Thu | Feb 27, 2020

Goule on Doha regrets and 2020 goals

Published:Wednesday | January 22, 2020 | 12:23 AM

Among the nine females nominated for RJRGLEANER Sportswoman of the year award last week was Jamaican 800m ­runner Natoya Goule.

Although the award was won by sprinting great Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Goule said she was really grateful to be listed among the nominees.

“It’s my first time being a nominee, it feels very good,” said the Manchester native, who is now based in Clemson, South Carolina.

Her nomination was rewarding her 2019 season, which ended with a sixth place finish at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Looking back on her performance in Doha, Goule admitted initial disappointment with her result in the final, but noted that she has since taken the many lessons from that experience and is now looking to apply them in the season to come.

“At first, I was sad because I knew that I could have gotten a medal,” said the 28-year-old athlete.

“But after looking at my journey, knowing that it was the first time ever in my life I ran three rounds, I was very grateful, I gave God thanks. Plenty of persons who were predicted to get a medal didn’t make it to the final,” Goule stated.

Her coach Mark Elliott also weighed in: “Based on the way our season was going, she had the ability, the time and the ranking to get a medal.”

Nonetheless, Goule shared that she took a lot of positives from her Doha efforts.

“I learned that I’m a really, really strong person. I always knew that, but now I know I’m really a warrior!” Goule said. “There was a lot of obstacles, my ankle got injured, I was pushed in the races …”

The 2019 Pan American Games winner opened her season 10 days ago at Clemson Orange and Purple Elite Indoor meeting, competing for the first time in a 300m, registering a time of 38.74 seconds.

“It has only been seven weeks since I started doing track workouts, so I was really impressed,” Goule said of her 300m experience, which was used by Elliott to test her speed.

Asked what she aims to accomplish this season, Goule explained: “My goal is to take it one step at the time. To be better than what I was last year. I feel like I can improve my PB.”

Goule’s 800m personal best is 1:56.15.

On a collective level, Goule believes Jamaica can get more medals than at the last Olympic Games (11 medals in Rio 2016, 12 in London 2012 and 11 in Beijing 2008).

“Even if Usain (Bolt) is not running anymore, it doesn’t mean that the sport stops. It’s just beginning! We have a lot of talented athletes, we spread across the board right now. Not only 100m, 200m, 400m,” the ­middle-distance runner highlighted.

Melena Helias