McLaughlin-Wilby happy to be back on track

annieshaAnneisha McLaughlin-Whilby has made a successful return to the track after a lengthy injury lay-off, clocking a decent 52.87 seconds to win the 400m at the Queens Grace Jackson meet and she is just hoping to stay healthy in this a big Olympic year.

McLaughlin-Whilby, who turned 30 on January 6, ran the quicker of the two 400m heats to be the overall winner and was the only athlete under 53 seconds for the event ahead of Ronda White (53.07), Verone Chambers (53.28), Dawnalee Loney (54.07), Jonique Day (54.55) and Simoya Campbell (54.62).

“It was good. I think I executed a good race and I felt good, felt strong coming home and I am just happy I could compete and also finish injury-free,” McLaughlin-Wilby told the Jamaica Observer.

McLaughlin-Whilby — one of Jamaica’s most promising athlete, who as a 16-year-old won a silver medal at the 2002 IAAF World Junior Championship in the 200m clocking 22.94 seconds — is happy with her return, especially after marriage, but made it clear she is not putting pressure on herself to achieve too much this season.


“I am not really big on expectations and all that this season. I just want to compete, take it one race at a time and just train hard and stay injury-free, because that is always my problem, especially in the important part of the season,” noted McLaughlin-Whilby.

“So I just want to stay healthy and train hard, and once I do that I know I will produce good stuff,” she added.

McLaughlin-Whilby is one of the most gifted and versatile athletes Jamaica as ever produced, with best times of 11.23 seconds in the 100m; 22.54 twice over the 200m; and 51.89 seconds for the 400m.

In 2002, she was awarded the Austin Sealy Trophy for the most outstanding athlete of the Carifta Games, and over the years she has won five individual titles, including the 100m.

She has taken a liking for the 200m where she has been most successful, but right now, McLaughlin-Whilby is leaving her options open as to which event she would like to represent Jamaica in at the Rio Olympics in Brazil. She says that decision rests with her SprinTec coach, Maurice Wilson.

“I cannot answer and the best person to answer that is Mr Wilson, because we haven’t decided as yet,” she pointed out.

Whichever event McLaughlin-Whilby decides to pursue, nothing but her best effort will be expected from her fans.

“Training is wonderful. I have been doing wonderful stuff, a lot of improvement especially in the gym and I am just really happy with how things are going right now,” she reiterated.

McLaughlin-Whilby is a Champs legend with 19 gold medals won for Holmwood Technical High School and records that still stand 12 years after her last race as a schoolgirl. Her Class Three 200m and 400m records of 23.11 and 52.52 seconds remain untouched

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