Evans aiming at World Indoors, C'wealth Games
A bright 2017 indoor campaign has sprinter Gayon Evans looking ahead with optimism. Evans is hoping to make her mark at the World Indoor Championships and the Commonwealth Games early in 2018. Speaking in Spanish Town on December 16, she was quietly confident.
The diminutive Sprintec athlete cut her 60 metres personal best from 7.33 to 7.14 seconds. Overall, she topped the IAAF World Tour standings in the 60 and won herself a wild-card entry to the upcoming World Indoors. Her personal best set in Karlsrue, Germany, was no fluke as she also logged times of 7.15 and 7.17 seconds.
With injury hurting her outdoors, the outdoor World Championships passed her by, but she was happy that her training partners Natasha Morrison, Jura Levy, and Shashalee Forbes won bronze medals there for their work in the 4x100 metre relay.
"I know, if I was healthy, for sure, I would have been out there running on the 4x100m as well, but I cannot take the credit," she reflected. "I have to give it to them because they work hard as well. I was super excited for them."
Before her injury ills, Evans had run on Jamaican teams that placed second and first at the World Relays and the Penn Relays. Now she's looking ahead to the World Indoors which is set for March and the Commonwealth Games early in April.
"I'm focused on both World Indoor and Commonwealth, but because of the great indoor season in 2017, and I was the IAAF World Indoor Tour winner, I'm just going to go out there and defend my title," said the Jamaican who turns 28 on January 15.
In addition to trying to dominate the Tour in 2018, she has another target.
If I can win the World Indoor", she argued, "that would be a plus for me." She was just the 11th fastest.of the year over 60 metres, but she isn't daunted. "I'm not worried about the names or the times people are running," said the former Edwin Allen High School standout, "because last year, I went into the first race with 7.33, and I ran 7.14, so I'm just going to go out there and execute my race to the best of my ability and whatever result I get, I'll accept it and then I'll work from there."
The fastest time of the year was 6.98 seconds by Olympian 100 and 200 metres champion Elaine Thompson.
If Evans does win, she would be following famous footsteps as Merlene Ottey, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce have won the world 60 metres title in the past.
Some of the optimism came from her background training for the 2018 season. "I'm way stronger than last year," she chimed, "and a bit disappointed in outdoors, so most definitely, I want to make up for what happened outdoors and just continue to do my best."