By Akeem Greene (Guyana Times)
Former student of The Bishops’ High School and aspiring Petroleum Engineer, Arinze Chance (AC) has given himself some humongous goals and if achieved, it undoubtedly will push Guyana further up the ladder in the world of athletics.
From his young years at the St. Margaret’s Primary School, where he represented North Georgetown at the National School Championships, the sprinter has produced some eye-catching performances on the track that puts him in pole position to become one of the country’s top sprinters in the near future.
Guyana Times Sport (GTS) had a one-on-one with the 20-year old, who is currently in the twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago furthering his studies at the University of Trinidad and Tobago perusing a diploma in Petroleum Engineering.
Chance leads the field at the Flacon Invitational Meet earlier this month in Tobago, where he clocked 46.81s for first place
GTS: Where did it start for you?
AC: I actually started with cricket, at the age of six but after playing with Maltenoes Sport Club for two years; the coach was watching me doing some shuttle exercises after training and he told I should really consider running, and it was that same year at the National School Championships at Enmore in 2004, I won the 100M and got second in the 400M and right after that championship, I joined the Police Athletic Club (PAC) in March of the same year.
GTS: How has the move from Guyana helped you?
AC: Apart from being in the comfort of my own home in Guyana, the difference here is that I’m forced to be more responsible for my times, more responsible in the meals that I eat, more responsible for what I do in training; I have to make something out of all the money invested in me by my parents.
Training programmes are actually the same here, you just have more respect here and it’s much more serious, so you feel the need to excel, the passion, the competition would force you to excel.
GTS: What are your marquee events?
AC: 400M and 200M, this season I only ran about four 200Ms, my coach was preparing me for the 400M since I came here, he noticed I had some talent in that event and felt he could help me to become a great 400M runner.
In January I ran 49.24s at a developmental meet; at Falcons Invitational meet in Tobago in July, I clocked 46.81s.
GTS: Whose is your inspiration in the world of athletics?
AC: Michael Johnson. Reason being he does the same events I do and I admire his technique in running and his mental approach because he really uses a tactic for every race, preying on the weakness of others.
GTS: Who or what is the reason behind your success?
AC: The reason being for my success is my love for competing; I have been competing in anything and everything from schoolwork to running. Once I get a chance to compete, I give my utmost; I have been getting a lot of support from my family, especially my aunts and uncles after I was going through a series of hamstring injuries but I have been able to develop, recuperate and come back stronger.
GTS: What is a challenge that you think athletes face in or out of Guyana?
I find those persons in the private sector and other persons in the capacity to provide sponsorship in Guyana, do not invest enough to ensure Guyanese athletes get accommodation, a travel stipend, these simple things athletes should not have to worry about and they should be focused on just performing well.
GTS: Do you receive support from those in Guyana?
AC: I get no support from anyone other than my family, I was actually trying to get into contact with the President of the Guyana Athletics Association (Aubrey Hutson) to see if I can represent Guyana at the Under-23 games since Guyana did not release any qualifying times for the event but I hope my current time makes me eligible since I would really like to attend.
GTS: Where is Arinze Chance looking to take his running career?
AC: I’m looking to go to the highest point in running, which would be the Olympics, I’m actually looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo and that process would begin this year, since at the age of 20, it is only wise I put in a four year plan, to get adequate preparation for the Olympic games
GTS: What is needed to achieve these goals?
AC: Next year I’m hoping to qualify for the World Championships; it’s a bit unfortunate that I won’t be able to compete at this year’s Olympics but I would be happy to compete at the World Championships because I always had a plan that once I was able to compete at the World Championships, I would be able to get a feel of the international competition before heading to such a major event. To reach there I need to continue working with my coach, Lester Osouna from the University of Trinidad and Tobago, Fast Track. I would like Guyana send a team to the world relays which will be my first international meet as a senior athlete; from there I would like to represent Guyana at the World University games.
GTS: Any advice for aspiring runners?
AC: Have faith in their coach have a major goal and several smaller goals leading to the major goal and also do a lot of personal research because this is an individual sport, the more you know for yourself, is the better you can reach where you want to go; most importantly never give up and look to God, with God nothing is impossible.