Daegu's Fast Laine
Samyr Laine's athletics career began in Newburgh, N.Y., when he was in seventh grade. Despite a sprinter's heart, he was relegated to the mile and two-mile because of his size. He drifted away from the sport soon after, but returned on his own after watching the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
This time he threw himself into the triple jump and wound up finishing third in New York State while representing Newburgh Free Academy. From there, he wound up at Harvard where he won League titles and earned All-American status. After graduating he competed a single year at Texas before entering law school at Georgetown.
All along the way, he has continued to compete in the hop, step and jump and, while representing Haiti, he has gone beyond the 57-foot barrier. He has already competed at the IAAF Worlds, indoor and outdoor, and is now ready to take on the world's best in Daegu. Here's his story of preparation in South Korea:
I've been in Daegu since Wednesday and am starting to get my legs under me; finally. Getting here was a story in and of itself considering the fact that it took just under 27 hours, but I'm fortunate to not have to compete for the first time until Friday. My teammate Moise on the other hand, had to run the first round of the 800m on Saturday morning and definitely felt the effects of the trip in the closing stretch of his race. Getting to Daegu just two or three days before his race was quite the disadvantage for him but once again, the reason that we didn't arrive earlier is a story in its own right.
The accommodations here are definitely pretty comfortable, to say the least, and Daegu pulled out all the stops for this village as far as taking care of the athletes is concerned. The food leaves a bit to be desired, but hey... it can't all be perfect and luckily I brought a good amount of Rivalus Promasil along with some other snacks just in case.
My coach gets in today but the workouts I've done on my own since being here have gone pretty well; each one better than the next. I've already had three relatively light weight room sessions as well as a speed session so I'm getting nice and familiar with the track and with getting my body going early in the AM since I'll be competing at 10:30 am on Friday. Now that coach is here though I'll hop on the runway for some approaches and light jumping.
The fact that I compete at the tail end of the meet means that I've been venturing out of the village only to hit the track and a shopping center that happens to be a five-minute bike ride away. This is my second time in Daegu and I didn't do any sightseeing last time either, but from what I've heard there isn't too much to see anyhow; unlike Seoul where there's plenty to see and do. I've been passing the time by making use of the Kindle app on my iPad, watching episodes of "Breaking Bad" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and, of course, tuning into the meet. I still wish I hadn't blown the AC adapter for my Xbox on my first day here!
P.S. — Huge thanks to Mizuno for helping us look like we belong at the World Championships. They provided our team with some pretty amazing uniforms and gear!
For more from Samyr, check out his website.