Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Papine High School's sensation, Tiffany James, did not line up for the girls' Class Two 800 metres as most persons had anticipated on Wednesday's second day of the 2013 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships, but instead faced the starter in the preliminaries of the 200m.
Coming into the championships, James was a medal favourite in the 400m and 800m, having won her school's first two gold medals in 2012 at the then 102 year-old championships. Her time of 54.93 seconds was good enough to capture the Class Three 400m and she also won the 800m in 2:11.31.
"I am just doing the 200m to help me with speed to concentrate on the 400m," James revealed. "I am looking for a medal (in the 200m), because I always want to go out there and be in the competition, but I am really concentrating on the 400m."
James' coach, Shanikie Osbourne, who has overseen her development for the past three years, believes that the 400m-800m combination would have been too much for the 16-year-old athlete.
"I have decided this year that it is too hectic, as it is a really hard double on the muscles and as a young person coming up you really want her to go on to a future after high school," Osbourne explained. "I cannot win champs, so my first thing is to think about the future of my kids."
Despite last year's success, James is not saddened by the fact that she is not competing in the 800m, as it is not her favourite event.
"I don't like the 800m as I don't like to pass the finish line more than once, but when my coach say I must go out there and do it, I just do it."
The 2012 Central American and Caribbean Championships 400m gold medallist will be hard-pressed to repeat last year's heroics, as she is set to come up against defending champion Yanique McNeil of Vere Technical and last year's silver medallist Saqukine Cameron of Edwin Allen in the Class Two 400m.
"If I go out there and do what my coach says I think, I can win the gold medal," James expressed. "I am not focusing on any time, I am just going to go out there and run, and hopefully the time that comes up will be a good one."