Fresh off a personal-best run in her last 100-metres outing, Olympian Sashalee Forbes will be looking to make further improvements when she faces a high-quality field at tomorrow's Muller Anniversary Games IAAF Diamond League stop in London.
Forbes, who will be returning to London next month to represent Jamaica in the 200m after crossing the line in first place at the National Senior Championships recently, will be making her Diamond League debut inside the London Olympic Stadium with several of the world's top names in the event listed to compete as well.
This will in fact be the G.C. Foster College student's first appearance on the European circuit, but it could hardly have been a tougher start to her experience with compatriot Elaine Thompson the double Olympic sprint champion heading a special group of sprinters brought together in London for what is a sort of World Championships teaser.
Thompson, who has already signed in with a 10.71-second run this season, will also be joined by fellow members of the sub-11 club for 2017 Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers (10.95), Trinidadian Michelle-Lee Ahye (10.82), Murielle Ahoure (10.83) from Cote d'Ivoire and American Morolake Akinosun (10.98).
It's a group that the less celebrated Jamaican will be eyeing and one she will most likely need to join if she is to really turn heads tomorrow.
Despite running faster than she has ever managed in her short career, with a 11.10-second clocking, Forbes could only manage a fifth-place finish in the 100m at trials, meaning that like it was at the Rio Olympics last year where she ran in the heats, she should be named to Jamaica's 4x100m relay pool for the World Championships.
Best Ever Shape
Forbes was also in personal-best shape in the 200m at the National Championships, crossing the line in 22.71 to take top spot and secure her place in the event at Worlds.
A strong performance against a world-class field tomorrow would do her confidence a world of good and show just how ready she is for top-class international competition.
Encouragingly, Forbes has recorded personal best times in her last two 100m assignments, and with big names all around her tomorrow, has a good opportunity to keep that trend going.
The women's 100m will be contested over two rounds with the heats, which get under way at 12:35 p.m. (6:35 a.m. Jamaica time) to be followed by the final, which faces the starter at 2:40 p.m. (8:40 a.m).
Introduction The GCF Welfare programme, which is considered to be a social effort on the part of the staff, was designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of not only our own staff in their time of need but also of people in need within our community. This programme committee is spearheaded by Mrs. Leodis Douglas, HR Director with other members of the committee drawn from all categories of staff.
Projects Our first major project was implemented in December 2016 when staff members were encouraged to contribute to the Non-perishable Gift Box to be presented the Strathmore Gardens Children’s Home in the Community. The second major project undertaken by the team was executed on July 24, 2017, where a presentation was made to a family within the community whose only bread winner, the father, is stricken with terminal cancer. The GCF Welfare Programme will continue to help members of the surrounding community and so fulfill its social obligation.
Ronda Whyte, the Mauricio Wilson-coached athlete defied the odds, creating a major upset to win the finals of the Women's 400m hurdles and be crowned new National champion.
She came into the final as a ranked outsider, as the event included three finalist at last year's Olympic Games, in Janieve Russell, Ristananna Tracy, and Leah Nugent. The experienced Kaliese Spencer was also in the mix.
Whyte, who has never broken 54 seconds before coming into the Championships, only had a personal best of 55.58 seconds done last year. However, in the first round of the event on Friday, she showed signs that she was ready for something special. Running out of lane one, she finished strongly for second behind Russell in a then personal best of 54.93 seconds, the first time going sub-55 seconds in her career.
PLAGUED BY INJURIES
An athlete who has been plagued by injuries since her days at Maggoty High and G.C. Foster College, Whyte shocked the fair-sized crowd on Friday night, as despite not being in the pack early, she made a decisive move very late to score a runaway win in the end in a new impressive life best of 54.29 seconds, which put her at number six on the IAAF World Top list.
Naturally, she was very pleased with her performance and was over the moon when she spoke to The Gleaner minutes after her biggest achievement so far in her career. "This victory is sweet," she said. Asked about her race strategy going into the final, her reply was: "My plan was just to attack the hurdles and finish strong. I was very confident of doing well as I was motivated by my run in the first round," she said.
"Injuries had slowed me down over the years and once I knew that I was injury free, I was very confident of doing well as I never gave up. You don't know when it is your time, and once you work hard anything, is possible," she continued.
"Being National champion means a lot to know that I competed among the best and came out victorious. This is to show you that you should never give up and don't stop doing what you are doing because one day, you will succeed," she said.
Coach Wilson weighed in on his charge's success, saying: "I am happy for her performance having watched her in training. I told her she was just as good as her training partner and she could win. She is very disciplined and a committed athlete. I am also happy that she is one of the athletes we developed at GC Foster College."