Resurging Ristananna - 400m hurdler looking to take off at Olympics
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil:
National 400m hurdles champion Ristananna Tracey has not always lived up to expectations since turning pro.
However, the 24-year-old says she has regained confidence and is looking forward to a positive Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Tracey, a dominant force while a student at Edwin Allen High - where she established national junior records and led her school's charge as a force at Champs - has seen her career spiral since competing at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, China, where she qualified for the semi-finals despite competing with a cast on her arm after a fracture.
LITTLE IMPACT SO FAR
She has featured at a couple of major international championships since then, but has struggled to make any impact; with first-round eliminations at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships.
Tracey has, however, experienced a resurgence under the guidance of Maurice Wilson at his Sprintec Track Club since she joined up at the end of last season.
"I'm elated to be here, but at the same time, humbled and focusing on making it through the rounds. It's a great feeling, there is a lot of positive energy around the team," said Tracey.
"I think I am ready. I have been prepared well. I just need to go out there and execute a good race each time I step on the track.
"Yes, I have lost a lot, but in life, we all have ups and downs, and with the support of my family, friends and the positive persons around me, I can safely say that this year I have regained my confidence," added Tracey, who pointed to a series of injuries as a factor in her setback.
"I was disappointed at one point in my life, but guess what, experience teaches wisdom, and all those rough patches, I have learnt from every one of them. I stopped dwelling on the past, but at the same time, I'm not forgetting where I am coming from," she added.
"I must thank Mr Wilson and his assistants for all the hard work that they have done to get me back to this point," she said, noting that her experience at the World Championships should help in Rio.
"The Olympics is the biggest stage, but I think my experiences in the World Championships is somewhat similar, so that will help me here. My expectations are to go out, take it one step at a time and do my best every time," she noted. "My main target is to take each round a step at a time and make it to the final."
Tracey's 54.75 seconds run at the National Championships makes her the 14th-fastest woman in the world this year. It's also the first time she has gone below 55 seconds since 2013.