BIRMINGHAM, England — While saying it was "unfortunate" that 400m hurdler Ristananna Tracey had failed to make the Jamaican team to the London Olympic Games which start next week, coach Glen Mills says the youngster will bounce back next year and be even better.
Tracey, who was a semi-finalist at last year's IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea while still a schoolgirl at Edwin Allen High, failed to make the team to London this year and Mills said it was the lack of early-season training caused by surgery to a broken wrist that set her back.
In an interview with the Jamaica Observer in Birmingham on Wednesday, Mills said athletes like Tracey — who ran her personal best 54.58 seconds as a junior last year — need "intense background preparation" if she is to run fast consistently.
"We had great hopes for her, but unfortunately, she did not make the Olympic team," Mills said, explaining that "the weeks of absence from training due to her broken hand and then the operation" forced her to miss important early-season training.
"So her off season did not really start," he said. "She missed so much time. We tried to bridge the gap so she could be ready for competition season, but the type of athlete that she is, she needed a more intense background preparation."
Mills said there was no reason for despair, however.
"She's young and we have identified what's wrong and we will put it right once she stays healthy and can do the type of background work that she's accustomed to and can do and she will eventually rise and show her true potential," he reassured.
Tracey, who was a finalist at both the IAAF World Youth and IAAF World Junior Championships level, joined the MVP camp after leaving Edwin Allen last year, then made an about turn and went to the Racers camp at the start of this season.