March 18, 2009
Going into the U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships, Randall Flimmons had high expectations for himself.
Flimmons accomplished his goal by winning the gold medal in the long jump at the championships Feb. 28 in Boston.
Flimmons, a 2003 graduate of New Hope High School and a 2007 graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, won the gold with a jump of 25 feet, 7 3/4 inches.
"I know I didn''t put up a championship performance, but I''ve been working hard, and for me to come out with the gold assures me or confirms I can compete with the best, and I''m well on my way to higher heights," Flimmons said. "I felt real confident going into the meet. I wasn''t going to let anybody beat me."
Flimmons believes he could have done better. He didn''t jump as far at the championships as he did at the Hampton Invitational in January, when he jumped 25-11 3/4, just shy of his personal best of 26-3/4.
He has set a goal to break the world record of 29-4 1/2, and he''s opted to put off film school to focus on the Olympic Games in London in 2012.
He majored in drama and mass communications at Morehouse, and he''s interested in producing and directing films.
Flimmons walked on at Morehouse, but Morehouse coach Willie Hill believed Flimmons had the potential to be successful.
"You could see there was something special in him," Hill said. "I''m not saying gold-medalist special, but you could see there was something special God had given him and that something was attainable. You could see from the beginning there was something special in him, not just in him as an athlete but in him about life."
Flimmons continues to train with Hill and Napoleon Cobb and Ralph Boston, who competed in the long jump in the 1960, 1964, and 1968 Olympics..
Hill credits Flimmons'' preparation for helping him become a gold medalist.
"This young man definitely captured the point to understand it''s about his preparation," Hill said. "Each day I got to see this young man grow. Every day he would grow, grow, grow. It got to the point he wanted to be the best. We had seen a couple of other guys win national championships and he asked me, ''How can I do that?'' A lot of people can say they want to be the best, but it takes preparation to be the best. That''s what Randall has seen."
Flimmons has endured rigorous workouts in preparing for competition through the years, but winning the gold in Boston made the sweat and tears all worthwhile.
"It''s frustrating, but it''s something you have to commit to," said Flimmons, who also competes in the 100 and 200 meters and on relay teams. "I made a promise to my father, who passed in 1992, that I would succeed."
Flimmons is in Atlanta preparing for the outdoor season. He plans to compete in open and unattached sections at meets at Auburn, Georgia Tech, and throughout the region.