Sun | Dec 3, 2023

Tia Clayton on the rebound, ready to challenge twin sister’s dominance

Published:Sunday | January 23, 2022 | 12:07 AMHubert Lawrence - Gleaner Writer
Tia Clayton
FILE Tia Clayton

TIA CLAYTON was the first of the fast Edwin Allen High School twins to win an individual gold medal at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships. Now, with her sister Tina ahead of her, Tia has put her foot back on the accelerator. So says Michael Dyke, who coaches them both.

“She’s very cognisant that her sister has gone ahead of her, way ahead of her, leaps and bounds, and I think that now creates a little jealousy, that she wants to regain her top form and get back on par with her sister, you know, but I think she has to improve in some of the areas,” said Dyke.

He described Tina as “probably more disciplined with especially her nutrition and all of that”.

With Tia’s 2018 Class 3 10-metre gold medal becoming a more distant memory, Dyke added, “Those are some of the factors which really affect her, which she recognises, her mum recognises, along with myself, and we are trying our best to help her to fix those challenges and get her back.”

Change is under way.

“We have seen it and her sister is a great motivator for her because she always pulls her alongside her, and I notice they are very close in terms of training, as training partners together, especially this season, you know. So she’s now figuring I better train with my sister if I want to step up”, Dyke observed of the 17-year-old who clocked 11.29 seconds in 2020 but just 11.60 last season.

Tia joined Tina on the victorious World Under-20 national 4x100 team in Nairobi last year, prompting Dyke to note, “It serves as a motivating factor for her, the fact that she was part, not only of a winning 4x100, but a world-record-breaking team.”

Luxuriating in the high altitude of Nairobi, Serena Cole, Tia, Kerrica Hill and Tina, the 100-metre champion, sped to a record of 42.94 seconds.


A bad start in the 100-metre final buried Tia at the National Junior Championships when, as Dyke reports now, she was ready to roll.

“I think it would have been serious competition if Tia had gotten a chance to compete in that individual 100 because I can tell you, she was in very good shape,” he said.

Asked what to expect from Tia this season, he replied, “With the level of confidence Tina has right now, I don’t think it will be very easy to beat her, but I know she would be a great challenger this year.”

With Cole also reportedly training well, Dyke thinks Jamaica will be fast at the 2022 World Under-20 Championships.

“Everybody is working, Brianna Lyston looking good coming back, so all round it’s a very good core group in general locally,” he predicted.