Sport

Smith, Williams safely through to triple jump final

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Saturday, August 04, 2012    

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LONDON, England — Despite getting into Sunday's final of the Olympic women's triple jump competition by different routes after yesterday's preliminary rounds at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, London, both Jamaican jumpers have the same mindset: "Let it all out".

Kimberly Williams continued her outstanding season as she needed just one jump to get past the automatic qualifying mark of 14.40m with a new personal best 14.53m, her third improvement this season, while the veteran Trecia Smith needed all three of her attempts, registering one legal mark, a season best 14.31m.

Kazakhstan's Olga Rypakova led the 12 qualifiers with 14.79m on a runway described by Smith, who was seventh overall, as "super fast".

Williams, the former Vere Technical and Florida State University standout, told reporters after her event that she felt she had a lot left in store. "I feel good," she told reporters. "I feel like there is more there, so hopefully on Sunday I will be able to go out and execute and do everything that I have been doing all year, try to put them all together and make it count this time because Sunday is when it all counts."

While expressing her surprise at the almost 80,000-capacity stadium on the opening session and also some pre-competition butterflies, she said she had fulfilled her dreams of being in the Olympic Games after watching it on television four years ago.

"It was crowded, I did not expect to see so many people at the morning session, but I guess everything is different at the Olympic Games. There were some nerves and anxiety and it's good to have a little bit of nerves, but once you get on the runway everything feels all right."

Having made it to the final with just one jump and improving on her previous personal best 14.52m, she said that will only make her more confident.

Smith expressed some concerns on her two fouls, on the first and third attempts, and said the one major thing she had set out to do was not foul after an injury last year had caused her to lose her rhythm leading to a number of fouls.

"The fouls are a concern, that was the only goal I set out when I started was not to foul, so yes, I am a little bit worried," she said before adding that the "runway is super fast, so you don't have to try hard and you will see a lot more fouls when they all go full speed".

She did admit, however, that she was "relieved, as I have not been jumping really well all year, so to put out what I consider a pretty safe jump because it was so slow, I am well and truly happy, so now I am going to leave everything out there on Sunday".

She is not leaving anything to chance: "I don't care, if I foul (all three jumps), I foul, I am just gonna leave everything out there on the track. It's just simple, go out there and win it, that's the strategy, I was very slow today, my 14.31 today felt slow so I can go further."

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