Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Goule almost walked away from track

Published:Friday | August 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer

Natoya Goule is now enjoying the best season of her track and field career, but she almost walked away from the sport in 2017.

In an interview appearing on the IAAF website yesterday, the new national 800-metre record holder said that an iron deficiency almost ended her career. Goule also explained that one key to her great 2018 season is an emphasis on endurance work.

 

THE STRUGGLE

 

In a flashback to 2016, the former Manchester High School star recalled struggling through the indoor season.

"I was sleeping every day until noon and wondered what was wrong with me," she explained. "I was eventually diagnosed as having an iron deficiency, and I was put on iron supplements to help fix the problem," Goule said.

Things came to a head at a meet in 2017.

"My low moment arrived in 2017 after I stepped off the track at the Boston Games and threatened to walk away from the sport," she said. "Lance Brauman (former coach of Veronica Campbell-Brown) was there at the time and he encouraged me that everything would be OK," she remembered.

"Thankfully, I did not carry out my wish," she said, crediting Trinidadian 400m sprinter Jovan Toppin, other friends, and family for rebuilding her confidence.

Long runs have built up her endurance. "Last winter, I made a big effort to complete my long runs and run at least 10 miles, if not longer", Goule intoned.

The benefits became apparent when coach Mark Elliot detailed a one-kilometre run with a target time of two minutes and 45 seconds. She did the distance in 2.35. "I was amazed at the time, and it told me I was in super shape."

The improvement has produced an indoor personal best - one minute 59.86 seconds - and great success outdoors.

"This year, I've gone into big races with a different attitude, believing I can compete with the best," she confessed. Now, she is the holder of a bronze medal from the Commonwealth Games in April and two reductions of the national record held formerly by Kenia Sinclair at one minute 57.88 seconds.

Goule first moved it to 1.57.69 in Paris on June 30, and in a brave run at the Monaco Diamond League meet, she zoomed it to 1.56.15 on July 20.

When she arrived in the wealthy municipality, she was confident.

"To be given an invite was a great boost," she reminisced, "and I was smiling and relaxed on the start line because I knew I would run a PR."

She was right. Her record time makes her the third-fastest woman of the year, with South African Caster Semenya leading the list at 1. 54.25.

 

Natoya Goule

 

Age: 27

Height: 1.62m

PB 400m: 51.52

PB 800m: 1:56.15