Simpson on song - Clocks sizzling 400m time in season opener

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer Senior Reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, January 29, 2012

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OLYMPIC 100m silver medallist Sherone Simpson threw down the gauntlet to her sprint rivals after winning the Women 400m Open in 51.42 seconds, just outside her personal best of 51.25, at the Queen's/Grace Jackson Meet at the National Stadium yesterday.


Simpson, 27, using the 400m as part of her strength work, won ahead of MVP teammate Anneisha McLaughin (51.89) and hurdler Nickesha Wilson (53.94).


Beijing 2008 Olympic 100 champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won her heat in 55.72.


"I'm very pleased... I think the race was well executed although the wind was a bit strong coming home," Simpson told the Sunday Observer, moments after warming down on the cycle track.


"The last couple of years wasn't so good, but this is my fastest opener as my personal best is 51.25, so I'm very happy with the time," said Simpson who was a member of Jamaica's victorious 4x100 relay team at the 2004 Athens Olympic.


"I just want to give God thanks and want to stay healthy and looking forward to the rest of the season," said Simpson.


With a personal best of 10.82 seconds in the 100m, Simpson is ranked fifth among Jamaican women, behind Shelly-Ann Fraser (10.73), Merlene Ottey (10.74), Kerron Stewart (10.75) and Veronica Campbell-Brown (10.78). She is confident of again securing one of three spots on the Olympic team.


"I'm very focussed and very confident....silver medallist from 2008 in the 100m, finalist in the 200m, so I'm looking forward to staying healthy and looking forward to the National Championships," she said.


Over the past few years, the 2006 Commonwealth 200m champion has been plagued by injury, but she hopes all that will change this season.


"I just want to continue to stay healthy and once I'm healthy, I'm able to run well. I just want to take each race as they come along," she added.


Simpson is also not sure if she will tackle the sprint double, but will leave that decision to her coach Stephen Francis.


"I'm not sure. I'll just continue to train hard and later down in the season, I will leave that decision to my coach," she said.






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