Tracey targets more speed, better technique
Ristananna Tracey thinks more speed and better technique will see her back to the podium in the 400m hurdles at this year’s IAAF World Championships. She said if she raises her speed levels this season, she will be dangerous.
Tracey cruised to victory at an All-Comers meet at the UWI-Usain Bolt track in Mona on Saturday, and gave her effort a passing grade.
“I felt great, I felt really strong, but unfortunately, I was looking forward for a push, but I didn’t get it,” she said after the race. “So I just came out here to open my season, being as I wanted to open my season at the (Jamaica International) Invitational Meet, but, unfortunately, it was cancelled, so I just came out here to just get the first run out and I did exactly that.”
Her World Championships rivals could include American wonder girl Sydney McLaughlin, who ran 50.78 seconds for the flat 400m victory earlier the same day.
“She has a lot of flat speed and I think that’s what I am lacking,” Tracey observed of the American, who has run 50.39 for the flat one-lap race. “I think if I can improve on my flat speed, I think I’ll be dangerous,” the owner of a 51.95 personal best said.
She continues to refine her hurdling technique in her training overseas with coach Lawrence ‘Boogie’ Johnson.
“He keeps on reminding me in training that I will never be able to beat my training partner until I learn like proper technique, having less air time and all those stuff, so I’m mainly working on my technique and flat speed right now,” she said. The training partner she speaks of is none other than Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad, whose 400m personal best is 51.62 seconds.
That’s just 0.01 off the lifetime mark of Jamaica’s finest 400m hurdler, Olympic and World champion Melanie Walker, who sits at number two on the 400m hurdles all-time list at 52.42 seconds.
Muhammad has also set a personal best in the 200m this season. The American opened her IAAF Diamond League account with victory in 53.61 seconds on May 3 in Doha, Qatar.
Tracey was in the Olympic final won by Muhammad in Rio de Janeiro and came back with a personal best 53.74 seconds to win the bronze medal at the 2017 World Championships.
“Definitely, I am working towards going back on the podium, whether it is getting another bronze medal, or move up on the podium. That’s exactly my aim for this season,” she said.