BIRMINGHAM, England — Glen Mills, president and head coach of the Racers Track Club, has refuted claims that the female sprinting programme at the Mona-based club is lagging behind.
Unlike the men's sprint programme that is arguably the best in the world, presently boasting double World Record-holder and double Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt and IAAF World Championships 100m champion Yohan Blake, with a number of young men coming to the fire this season, the female programme does not have an easily identifiable face or a champion in its ranks.
Mills says, however, this will change in the very near future. "Things take time," he told the Jamaica Observer in an interview in Birmingham near to the Jamaican training base on Wednesday afternoon.
He said injuries had affected the best female runners in the Racers camp, but they had tried to get help for them and there is a glimmer of hope.
"We don't have many female sprinters right now, just Schillonie Calvert, and one of the things is that unfortunately, she has issues with scar tissues acquired over the years and she has been fighting them.
"She really is a tremendous fighter," he said. "A lot of times you see her running out there, she is in pain."
Mills told the Observer they have tried to get help for Calvert and thinks that maybe they are on the right track, "we have sought experts from around the world even recently and later on after the summer one of them is coming to Jamaica to work with her as there are quite a number of scar tissues on both legs."
Quarter-miler Rosemarie Whyte is also struggling with leg injuries, he said.
"She has a major problem with her hamstrings and she has been fighting as well. Some days she is in pain, but she has not been able to train the way she would like... eventually we will get there."
The female population at Racers is expected to grow soon, Mills said, as there are a few "young females that have expressed strong interest in coming to Racers, and that will help".
Two young sprinters just completed their first season there — Deandre Whitehorne, who battled injuries all season to make the team to the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona last week, and her former Vere Technical teammate Celia Walters.
Walters achieved her personal best of 23.57 seconds in the 200m when she won the B race at the track meeting in Switzerland on Tuesday and Mills said that was a good sign.
"That was a big PR for her; she is tall and lanky and needs strengthening work and eventually we will see her make a big move in a year or two from now."