Sport

Divine guidance

Rejuvenated Kerron Stewart says God showed her new path

By Howard Walker Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, February 21, 2014    

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Jamaica's Olympic and World Championship 100-metre silver medallist Kerron Stewart believes she is back to her brilliant best, just months after returning home and joining Glen Mills' Racers Track Club.

Stewart, 29, ended her four-year relationship with United States-based Henry Rolle, and after her first race under the guidance of Mills, she has declared she is ready to get back to the level where she did her personal best of 10.75 seconds for the 100m.

"I believe I can get back to that or better, based on stuff that I am doing at Racers," she said, after winning her 400m in 54.00 seconds at the Camperdown Classic two weeks ago.

"There, everything is about technique, strength and speed. So when you combine those, that's my type of workout. When I can put the speed together with the technique, I am unbeatable," said Stewart, the 2008 national 110m champion.

The powerfully built athlete ran a blistering 10.75 seconds at the 2009 World Athletics Championships in Berlin, but was second to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who stopped the clock at an amazing 10.73 seconds. She also tied for second in the 100m with Sherone Simpson at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in 10.98 seconds, once again behind champion Fraser-Pryce.

Stewart anchored the 4x100m relay team in Beijing to gold in 42.06 seconds.

But after those glorious years, Stewart, the former St Jago High and Auburn University star, was plagued by injuries and only late last year, she decided to come home and train in Jamaica after a parting of the ways with Rolle.

"Why not come home? Where else would you want to go? I have learnt so much being away and I came home and I believed it was right. Not when anybody thought it was right for me, but I listened to God... He is the leader and head of my life," said Stewart.

"In every good relationship, you have to part ways and it was my time to do that and I am happy with the decision I have made. It doesn't matter the outcome of this season or next season or my career," she pointed out.

Stewart, who won the 60m and the 200m for Auburn University, and who was named All-American seven times, had high praises for her former coach.

"There is no comparison. I was coached by Rolle for years and he is a great mentor and great person and a great friend, and he will always remain that," noted Stewart.

She continued: "That's four years, I can only focus on Kerron now. I can't think about the last four years. I can only remember the good things and the things that I have learnt to make me the person I am today.

"I have been learning a lot. I don't think the 400m today (Camperdown Classic) represents what I have been learning, but today is not a peak race for me. I have a long season and that's what I am looking to," said the sprinter.

Stewart -- who clocked 54.00 seconds over the 400m, was the fastest at the meet, but some distance off her personal best of 51.83 seconds -- was just happy to complete the race injury-free.

"I am a competitor and I go out there and make the best of it. I feel good and I always want to run fast as a competitor, but the most important thing is that I came away injury free and I can always go back and work," she noted.

Stewart took particular pride in her "lean" physique.

"I haven't been this lean since 2008, so I can say that's the only comparison I can make between 2008 and now," she said.

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