Wil­son: G.C. Fos­ter’s Olympians train­ing well

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Hu­bert Lawrence Gleaner Writer

RIO DE Janeiro Olympians Sashalee Forbes, Anniesha McLaugh­lin-Whilby, and Ris­tananna Tracey have all made good starts to train­ing for the 2017 sea­son. That’s the as­sess­ment of their coach, Mau­rice Wil­son, who says if all goes well, next sea­son could be ex­cit­ing.

Wil­son, who coaches the trio of first-time Olympians at the G.C. Fos­ter Col­lege for Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion, made the ob­ser­va­tion at the launch this week of an up­com­ing road race be­ing or­gan­ised by the in­sti­tu­tion.

“So far, I think we have started well,” he said. “I think they have su­per­seded all marks from last sea­son, this time, al­ready,” he tabled, “so it seems to me that once they stay in­jury free, we’re go­ing to have a very ex­cit­ing sea­son.”

He had high praise for Forbes and McLaugh­lin-Whilby, who won Olympic sil­ver medals for their con­tri­bu­tion in the 4x100m and 4x400m re­lays, and for Tracey, who set a life­time best of 54.15 sec­onds in the fi­nal of the 400 me­tres hur­dles.

Speak­ing of Forbes, he enu­mer­ated, “If you were to check the records, I think only Sherone Simp­son, who has made that huge tran­si­tion, mov­ing from 11.3 to 11.1 un­der Stephen Fran­cis com­ing out of high school.”

In her first sea­son out of Manchester High School, Simp­son im­proved her 100m per­sonal best 11.37 sec­onds to 11.01 and reached the 2004 Olympic fi­nal in her first year with UTech/MVP coach Fran­cis di­rect­ing her work­outs.

Holm­wood Tech­ni­cal High grad­u­ate Forbes moved her best from 11.55 to 11.17 in 2016.

Wil­son, who was Ja­maica’s tech­ni­cal leader at the 2016 Olympics, was nev­er­the­less cau­tious. “Last year,” he re­called, we felt that Rasheed Dwyer would run 19.7.”

PROMIS­ING

Dwyer and Anatas­cia Leroy, team­mates in Wil­son’s Sprintec Track Club, and Dem­ish Gaye, a G.C. Fos­ter Col­lege stu­den­tath­lete, all looked promis­ing early in the Olympic sea­son. A life­time best of 10.10 sec­onds for 100m on April 16 in­di­cated progress for Dwyer in the 200m, where he was Com­mon­wealth cham­pion in 2014. Hit by Zika, Dwyer never ap­proached his 200m best of 19.80 and wasn’t even able to run the fi­nal at the National Se­nior Cham­pi­onships.

In sim­i­lar fashion, the virus erased fine early form shown by Leroy, who has won World Cham­pi­onships and Com­mon­wealth gold medals as part of Ja­maica’s 4x400 me­tre squads. She had low­ered her 200m per­sonal to 22.85 on April 16.

Gaye was en­joy­ing a break­through sea­son in the 400 me­tres and had wins at the Gib­son-McCook Re­lays and the In­ter-Col­le­giate Cham­pi­onships for G.C. Fos­ter.

Wil­son also gave an up­date on these three ath­letes. “Dwyer seems to be in ex­cel­lent shape, also Dem­ish,” he re­ported. “There’s a lit­tle bit of a chal­lenge with Ana (Leroy), but I’ve taken it on my­self to make sure as one of my long­est-serv­ing ath­letes that I do ev­ery­thing in my power,” he pledged, “to get her back to the high­est level.

Mau­rice Wil­son

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