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BUCS Nationals 2017 Interview: Ché Richards

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Edinburgh University long jumper and future Olympic hopeful Ché Richards spoke to us about his training, ambitions and expectations for this weekend’s BUCS Nationals in Sheffield.

As an Edinburgh fresher it will be Ché’s first BUCS Nationals competition, and he tells us he's “excited about it. Excited to see the other student athletes and compete against them.” 

Despite it being his first competition Ché has already got a lot of experience under his belt and, having been Trinidad and Tobago’s Long Jump champ at both junior and senior level, won’t be daunted by the task ahead of him.

He may not be nervous, but Ché is certainly excited, as he tells us: “BUCS is the biggest university games of the year… I think it’ll be buzzing from the various university teams all cheering for their teammates”.

He goes on to praise the high level of competition that he already knows will be on show in Sheffield over the weekend: “that’s what makes it great.

Ché also revealed his ambitions for the BUCS Nationals: “I have my eyes set on bettering my personal best of 7.53m established at the Scottish Senior Championships," he says. "It’s within reach so I just have to get my run-up right and execute”.

Equalling or bettering his personal best is also immensely important for Ché at the moment - as he tells us his previous performance puts a little more pressure on his jump: “I had a disappointing performance last weekend at British Championships due to run-up issues so I plan on building myself up from that”.

To set that mistake right Ché’s coaches have been working hard with him on the mechanics of the run up and he seems more confident than ever.

Ché adds that some of his numerous Edinburgh team mates are going down with similar personal-best-orientated goals and says: “I always say that while a medal is the icing on the cake, walking away with a new personal best or just improving from last year is also a great achievement”.

Ché also thinks the high standard will push him and his Edinburgh team-mates to achieve their very best: “I expect a lot of my teammates to walk away with new personal best given the fact that the competition is of a higher standard.

On his preparation Ché explains: “I’m not one to research my competitors before a meet. I like to show up and not have to worry about anyone or anything. A clear mind is important. Besides, long jump is an unpredictable event. Someone can go into the competition having the furthest jump but everything can go wrong on the day. Foul jumps or run up problems…”

The same confidence apparent in Ché‘s ambitions is also present in his preparation, he elaborates on how he prepares for a jump: “My beats and my music playlist are all I need! … With the occasional dance moves and singing. That’s my routine… Can’t forget to say a little prayer”.

Photo Credit: Scottish Students Indoor Champs 2017(C)Bobby Gavin Byline

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