Mon | Feb 24, 2020

Tapper optimistic about 2020

Published:Thursday | December 12, 2019 | 12:32 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Megan Tapper goes through a training session at the Qatar Sports Club in Doha, Qatar, on September 23, 2019, during the World Championships.
Megan Tapper goes through a training session at the Qatar Sports Club in Doha, Qatar, on September 23, 2019, during the World Championships.

After a successful 2019 season, 100 metre hurdler Megan Tapper has bright hopes for next year.

Tapper, a World Championship finalist, is up for the challenge she will face against a Jamaican hurdles contingent she describes as brilliant.

The 25-year-old has moved from the MVP Track Club, where she has been a member since she left St Andrew High School, and now has her training directed by Austrian Phillip Unfried, with her husband Mathue overseeing her workouts on a day-to-day basis.

Speaking recently, Tapper voiced her optimism for 2020.

“Right now, the sky’s the limit for me,” she said after a season in which she reached the World Championship final in Doha, with a lifetime best of 12.61 seconds produced in the semi-final.

“The pool of athletes, the pool of hurdlers that Jamaica has is brilliant. I am excited for the challenge. A lot of people will probably look and say, oh, I’d be the underdog, basically, because they’re talented and they’re fast and I’m probably not as fast on my own as the rest of them, but, I mean, when it comes down to it all, it’s about heart and how much you’re willing to give,” she offered.

Pan-am bronze

Tapper won a bronze at the Pan-Am Games in Lima, Peru, and campaigned on the Diamond League circuit as well.

“This year was a real big eye opener for me, and I’m definitely going to use it as a catapult for 2020,” said the 2016 Jamaica champion of a campaign where she trailed only Danielle Williams and Janeek Brown on the Jamaican performance list.

Queried about her coaching change, she replied, “Well, I, basically, just wanted to spread my wings and fly.

“I appreciate MVP for all they’ve done and any success garnered for me. I believe it would be a win for everybody. I just wanted to spread my wings to fly to see what opportunities I have waiting on me.”

The change comes just before an Olympic year, but she thinks things will work out well.

“I serve a big God, and I know that He has my back despite whatever it is that might happen,” she said.

So far, the new programme is going well.

“I’m seeing where the one-on-one attention is paying off technically, and I believe that with the team she has around her now, she’ll see a lot of progress this coming season, very excited,” observed Mathue.