Jeffery Gibson emerged as a top class 400m hurdler in 2015, winning bronze in a captivating world championship final in Beijing. The rising Bahamian star offers his words of wisdom.

1. Always look on the bright side

“I generally see the bright side. Even if I have a bad experience travelling to a meet where maybe I can’t always get a room, I try think positively and make the best of the situation – I always try to be optimistic.

“Even if I’m going through a rough patch, I try to be positive because life can change. I also try and see the positive in the hard workouts and try to be optimistic. I think to be positive is important because I have seen other athletes of a higher calibre fall by the wayside. I am optimistic and thankful for what I am able to do.” 

Jeffery Gibson and LJ van Zyl at the Beijing World Championships ()

 Gibson and LJ van Zyl during the 400m hurdles semi-final in Beijing 

2. Be grateful

“I always try to count my blessings. I am an international athlete and I never take that for granted because others would be very grateful for that status.

“I am very lucky. I get to travel the world and enjoy all these new, fresh experiences. I remind myself of the fact I get to work five hours a day and travel the world. This year I travelled to so many great places such as China, Canada and Belgium. This job is like being on a yearly vacation.”

Jeffery Gibson celebrates at the Beijing World Championships ()

 As well as world champs bronze, Gibson won gold at the Pan American Games a month prior

3. Push your physical limits

“To quote Socrates: ‘No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.’

“This is the motto I have tried to live my track and field career by, in an effort to see what I’m capable of achieving. I might not always have the perfect physique or diet, but it is something worth striving for in an effort to be the best that I can be.

“I take flexibility very seriously because it helps prevent injury, so I will work hard on this and I’ve introduced yoga into my workouts. I’m not the best cook, but if I go that extra mile to cut out sugar or detox then that is something I am prepared to do.”