Tue | Jan 26, 2021

Confident Smith aiming for more success in 2020

Published:Wednesday | February 19, 2020 | 12:34 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer

Last season was a fantastic one for Jonielle Smith. She was a finalist in the women’s 100 metres and a member of the winning sprint relay team at the Doha World Athletics Championships. Now she is hoping for an even better 2020 season.

The former Wolmer’s Girls’ and University of Auburn star who gained a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting is now a professional athlete and trains at the Florida Atlantic University (FAU).

“The 2019 season was my biggest learning curve yet, but also my most rewarding. Although inconsistent, I was still able to perform when it mattered most,” she said when asked about her past season.

“Being a member of the national team and a part of the winning women’s 4x100m relay team and an individual finalist meant the world to me. I ­r­epresented my country and made my family, coach, manager and agent proud. It was my first World Championships and this is indeed my greatest memory and achievement so far,” Smith said.

Life as a professional athlete has not been easy for Smith.

“It is not like at college where we had treating rooms to go to and do recoveries or simple treatment. Everything is personal but, on the other hand, there is much more free time as there is more independence and growth and that is always a great thing,” she revealed.

Recently she got a scare during her preparations as she met in a car accident.

“Unfortunately, the accident did cause me to miss training days but everyone has their battles,” Smith said while adding that she just had to accept the situation and move on.

With a few young sprinters pushing for places on the national sprint team, Smith knows that come June it will be even tougher for her at the National Trials but she is ready for the challenge.

“I only have control over my results, so I am worried only about myself,” she said. “Despite the ­setbacks that I’ve had, last year taught me that it is not over until you cross the finish line. I am extremely confident that I can bounce back and be better than I was a year ago.”