Alonso Edward wins the 200m at the IAAF Continental Cup Marrakech 2014 (© Getty Images)
Panamanian sprinter Alonso Edward won last year’s Diamond Race in the 200m. Here the Continental Cup champion offers his verdict on a number of aspects of his life.
My best achievement in athletics
Winning the 200m silver medal at the 2009 World Championships. I put so much work into that year. I sacrificed Christmas, New Year and Carnival (in Panama every February). I had just turned 19 years old, so it is difficult to make those sacrifices at that kind of age. When I got the medal (behind Usain Bolt who ran a world record 19.19) that was a big achievement and a happy moment for me.
My greatest rival
I would say everybody whom I compete against in the 200m. There are lots of athletes who are really talented. I can't say just one person.
My best friend in athletics
Gerald Phiri – my training partner from Zambia (and a 10.03 100m sprinter). I'm pretty cool with him. We share a lot of knowledge and meet up for lunch twice a week. We probably talk every day. I'm happy I met him and he is part of my circle (of friends).
The best piece of advice
The best advice I received was from my father (also called Alonso). He said, “your career in the sport will be short so save all the money you can”. I'm pretty happy with that. My father offers good advice. He is the best father ever.
The best track venue
I would say every track in Europe is amazing. I particularly like Lausanne, Monaco and Brussels for the smoothness of their bends.
My greatest disappointment
I really don't have any disappointments in my career because every single year I learn about new things and I have become a better athlete from these learning experiences.
My best pre-competition song
It depends on the mood. I play a lot of music. A lot of Panamanian music, reggae music – it depends on the feeling and the moment.
My greatest achievement outside of athletics
I would say probably having a great family and growing up in a stable and secure home. My whole family – my dad, mum, brother and sister – are a tight family. My father works as a launch operator on the Panama Canal and he never wants to quit his job, which is pretty cool.
The best athlete I have ever seen
I would say David Rudisha. He is a pretty cool and humble guy who speaks to anyone like they are a regular person. If you read his story about where he came from and what he has accomplished, it is amazing. His world record (for 800m) is really outstanding.
Steve Landells for the IAAF