Darrel Brown @ MVP

T&T’s Brown begins training with MVP
It’s up to Darrell now to do the work, says father
DANIA BOGLE, Observer staff reporter
Tuesday, October 24, 2006

BROWN … said he hadn’t been able to fulfill the promise he showed as a junior and since setting the 100-metre world junior record (Photo: Karl McLarty)

Trinidadian Darrel Brown, the 2002 World Junior champion and reigning 100-metre world junior record holder, says he hopes to overcome the injuries which have plagued him in the last few years and return to the form which saw him winning silver at the World Championships in Athletics in Paris, France, in 2003.

Brown arrived in the island three days ago to join forces with the MVP Track and Field Club and had his first official training session at UTech under the watch of coach Stephen Francis yesterday.

Brown told the Observer that he has a three-year plan.
“World Champs (Osaka, Japan) next year, then Olympics (Beijing, China) then World Champs the following year, so I came down here to see if I can improve for those three upcoming years,” he said.

The 22-year-old sprinter said he hadn’t been able to fulfill the promise he showed as a junior and since setting the 100-metre world junior record (10.01 seconds) in the quarter-finals in Paris because of multiple injuries.

He was forced out of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in March after straining a muscle in the second round of 100-metre heats. After he healed, the seven-time Carifta medallist set a season-best 10.11 seconds at Thessaloniki, Greece, in July, but injury hit again.

“After the Commonwealth Games I competed a bit on the circuit, but then my hip started acting up again, so I had to stop. I then went back and try to rehabilitate.”

Coach Francis told the Observer that although injuries cannot be predicted, the MVP programme is one geared towards keeping its athletes healthy.

“We feel that our programme tend to minimise injury while training and we just have to keep everyone sound until the summer.”

Brown will be training partners with current 100m world record holder Asafa Powell, and asked if he thinks Darrell could challenge Powell for the world record, Francis had this to say.

“I don’t know. It depends on his ability to handle his environment,” he said.

“A lot of people think he has a lot of potential.”
Brown, who became the youngest athlete to medal in the 100 metres in a World Championship when he clocked 10.08 seconds for silver in the event, is positive about 2007 and said the goal is to improve on his personal best 9.99 seconds.

“Once my body cooperates and once it stays intact, I should improve. I train pretty hard,” he said. “Once I can remain injury free, I’ll be back to normal,” he added.

The athlete also has a personal best 20.41 seconds in the 200 metres set in Port of Spain in 2001, but he says though he may dabble in the event next year, it will not be his main focus.

“I might step in one or two (200m), but not like focus that much, but hopefully I can do some,” he said.
Brown had been based in Auburn, Texas, training with Bahamian Henry Rolle, but changed camps late in the summer because he felt that he had gone as far as he could under the guidance of Rolle.
His father Winston, who came to Jamaica with him to oversee the transition, said they were pleased with the move. “It’s up to Darrell now to do the work,” he said.
Meanwhile, Darrell will be working under management after parting ways with the John Regis-led Stellar Athletics.
“That’s a long, long story,” said Brown. “I just know my father and the coaches had some differences.”
However, Brown’s father told the Observer that Nike, who sponsors Brown, prefers that athletes they sponsor work with coaches and management in their core group.
Francis said a new management team had not yet been decided upon.

“We are not certain about that, we are just looking for the best situation and afterwards you can take care of that,” he said

Brown will be room-mates with Jamaican-born British high jumper Germaine Mason. Mason, who made a switch of allegiance to Great Britain last year, returned to the Stephen Francis fold two weeks ago and has been training with MVP track club.

Mason, who was cleared by the IAAF to compete for Great Britain earlier this year, secured a bronze at the Spar European Cup in June, but failed to make the finals of the European Championships in Sweden in August.

According to Brown’s father, Mason and Trinidadian will be sharing accommodation because of the high cost of housing rental in Jamaica.