Stowers seeks consistency in Rome
A year ago she was running second at the NCAA Championship, but now American youngster Jasmin Stowers is the hottest sprint hurdler in the world this year.
Stowers enters the Rome Diamond League tomorrow at the Olympic Stadium in excellent form, having won all four of her races so far, posting the fastest three times this season and taking some high-profile scalps in the process.
It's a start that has the 23-year-old excited and encouraged about her future, even if she still shies away from any suggestion that she may enter this year's World Championships in Beijing as the favourite.
"Favourite? I'm just focused on the moment right now," Stowers told The Gleaner ahead of her much-anticipated rematch against Olympic champion Sally Pearson, who she defeated, along with other to stars such as Dawn Harper-Nelson in Doha a few weeks ago.
"It felt really good competing against Sally (Pearson) and Dawn (Harper-Nelson) in Doha. It was a good experience and I look forward to the next race," Stowers said. "I was really nervous, but I know that once I focus on my lane, I will be okay."
"It meant a lot beating athletes of this quality. These are great athletes and I'm humbled and encouraged. I'm more confident, but I also know that the hurdles is very competitive and anything can happen in any race, so I'm taking this as encouragement to continue working hard."
Pearson and Harper are back for another shot at the event's 'now girl' with Tiffany Porter, Defending World champion Brianna Rollins and Queen Harrison are all expected to provide another stern test for her in Italy.
"I want to stay consistent, that's my main goal ... . If I'm able to do that, I know I'll be ready for the World Championships this year and Olympics next year," she added of her ambitions. "I'm more focused, I lost some weight coming into the season. I also paid a lot of attention on my technique, especially my start and everything have just come together really well."
Stowers is the seventh fastest sprint hurdler of all time with her 12.35-second world-leading winning time in Doha, making her the clear favourite to continue her streak in Rome.