‘I know I can get bet­ter’

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Shayne Fair­man Gleaner Writer

VCB seeks im­prove­ments as she fo­cuses on 2017

DE­SPITE AN en­dear­ing ca­reer which be­gan with gold medals at the World Youth Cham­pi­onships in1999, eight-time Olympic medal­list Veron­ica Camp­bel­lBrown main­tains a hunger to keep im­prov­ing.

The veteran ath­lete, though fail­ing to win an in­di­vid­ual medal at the 2016 sum­mer Olympics in Rio, Brazil, has no plans to quit just yet.

“Not right now,” she said when asked about re­tire­ment. “I am fo­cus­ing on 2017. Af­ter 2017, I will re-eval­u­ate and see. I am tak­ing it one year at a time,” said the dec­o­rated sprinter.

“Right now, my main fo­cus is stay­ing healthy and train­ing hard and pre­par­ing for next sea­son. I am just tak­ing it one day at a time and just push my­self as hard as I can, and just hope for a great 2017,” she told The Gleaner at a cer­e­mony for the coun­try’s Olympic and Par­a­lympics ath­letes at the Na­tional In­door Sports Cen­tre last Satur­day night.

Ahead of next year’s IAAF World Cham­pi­onships, Camp­bel­lBrown, a three-time World cham­pion, is tak­ing things step by step.

MAIN FO­CUS

“The first step is to make the Ja­maican team, so that is my main fo­cus, then go from there,” stressed Camp­bell-Brown, who is coached by her hus­band, Omar Brown, who was also her school­mate at Vere Tech­ni­cal.

“We know each other since high school, and so he un­der­stands me well and I un­der­stand him well, so it’s work­ing out well,” she rea­soned.

The 34-year-old ath­lete holds per­sonal bests of 10.76 sec­onds in the 100m and 21.74 sec­onds for the 200m.

“I know I can get bet­ter, I don’t know what God has in Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness (cen­tre) presents an award to track and field ath­lete, Veron­ica Camp­bell-Brown (left) at a cer­e­mony to hon­our the 2016 Rio Olympic ath­letes, at the Na­tional In­door Sports Cen­tre in Kingston last Satur­day night. Shar­ing in the mo­ment is Min­is­ter of Cul­ture, Gen­der Af­fairs, En­ter­tain­ment and Sport Olivia Grange.

store and He has been di­rect­ing my path. I just need to take care of what I need to do; I have a lot of things to im­prove on as an ath­lete,” she pointed out.

“Although I have been do­ing this for so long, I still have stuff that I see I can im­prove on and if I can re­ally get those things done then I can do bet­ter,” she said.

The ath­lete, who has nu­mer­ous ac­co­lades and ti­tles, is the sec­ond wo­man in his­tory to win two con­sec­u­tive Olympic 200m events af­ter Bar­bel Wockel of Ger­many.

“Last year over­all was a good year. I can’t com­plain, I have to give thanks for ev­ery­thing.

“I just know I have a lot of things to work on go­ing for­ward, and that is al­ways good when you fin­ish your sea­son and know that you have stuff to im­prove and to im­prove per­for­mances,” Camp­bell-Brown sum­marised.

She added that she started last sea­son well, but hit some road­blocks. She in­tends to get back to the top of her game soon.

“I didn’t get the re­sult I wanted, but that’s why I say it’s a good place to start and know ex­actly how to take care of things to move for­ward,” she em­pha­sised.

Mean­while, Camp­bell-Brown who will be one of four ath­letes

in­clud­ing to be hon­oured with stat­ues at the Na­tional Sta­dium over the next two years, said she is elated.

“That’s awe­some, that is an ex­tra­or­di­nary ac­com­plish­ment. I give God all the glory for that, and I thank all the peo­ple for mak­ing it pos­si­ble, all those who have sup­ported me over the years and seen it fit for me to be hon­oured in that way,” she ex­plained.

The other ath­letes who will be recog­nised with stat­ues are Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann FraserPryce and Asafa Pow­ell.

JIS PHOTO

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