André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Jamaican sprinter Sherone Simpson is looking back, even as she looks forward to this year's IAAF World Championships in Athletics, intent on reclaiming the form she showed in 2006.
Simpson was a bit of a monster on the track back then: 10.82 over 100m and 22.00 in the half-lap. And despite an Olympic silver medal in the 100m at the 2008 Beijing Games, the 28-year-old has failed to return to her explosive 2006 form.
However, with the World Championships on the calendar, Simpson is hoping to crank into high gear in the coming months, a first individual World Championships medal and lowering her personal bests, her targets for the fast-approaching season.
"I haven't got an individual medal at the World Championships and I really need one," Simpson told The Gleaner after a recent training session with her MVP Track Club at the University of Technology.
"I have been working hard and it's not that I hadn't been working hard over the years, but, of course, sometimes injuries come along and I have to listen to my body.
"I think by May, that's when we will really know where I am, but definitely, my aim is to run some personal-best times. The last time I really ran fast was in 2006, and so I really need to get back to that level. Medal or not, I will be very happy running some personal bests this year," Simpson added, before reporting on her physical condition coming out of a gruelling background training period.
"Physically, I am very good and I have to give God thanks. I have been going through all the sessions and not feeling any pain, so I am happy about that. I think that, once I'm not injured, I can really do some great things this year," said Simpson.
The former Manchester High sprinter, who competed in the 200m at last year's Olympic Games in London, but missed out on a place in the final after a sixth-place finish in the semi-finals, said she is disappointed with the way things turned out last year. However, she is using the results as a motivation.
"Disappointed. I really wanted to do well at the Olympics. It was OK at the national trials and I thought I would have been able to build on what I did there, but unfortunately that didn't happen for me in London," she said.
"Coach (Stephen Francis) and I found out what the problem was and from day one this season, we have been working on the problem, and I think things are going pretty well and I'm just looking forward to this season," said Simpson.
The Commonwealth Games champion over 200m in 2006, Simpson has two 4x100m relay silver medals at the World Championships, plus gold and silver in the 4x100m at the Olympics, to go with her 100m silver.