Stewart sets sights on Jeter
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Olympic and World 100m silver medallist, Kerron Stewart, is looking forward to this weekend's clash against American speedster Carmelita Jeter, at the JN Jamaica International Invitational track and field meet, which is scheduled for the National Stadium on Saturday.
Stewart, who will square off with Jeter - the second fastest female in history over 100m with her personal best of 10.64 - for the first time since the start of the season and is excited about defending home turf in front of her supporters.
"I'm really looking forward to it, it's always an honour for me to come home and compete in front of the home supporters," said Stewart, in an interview with The Gleaner from her home in Atlanta, United States, yesterday.
The former St Jago athlete is well aware of the abilities of her American rival, but Stewart, who herself holds the seventh fastest 100m time in history - 10.75 - is confident of producing a strong performance in front of the Jamaican crowd.
"In terms of speed and preparation she (Jeter) certainly has that also because she ran indoors and I did not, but I'm really looking forward to the contest," said Stewart.
"I'm always excited to compete and this clash is at home so that makes it even more special and exciting for me. There will always be an advantage competing at home because of the home crowd and the support that you will receive."
While hoping for a win, the former 100m national champion is not targeting any particular time, but is rather focusing her efforts on executing a good race and getting the little things right in terms of her technique.
"I'm alright with the times that I've run so far this season. It could have been better but I still have a long way to go this season so I won't be too hard on myself," Stewart added. "For Saturday, I'm not putting a time out there, I'm just coming to compete and do my best. I know that if I go out there and do the right things the time will certainly follow."
The fact that there is no major international competition on the calendar this year has done little to sway Stewart's drive and determination.
"It's not hard to stay focused because there are people that I still have to compete against and they are all working hard and competing too so that should be enough motivation for me. I want to be the very best and I know that in order to achieve that I have to continuously work hard and give my best in training and also on the track," Stewart said.
Her last appearance was at the Auburn War Eagle Invitational in Alabama, where she clocked 22.57 seconds to win the 200m ahead of the Bahamian pair of Nivea Smith, 23.08, and Christine Amertil, 23.13.
Stewart's next assignment after the JN Jamaica International Invitational will be in Qatar, where she will compete in the Doha Diamond League.