Prince Edward Islander Jared Connaughton faces a difficult test at the Olympic Games in London Wednesday as he prepares for the 200-metre semi-final, but says he appreciates all the support he's getting from the Island.
"For me, I'm from such a small place that I truly can reach out and feel that energy and that support because I can identify with those young kids in Cornwall, I was once there. It's really awesome. I greatly appreciate it. I think it's phenomenal, the support they're sending my way," Connaughton told CBC News in a phone interview.
Connaughton qualified for the semi-final on Tuesday, placing third in his heat with a time of 20.72 seconds. His time was the slowest of the 24 athletes who moved on to the semi-finals.
The Island athlete says he's taking it, one race at a time.
"Now that I've moved on, I've re-evaluated my goals, and it's just about running a quality race, a race that I can hold my head up high, regardless of what happens — get through or not," Connaughton said.
"So that's the objective. If I can make it through the finals then I have to re-evaluate my goals, but like I say, you can't get too far ahead of yourself."
His father, Neal Connaughton, was in London watching the race, and spent some time with the sprinter afterwards.
"He might have let up a little bit early on that race, just to save some energy, but he was winning by a clear margin at 150," he said.
Connaughton is slotted to run in the most challenging of the three semi-final races. It features four runners with personal bests under 20 seconds. Connaughton's personal best is 20.30 seconds.
"He's got a tough heat and I think that's great," said his father.
"If you're going to be the best, you've got to race against the best."