MacDonald targets PB at Youth Olympics
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina:
Jamaica will plunge into action at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games this morning when Emily MacDonald competes in heat two of the 100m freestyle, which is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. Jamaica time.
The 15-year-old sealed her spot at this event at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Colombia last month and flew into Argentina last Monday with the other track and field members of the 13-member Jamaican outfit, who will hit the track on Thursday when athletics get underway.
MacDonald, the lone swimmer in the group, has been getting used to the indoor pool and cold conditions here and both herself and national swim coach, Gillian Millwood, said she is 'ready'.
"I feel ready, I feel ready," said MacDonald. "I definitely feel faster. I can feel the water better than I thought I would have and I just feel very prepared for this meet.
"I expect to do best times, hopefully, I really want to do 25 seconds in the 50m freestyle and a 57-mid, like a 57.5 in the 100m freestyle. But I'm going to go out there and just try to do my best. If I don't get a best time then that's how it is," MacDonald reasoned.
The teen's PB for the 100 free is 57.95 seconds and 26.44 in the 50m, the other event in which she will represent Jamaica here, on Thursday.
MacDonald had nailed the qualifying mark at the CAC Games in Colombia in August and Millwood noted that besides her form, the swimmer is buoyed by Jamaican star swimmer Alia Atkinson's World Record performance at the weekend.
"Emily is ready to go. She's the youngest person on her start list for both events, as well as Alia's fulfilling and joyous performance of a World Record. It is extremely inspiring to Emily so she can go out and push towards greatness," said Millwood.
"I expect her to continue the growth she started to demonstrate on the final day of swimming at CAC Games in July, where she qualified to add her maturity in racing these 16-17-year-olds from the great span of the world outside of the Caribbean region."
Continuing, Millwood said: "The JOA's continued fostering of this talent is truly appreciated. I expect Emily's performance to encourage its continuance for her countrymen like Sabrina Lyn, Nathaniel Thomas, Zaneta Alvaranga, Kito Campbell, Christanya Shirley and others."
MacDonald is the first Jamaican swimmer to make the Youth Olympics with an A standard time. Tymothy Wynter and Sidrell Williams participated at the 2014 Games with B qualification.