Omar stuns competition, breaks 200m record
When 18-year-old Tyrone Omar headed into the 2nd Micronesia Athletics Championships, he did not know how he would perform.
But by the time he completed his first international athletics meet, his name was well known by all in attendance.
Omar, who in the past made positive marks in baseball, broke into the athletics scene with a bang as he stunned veteran sprinters from around the region and took the gold medal in the men's 200m sprint.
The gold was sweet, but according to Omar, what made his experience great was that he was able to break the event record in front of his hometown crowd.
"It's unexplainable," he said. "All I can say is that it feels great - better than any other accomplishments I've had in sports. Nothing beats this feeling when I perform really good, get gold for the CNMI in front of our own crowd."
Omar exploded off the starting blocks and got the crowd to its feet when he completed the curve ahead of the competition. Federated States of Micronesia sprinter Jack Howard, who had earlier edged Omar in the 100m, came storming close and the two were neck and neck in the final 25 meters of the race before Omar sent an electrifying statement by crossing the finish line first.
He finished with a time of 23 seconds, while Howard clocked in at 23.05. The previous record was 23.39 held by FSM's Danny Fredrick.
"The 100m, I knew I could've won that," he said. "I was just late in leaning forward at the finish line, but the silver medal and knowing that I can win gave me confidence heading into the next day. Then, when I was going to do the 200m, I was confident enough and I told myself that I wasn't going to let it happen again and just focused."
The Puerto Rico resident had competed in a track event this past summer as a last-minute addition to the CNMI team while at the Palau South Pacific Mini Games, where he joined forces with Darrel Roligat, Dexter Dillay, and Ben Jones in the 4X100m relay.
"That was my first but I didn't train for that," he said. "I was there for baseball and coach Elias asked if we wanted to do it, and I said yes so that I can get some experience."
Omar said shortly after the Mini Games, he was informed that the MAC was set to be held on Saipan and was encouraged to train in the sprint events, which turned out to work like a charm.
Omar also competed in the medley relay and the men's 4X100m relay.
With his experience and success, Omar said he will continue to work hard in preparation for the Micronesian Games, which will be held on Saipan from June 23 to July 7.
"I'm going to continue to train," he said. "The Micro Games is almost here so it's time to work again.
Omar also extended his appreciation to Rangamar and Robin Sapong, as well as his teammates for pushing him to do his best.