McLaughling-Whilby points to rest
Anniesha McLauGhlin-Whilby believes that taking a season off helped to energise her Olympic campaign. The Sprintec athlete says resting in 2015 smothered her ongoing injury issues. Now with her 31st birthday approaching, the former Holmwood Technical star is looking forward with optimism.
Speaking at the G.C. Foster College for Physical Education recently, the ever-smiling McLaughlin-Whilby said, "In 2014, I ended my season right after the Commonwealth Games, and from when I started training last season, I no longer have most of the issues."
She had bounced back from injury in the 2013 World Championships 200m semi-finals to be on the Commonwealth Games team the following year, reaching the final in Glasgow, Scotland.
Except for a bout of the mosquito-borne virus ZIKV, which forced her out of the 200m and into the 400m, she has been far healthier in 2016. According to her, the rest did the trick.
"I think the one-year break gave my body a lot of well-needed rest, so it's been going good," she said.
McLaughlin-Whilby, who moved from the MVP Track Club to the Sprintec Club run by her former Holmwood coach Maurice Wilson, set personal bests of 51.35 and 51.03 seconds en route to fifth place at the National Championships.
Those times followed a run of 51.40 earlier in the season and are superior to her previous 400m lifetime best of 51.89, which was established in 2012.
At the Olympics, she helped Jamaica to win the silver medal in the 4x400m relay. Her contribution was a 50.2 second stint in the heats and a sparkling 49.8 second blitz in the final.
The 30-year-old McLaughlin is a Champs legend with 19 gold medals won for Holmwood and records that still stand even now, long after her last race as a school girl. Her Girls' Championships Class 3 200m and 400m records are especially good at 23.11 and 52.52 seconds respectively, and she also holds the Class 2 200m mark of 23.13.
During those days, she won five Carifta Games titles, including an Under-17 100m championship in 2002. Later that year, she was the runner-up in the World Junior Championships at 200m.
During her years at the University of Technology, she placed fifth in the 200m at the 2009 World Championships and in 2011 and won gold in the 200m at the World University Games.
Now fully committed to the 400m, McLaughlin-Whilby is looking ahead.
"(It's) Hard work and kind of different but I'm attacking the challenge," she grinned. "Training has been going great so I just want to continue training and do what coach tells me to do, and I know I will get the result I desire."