Proud to be a Marshall Islands' Olympian
By Lewis Woods of The Reporters’ Academy
An Olympic debut is often the highlight of young athletes’ careers, and for Timi Garstang of the Marshall Islands, it was no exception. Timi competed in the men’s 100 metre preliminary rounds, in the second heat, lane three.
“My coach told me to go out, do my best and to keep running to the finish line.” Timi unfortunately finished last in his heat with a time of 12.81 seconds, over 2 seconds slower than the fastest qualifier, for Timi that wasn’t good enough.
“I’m not happy with my time but I’ll come back and try to push myself harder next time, I’m happy that I got to run, it was an honour.”
“I was carrying a little bit of an injury in my hamstring, and I was just forcing it through the pain during my race, even though it hurt.” Timi’s injury was evident, as he clutched his hamstring as soon as he crossed the finish line.
“The track was unreal, if we had these facilities back at home, we as a team would get better and I would get better, since we have no track we have to train on the grass, we try our best.”
For an Olympic debut, nerves were also a big factor coming into the race, “There was a whole bunch of people looking at me on the starting line, I was nervous, the crowd was loud, very loud, I almost didn’t hear the gunshot!” However that didn’t affect Timi’s reaction time, he was out of the blocks with a reaction time of 0.162 seconds, 3rd fastest in his heat.
Although Timi did not get the time he was hoping for, he can now call himself an Olympian and be proud at the fact he made it all the way to London, which is an achievement in itself. Timi will hopefully be inspired by the experience of the Olympic Games inspire to better himself in the future and set the personal best he was looking for.