Tue | Apr 25, 2017

Wilson impressed by Sherone Simpson’s battling qualities

Published:Monday | April 13, 2015 | 4:00 AMLeighton Levy
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (left) and Sherone Simpson battle to the finish in the women's 200 metres at the UTech Track and Field Classics at the National Stadium on Saturday.
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Coach Maurice Wilson has expressed overwhelming satisfaction with Sherone Simpson's first 200-metre run of the season, at the UTech Track and Field Classic at the National Stadium on Saturday night.

Running in lane three, Simpson was outpaced by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce over the first half of the race, but rushed back into contention to cross the line alongside the 2013 World champion.

It required a photograph to separate them. Fraser-Pryce was eventually credited with a time of 22.96 and Simpson 22.97. It was that close.

Simpson, the 2008 Olympic 100-metre silver medallist, has been working with Wilson since October 2014, following a stint with Loren Seagrave in the United States. He said he didn't see the race live, but watched a tape afterwards and from what he saw, Simpson did what he expected.

"Her initial speed is not where it should be, but she is such a professional," he said.

"What she demonstrated is that despite not competing for more than a year, she was not willing to play second fiddle to anyone."

Her strong closing speed, he said, also showed that she is in fairly good shape, despite physical challenges this season for the 2006 Commonwealth Games champion, who has a personal best of 22-flat.

Multiple knee surgeries, Wilson explained, have made it difficult for Simpson to be consistent with high intensity workouts, which cause significant soreness. That, he said, has hampered her progress in terms of speed.

He said coaching Simpson is still a 'work in progress', as he continues to learn more about what works for her and what doesn't. He gave his assurance, however, that together they will find a way around her specific challenges in the hope that she can build on Saturday's performance.