Thu | Sep 24, 2020

Fewer jumps for Ricketts in 2020

Published:Tuesday | December 31, 2019 | 12:37 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Kerry Lee Ricketts
Kerry Lee Ricketts

Triple jumper Shanieka Ricketts competed in 15 meets in 2019 as she built a season that saw her win the World Athletics Diamond League final and a silver medal at the World Championship. However, her husband and coach Kerry Lee Ricketts says she won’t jump as often in 2020. He says this is because she will be building on the technical advances made in the last campaign.

Asked when his wife will start competing in the New Year, coach Ricketts said, “We won’t need many meets. I think she will probably open at either the Jamaica [International] Invitational, if it has triple jump, or the Racers Grand Prix.”

He recalled that she jumped a then personal best of 14.76m as early as January.

“The fact that the World Championships was way down in October, we could do a few things and see what works from early, see what tools need to be kept in the toolbox and what we needed to get rid of,” he said.

Those lessons have been taken on board.

PREPARATION

“This year, it’s not so much testing, it’s more of preparation, so we’re just basically going to prepare, prepare, prepare,” he said.

The tests paid dividends as she stretched her personal best past the early season from 14.76 to 14.93m. That mark won her the Diamond League title in an upset of world champion Yulimar Rojas of Colombia. A key factor was work on the final phase of her triple jump technique.

“We’ve been putting on a lot of work in the last phase and we haven’t gotten it yet and we still have some work to do,” Kerry Lee shared. He said that his athlete also made gains in carrying more speed through the jump.

“It’s a learning process where, you know, you learn A and then you move on to B. You can’t learn A and B at the same time,” he said.

He was impressed with the form of Shanieka’s teammate Kimberly Williams at the World Championships. The two-time Commonwealth Games winner bounced back from a modest mid-season sequence to fourth at the Worlds with two jumps matching her lifetime best of 14.64m.

“A lot of people kinda actually had written off Kim, but this is triple jump, age is not really a big factor in triple jump,” he said in reference to the 31-year-old Williams.

Using the success of Colombia’s 2016 Olympic champion Caterine Ibargüen, 35-year old, as an example, he continued, “ Kim, to me, is still young, has a lot more years to go and still has better days ahead. I mean, she actually made her personal best twice. It’s just unfortunate that she was just off the podium.”