Having the title of being the first Jamaican man in 44 years to qualify for the Olympic Games in the triple jump, Clive Pullen is yet to medal at a major international meet. However, the athlete says all that is about to change, as he has launched his professional career and is fully focused.
“The burden of being in school is now lifted, so now for the first time in my life, I am able to give track and field 100 percent attention,” said Pullen in an interview with STAR Sports recently.
The athlete, with a best outdoor jump of 16.90m, and 17.19m indoors, recently graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering. Pullen says he made the right decision to pursue his education, rather than going professional after high school.
“I made the right decision because we see it over and over, where athletes get hurt and you never hear back from them. They may not recover from that injury and then what? I think getting an education is vital, because being an athlete, nothing is guaranteed. Having that fallback plan is always important,” Pullen said.
Pullen made his first international final at the Commonwealth Games in April this year, but despite qualifying and competing in all major meets since 2016, he is yet to finish in a top three position.
“Everybody’s story is different. I would prefer for it to be in my initial stages that I have my failures, so to speak, than in the latter years, and so I treat each opportunity as a learning experience. I will continue to learn and each time I go out there, I try to be the best version of me at that given point in time,” he said.
The triple jumper signed a contract with Puma in October last year and says he is just focusing on having a great year.
“I will be sitting down with my agent to discuss further plans,” he said. “We are going to Europe hopefully, and then I come back for the National Trials here in Jamaica. I want to continue to get experience in this first year (as a professional).”