Olympic 4x400m relay silver medallist Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby says that coach Maurice Wilson was instrumental in the successes she had this year.
The SprinTec Track Club athlete, who was coming off a year of being inactive, says that she surpassed her expectations for the year, when she claimed her medal at the Rio Olympics in the summer.
“If somebody told me this time last year that I would end up finishing my season doing the 400m, I would tell them that they’re lying,” McLaughlin-Whilby said.
McLaughlin-Whilby made a switch from the 200m to the 400m ahead of the JAAA National Senior Championships in July and says that it was because of how much she trusted Wilson, who had told her to give the longer distance a chance.
“I was focusing on the 200m but coach was always saying I should not write off the 400m,” McLaughlin-Whilby says.
She says that contracting the Zika virus less than a month before the trials also played a significant role in the switch. It set her training schedule back by a week.
“He said I missed too much training after getting Zik-v, but he could always get me stronger. That’s what made me switch to the 400m for the National Trials.
“I believe in my coach and once he told me that it was possible, I just worked with him. Whatever he gave me to do, even though the 400m workout is extremely hard, I tried my best to give 100 percent.”
The 30 year old is already back in training, for the 400m, as she looks ahead to the IAAF World Championships in London, England next summer. She says it has been “fabulous” so far.
“This is a new challenge for me, the 400m. I’m taking it on, head on, and it’s been going great,” she says. “It’s hard but it’s good.”