1. One thing you can’t train without:
Spikes! They’re the most important piece of equipment for a sprinter. Period.
2. Best training advice you’ve ever been given:
People who watch my races know that as I am tall, my start is slower than that of the smaller athletes. A few years ago, my coach told me to stop stressing about making my start faster and run to my strengths. The 100-meter race is long, and the winner is the one who crosses the finish line first.
3. Hardest workout you’ve ever done:
We run sessions like 6–8 x 300m in the winter to build endurance. They are tough. Sprinters don’t usually like such high-volume sessions. But it’s necessary to build endurance during the pre-season.
4. Favorite off-season exercise:
I love playing soccer. I play left midfield or striker with friends who have an appreciation of my profession and thankfully don’t tackle hard.
5. Perfect training meal:
At the moment I am eating a lot of protein and vegetables and trying to stay away from too many carbs in order to get to my optimum racing weight. In competition season, I focus more and more on my diet to give myself the best chance to run fast when it really matters.
6. Favorite cheat meal:
Wings, man. Jerk, buffalo. All types! I love them.
7. Frustration or challenge you constantly battle with in training:
For elite sprinters, it is always training hard but staying injury-free. We tend to walk the line. We really need to watch the hamstrings, calves, and Achilles, which all get tight.
8. Favorite training soundtrack:
I like a lot of dance hall, reggae, and hip-hop.
9. Point in your career, at any level, when you realized you were special:
I think it all started in 2002, when I was 15 and I won the World Junior Championships, a competition for under-20s. It’s unusual for a 15-year-old to beat 19-year-olds.
10. Achievement you consider your greatest triumph and why:
Nine Olympic gold medals, 11 world titles, and eight world records. They are all triumphs.
11. Worst thing that’s ever happened to you on the track:
I false-started at the 2011 World T&F Championships in Daegu when I was the favorite to win.
12. Reason you chose your sport over others:
My dad encouraged me to participate in an individual sport and saw that I was able to run fast. He said that in an individual sport I would control my own outcome and not be depending on others and politics in teams.
13. Qualities you consider the most important in a champion:
Being able to perform when it counts and coming back to do it again and again.
14. Attribute you most value in a coach or adviser:
My coach, Glen Mills, is a guru. He has a deep knowledge of the sport, but most of all, he teaches life lessons.
15. Best piece of wisdom you’ve ever received:
My parents brought me up to respect people no matter who they are or where they come from.
16. Best piece of advice you’d give your younger self:
Work hard. Enjoy the moment.