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Sashalee Forbes targets 21.6 seconds, eyes medal in Doha

Senior staff reporter

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

If Sashalee Forbes gets her wish of running 21.6 seconds, then she might just realise her dream of making the podium in the 200m at the Doha World Championship in September.

The talented 22-year-old is on the verge of a real breakout year after capturing gold medals in the 100m at the World University Games in 2017 and the 200m at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games last year.

“My expectation for this season is to get a medal at the World Championships, so I am just making my way forward to that,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

But to run 21.6 seconds, Forbes would have become Jamaica's fastest woman of all time over the 200m lowering the great Merlene Ottey's 1991 record of 21.64.

Forbes, who has a personal best of 11.10 and 22.71 seconds for the 100m and 200m, respectively, says she is feeling much better than last year with seasonal bests of 11.32 and 22.80.

“(I am) way better than last year... very stronger than last year. I am trying to do my best in going for 21.6 and I am just working towards that,” said the Sprintec athlete.

Forbes, who hails from the tiny district of Evergreen in Manchester and is the cousin of Olympian Simone Facey, was third in the 60m at the Queen's/Grace Jackson Track Meet last Saturday in 7.43 seconds. Her personal best is 7.28.

Defending Olympic 100m and 200m champion Elaine Thompson won in 7.24, while another Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won heat two in 7.21.

Forbes, who anchored Jamaica to bronze in the 4x100m relay at the World Championship in London in 2017, was more than pleased with her season opener.

“The race was great. I felt comfortable throughout the race (my) first run for 2019… I have no issue so I have to give thanks for that,” said Forbes.

“I am not disappointed (as) I am still in sneakers, my 60m was my first spikes run and to see me give an execution from the blocks, I have to say it's a good look,” she pointed out.

But the National 200m champion will have to be on her A game come June for the National Senior Championship to select Jamaica's team to the World Championship in September. But she is undaunted.

“I have worked just as hard as anyone of these ladies and I'm confident and highly self-motivated to what I got to do,” Forbes ended.