 100 meters in 10.10, plus he was part of the gold winning team in the 4×100 meters.
Nickel Ashmeade, photo by PhotoRun.net
In 2014, Nickel Ashmeade has been everywhere.
In July, Nickel took the bronze in the 100 meters, running 10.12 in the Commonwealth Games. He was on the Jamaica 4 x 100m relay team that ran 37.56 in Glasgow to win the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games as well! Not a bad medal hall.
Truth is, Nickel is probably a better 200 meter runner. He races well over 100 meters, but, when he comes off that turn and runs down the field, Nickel Ashmeade is at his best. Watch him in the 200 meters at Weltklasse on Thursday night, 28 August.
But I wanted to tell you about something that Nickel did, which I caught because, by accident, i was watching the mixed zone in Stockholm.
Nickel Ashmeade had taken fourth in that crazy, cold 100 meters in Stockholm. He had run pretty well, but it was in the unique mixed zone that he showed his true class.
The mixed zone in Stockholm is unique. The kids can get to the mixed zone barrier and you hear them asking for autographs. I watched Usain Bolt spend an hour there in 2011.
This year, as the kids were asking for autographs, Nickel took off his number and threw it into the crowd. The kids were shocked and a little kid jumped up and got the number. Then, Nickel did the same thing with his other number.
I caught up with him in Birmingham and asked him about it. ” Oh I gave away both of my numbers. The kids really liked it.”
That’s Nickel Ashmeade, making one new track fan at a time….
Larry Eder has had a 50-year involvement in the sport of athletics. Larry has experienced the sport as an athlete, coach, magazine publisher, and now, journalist and blogger. His first article, on Don Bowden, America's first sub-4 minute miler, was published in RW in 1983. Larry has published several magazines on athletics, from American Athletics to the U.S. version of Spikes magazine. He currently manages the content and marketing development of the RunningNetwork, The Shoe Addicts, and RunBlogRun. Of RunBlogRun, his daily pilgrimage with the sport, Larry says: "I have to admit, I love traveling to far away meets, writing about the sport I love, and the athletes I respect, for my readers at runblogrun.com, the most of anything I have ever done, except, maybe running itself."
Theme song: Greg Allman, " I'm no Angel."
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