Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Rio Boosted My Confidence - Simmonds

Published:Monday | February 13, 2017 | 2:00 AM

One hundred metre hurdler Megan Simmonds says that competing at the 2016 Olympics has boosted her confidence. Simmonds, a first-time Olympian in Rio de Janeiro last year, says that she is now looking ahead to better things. The pint-sized hurdler was speaking moments after playing her part in a 4x100 metre win by the MVP Track Club at the Western Relays in Montego Bay on Saturday.

Simmonds zipped through the first leg to send MVP on its way to a 43.61 seconds triumph and was all smiles afterwards. Asked about the impact of being an Olympian, the 22 year-old graduate of Saint Andrew High School and the University of Technology replied, "It has really given me more confidence."

She went to Rio as Jamaican number-one, having run a personal best time of 12.79 seconds to win the National Senior Championships. In Rio, she raced strongly to take her place in the semi-finals in her first Olympic Games. "Before, I guess I wouldn't see myself being an Olympian, being as successful as I am now," Simmonds said, "but now that I've had that experience, now that I've been past that, I'm able to look forward to bigger and better things."

QUICKER THIS YEAR

She matched spikes with her Olympic teammate Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby on the first leg of the Western Relays 4x100 and looked speedy. She listened intently to a pre-Olympic observation from Leacroft Bolt, her coach at St Andrew High, about her ability to assimilate speed training and said brightly, "and I'm even quicker this year."

The 2011 World Youth finalist sounded ready to take on the world's best in an event where the world record was lowered to 12.21 seconds last year by American Kendra Harrison. "I'm doing as much as I can to be ready for anything that comes," she said with a steely smile.

Simmonds expects to run an indoor hurdling race in Birmingham, England, on February 18.

- Hubert Lawrence