DESPITE 2012 not going exactly how she wanted it, intermediate hurdler Ristananna Tracey is full of hope she will make a quick turnaround in the upcoming season.
Tracey, who made the semi-finals of the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea as a schoolgirl at Edwin Allen High, finished fourth at the 2012 National Trials and failed to make the team to the London Olympic Games.
The athlete who also accepted a scholarship to the University of the West Indies (UWI) at Mona said not making the Olympic team was a "disappointment" for her, but her lack of early-season preparation due to an operation on her wrist had set her back.
Tracey broke her wrist while preparing for the Daegu World Championships where she wore a cast, but the procedure was not done properly and she had to undergo corrective surgery earlier this year.
The procedure and the time it took for her to recover robbed her of valuable time for weights training and background work.
"I was disappointed in not making the team for the Olympic Games," Tracey told the Jamaica Observer in London recently.
"But I also understood that after the operation, missing out on background and weight training it would have been hard to come back and bring my 'A' game' to Trials... I did not want to give up; I fought to the end and came fourth and had to accept the fact that I did not make the team," she said.
Tracey has already started her preparations for next season with three races in Europe at the back-end of the season — the last two on the IAAF Diamond League circuit where she got third place in Luzern Switzerland and seventh in Brussels, Belgium after compatriot Melaine Walker was disqualified.
The Racers athlete who ran the second fastest time ever by a junior — 54.58 seconds — is also looking ahead to when she will hang up her spikes, and says her accepting the scholarship to UWI is a step in that direction.
"I want to further my education as you can never tell the future in track and field. You need to have some thing to fall back on after you have stopped competing," she said.
Tracey, who will continue to train with Racers Track Club, says the immediate aim is to make the team to the World Championship in Moscow next year, but says it will be tough as she tries to "balance school with track and field".