Sat | Oct 21, 2017

McLaughlin-Whilby looks for success in 400m

Published:Thursday | October 20, 2016 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman
McLaughlin-Whilby

Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby, who in her first Olympics last year copped silver with Jamaica's 4x400m women's relay team, returned to training last week with her sights set on the 400m at next year's IAAF World Championships in London next year.

The former Holmwood Technical standout, now a 30-year-old wife, last summer, copped an all important medal which was, no doubt, the missing part of a very resplendent youth career.

"I started training this week, so I am very excited. I would say I had a wonderful season last year; 2016 was good for me and a comeback year for me," she outlined.

"I made my first Olympic team and I got a silver medal in the women's 4x400m," the athlete continued, in company of her number-one fan and husband Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Captain Cortess Whilby.

They were present at a ceremony for the country's Olympic and Paralympic athletes at the National Indoor Sports Centre last Saturday night.

"I definitely think my best is yet to come seeing as I changed to the 400m, so the room for improvement is great, and I am just looking forward to next season," she continued.

"Personally, I don't really set short-term goals. I do it one step at a time as the season progresses. I don't really have times that I would like to meet; I just look to go out there and compete to do my best and surpass my previous marks," she told The Gleaner.

In 2002, the talented athlete was awarded the Austin Sealy Trophy for the most outstanding athlete of the Carifta Games.

However, she never made the expected transition onto the world stage.

She finished fifth in the 200m final at the 2009 IAAF World Championships and reached the Commonwealth Games final also, then dropped the 200m to pursue the 400m at the National trials prior to the Rio Olympics.

She is still working with high school coach Maurice Wilson.

 

HARD WORK AHEAD

 

"I just hope to train hard and stay injury free and, hopefully, I will make the World Championships team," added the athlete.

She was backed by a husband who is also the JDF's sports team captain.

"It was a good feeling when she and her team picked up that medal. I'm hoping for the best for her. She did well this season and we are looking for better next season, hopefully God is on her side and she stays injury free and will pull through with gold," Captain Whilby pointed out.

He noted that he will be hoping to travel to London to support his wife.

"Well, my boss is here. Hopefully, there is nothing in the country that requires me here, and, hopefully, I can go," he remarked.

"I do think she has her best to come."