Down but not out
Injured Seidetha Palmer determined to get back on track
AFTER missing most of last season with a left hamstring injury, former Central American and Caribbean Under-20 100m champion Seidetha Palmer was eagerly looking forward to an injury-free 2014 season.
All her hopes went up in a fireball of pain in her left hamstring about six strides into the anchor leg of the Clubs/Institutions women's 4x100m heats on Saturday's 38th staging of the Gibson Relays, at the National Stadium in Kingston.
After taking the baton former Herbert Morrison Technical teammate Keneseha Stevens, Palmer fell to the track writhing in pain and was taken off on a stretcher to the medical area.
A day later, the 20-year-old Palmer told the Jamaica Observer she was still feeling some pain and would be visiting the doctors early in the week to get a better assessment of the injury, which a preliminary examination showed was a grade two tear in the left hamstring, the same hamstring that kept her out for about three months last year.
"After running out to get the baton from my teammate, after about three strides I felt a pain, but it was nothing to stop for... then after another few strides the pain got worse, it was hot, it was the first time I felt that kind of pain in my hamstrings," Palmer said.
The athlete, whose personal bests are 11.6 seconds in the 100m and 24.1 seconds in the 200m both accomplished while she was still a school girl, said her initial reaction to the injury was "anger".
"I knew I would do well and was looking forward to a good season and this again," Palmer lamented.
She remains optimistic, however, and thinks she will be back, better than ever.
Last season, which is her first with Racers after leaving Herbert Morrison, Palmer got off to a great start and led the Racers Lions female team to victory in the women's 4x100m at the Gibson Relays and things were looking great, until her injury a few weeks later.
She returned in late June and competed at the JAAA National Senior Championships, but her fitness and speed were not back up to the level for her to compete at her optimum and did not get her past the semi-finals in the women's 100m.
She opened her season running the 400m at the Camperdown Classics two weeks before the Gibson Relays and her confidence had been on the rise as she was prepared to make her breakthrough at the senior level.
Palmer, who also starred at the ISSA High School Boys' and Girls' Championships for Herbert Morrison, will not be beaten. She says she is confident that the medical training staff at Racers will be able to get her back running faster than ever.
Palmer has represented Jamaica at every junior competition, including the Carifta Games, IAAF World Youths in 2009 in Italy and the IAAF World Juniors in Moncton, Canada, a year later.