Smith expects 'big' triple jump
LONDON, England — Injury free for the first time in over a year, Jamaica's female triple jump national record holder Trecia-Kay Smith has declared she is fully fit and expecting a "big jump" when competition starts in Olympic track and field later this week.
Smith and Jamaica's other triple jumper Kimberly Williams will not have to wait too long to get into action with the qualification for the triple jump set for the opening day of track and field, on Friday morning.
"I am all right, I am fit," she told journalists recently in the Athletes' Village.
Two injuries last year — a freak accident on her left heel caused when a shopper in a supermarket ran a trolley into her heel damaging her Achilles tendon and a right hip injury that occurred in a competition — caused her to skip the IAAF World Championships in Deagu, South Korea.
Because of the injuries and her attempts at compensation she has not had much success, but is hopeful that being back to full fitness and being able to train properly, it will end well. "I have been fouling a lot this season and hopefully I will find the board when (the time) comes," she said.
With the injures out of the way, the former Mannings School athlete who won the IAAF World Championships gold medal in 2005 said "now that I am injury free for a change, I have to find the right rhythm".
Despite not jumping 15.0m in six years, Smith says she thinks the triple jump is a wide open event and any of several athletes could win.
"There are a lot of events this year that are wide open and mine is one of those events. It has been a long time going into an Olympics that no one has jumped over 15.0m, so I guess it's the person who comes out with it on the days that's gonna win it."
Olha Saladuha of Ukraine is the world leader with 14.99m with Colombia's Caterine Ibarquen next with 14.95m set at altitude in Medellin in April.
With Smith not being the top Jamaican this season, that honour goes to Williams who has improved her personal best three times to 14.52m. This she did twice, almost half a metre longer than Smith's 14.05m done in Brazil in May.
However, she said she is among the more experienced jumpers in the field. "There are a few of us that's gonna be in the competition that have already jumped 15.0m and know what it is like and I am hoping I can duplicate that."
Asked by the Jamaica Observer if she was expecting a big jump, her response was immediate: "Well yes, this is the Olympics after all."
While every Olympic Games is significant, Smith said the London Games are even moreso for her. "Every Olympics is significant, this one moreso, as I have lived here for nine years, so it's sorta like a home Olympics for me, even though I am competing for Jamaica so it's important."