Mon | Oct 14, 2019

Thomas-Ricketts will peak at World Champs – coach

Published:Saturday | April 13, 2019 | 12:18 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Thomas-Ricketts
Thomas-Ricketts

After opening her season with an impressive 14.76m in the triple jump at the Youngster Goldsmith track meet in February, NACAC Championship gold medallist, Shanieka Thomas-Ricketts, has tempered her training regime in order to peak at the appropriate time for the IAAF Diamond League and, even more important, the IAAF World Championships in September, says coach Kerry Lee Ricketts.

With qualification to the World Championship already achieved, Ricketts’ intention is to get the 27-year-old ready for the major championships this year. As a result, he has arranged her training programme in such a way to prevent the athlete from burning out and for her to be at her best when the important events come around, as the aim is to surpass 15m at the World Champs.

“Her training is based on cycle and we have several cycles,” Ricketts said. “The Diamond League will be before the World Championships and now we have to get out there competing and doing well. We also have Pan Am Games and that’s a big thing to a title under our belt. So we rewrote the programme as such that she goes to these championships and peaks and does well. So that’s the final crescendo; the biggest peak will come for the year at the World Champs,” he predicted.

“She opened her season with a massive jump of 14.76 and that is a (good chance to) finish on the podium or close. So I am really happy where we are right now, and anything over 15 puts us on the podium.”

Thomas-Ricketts’ leap of 14.76 is the second best of all time, nationally, and only bettered by national record holder Trecia Smith (15.16m).

“The second-biggest triple jump in Jamaica’s history is an accomplishment in itself,” Ricketts said. “At the last couple World Championships or Olympic finals, that (jump) would have put her on the podium. She has had a couple peaks for the year. Last year, she opened her season with 14.49m and was second only to Kimberley (Williams) who had a PB (personal best). Then the very next meet, the Diamond League in Shanghai China, she did well. She went to the NACAC Championships and broke the record, then went to the World Cup in London and PB there, before going to Diamond League final and losing by just one centimetre. So last season encouraged me, as I was able to peak her to challenge for a title and then peak her again to challenge for another title. So knowing where she is now, I am happy going into the World Championships.”