Juliet Seville was 39 years old when she became pregnant with Oblique Seville. She had given birth to two children before, but there was something different about Oblique. Unlike his other siblings, he appeared to be constantly running in her womb.
“During the pregnancy, him just inna mi belly a move up and down like him a run. He was my last baby and he was very active,”Juliet told THE WEEKEND STAR at her home in Ness Castle, St Thomas earlier this week.
“He was a vibrant little boy growing up. When him go Sunday School, him couldn’t keep himself quiet. Sometimes mi all feel a way because him use to just run from the seat straight to the rostrum and then him wheel out back. One time, him fall down and him hold up him hand and ask if it bruk and then him just gone again,” she said.
Juliet wore a broad smile as she spoke proudly about the Jamaican sprinter who heads to the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon in the USA where he is set to compete in the 100 metres. Oblique is one of the sprinters who has been tasked with re-establishing Jamaica’s dominance in the 100 metres in the world. Currently the sixth-fastest man in the world this year, Oblique heads to Eugene with a personal best of 9.86 seconds. He has gone under 10 seconds on three other occasions — 9.88, 9.92, and 9.98.
Juliet, Oblique’s top fan, has credited her son’s meteoric rise to hard work, persistence, a strong desire to be the bes,t and God’s divine hand.
“Prayer is behind him, I can tell you that,” she said of her 21-year-old son. “When the time come for running, we have fasting for him at church. Every member have a day of fasting for him. We put him before the throne of God because only prayer can change things.”
Oblique’s entry into the track and field world began while he was a student at Cedar Valley Primary and Junior High in St Thomas. He continued to grow while he was enrolled at Holmwood Technical, and later Calabar High School.
Juliet said that her ‘baby’ is living his dream. She said one of his lifelong desires was to be coached by Racers Track Club coach Glen Mills, the man who conditioned the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt.
“When he was about 10, him say ‘Mommy, a di same coach who coach Usain Bolt mi wah train mi’, and this is what is happening now. I am just happy and overwhelmed by all that is happening for him,” she said.
Juliet said that it is such a pity that Oblique’s father, Gerald Seville, did not live to see him deliver on his promise of becoming a world-class sprinter.
“Everywhere where Oblique wanted to go, his father use to carry him … He was his greatest support and mentor,” Juliet said. When his father passed away in 2018, Oblique was extremely broken. He, nonetheless, pulled himself together to win the 100-metres gold at the 2019 CARIFTA Games in George Town, Cayman Islands, and later silver at the Pan American U20 Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica.
“Every time him say, ‘Mommy, mi sorry mi father never get to see even one a mi big race dem,'” Juliet said.
She considers herself blessed to have seen him race at the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, where he reached the semi-finals.
“When mi see mi son at the Olympics, mi know anuh mi do it, it is God. Mi just inna di house a jump up and a say, ‘Thank you, Jesus!'”
Her first time watching Oblique in a big race was in 2019 when he ran the U-20 men’s 100 metres at the National Stadium.
“It was a blessing and I knew he was going to win the gold that day. It was a joy, but it was also sad because his father was not there to witness and share in it. All along, he was there for him, but when he won the gold medal he wasn’t there. Him father used to stand up with him,” Juliet said.
Oblique, she said, does not forget his roots and visits his rural district regularly. His mother said he is humbled by his rising fame and remains her ‘baby’.
‘He doesn’t like the limelight so, whenever he comes back home, he would just jump inna mi bed and say ‘Mommy a mi and yuh a sleep enuh’. As big as him is, a mi baby. Mi feel good. I am a proud mother today. It wasn’t an easy road for me. His father and I worked really hard to make ends meet,” she said proudly.