Improving McGregor was quietly confident of claiming Olympic berthSaturday, July 03, 2021
BY HOWARD WALKER
Roneisha McGregor was quietly confident of securing one of three individual spots on Jamaica's 400m team to the Olympic Games.
But she knew she had run out of her skin to do it and that's exactly what she did.
The 23-year-old McGregor ran her lifetime best of 50.02 seconds and finished third at the Jamaican Senior National Championships.
She was just outside the coveted sub-50 seconds barrier which was achieved by the two athletes ahead of her, winner Stephanie-Ann McPherson (49.61secs) and Candice McLeod (49.91secs).
Having improved her 200m best from 24.19 to 22.99, McGregor, who normally goes out fast, ran a controlled race from lane six and came home strong for third and booked her Olympic spot.
“Excited, knowing that the Olympics is the highest level in track and field and I am going there to represent my country in an individual spot. Amazing,” said McGregor, when asked about her achievement.
In 2019, McGregor was part of Jamaica's silver-medal 4x400 mixed relay team along with Tiffany James, Javon Francis, and Nathon Allen.
“My confidence was beyond just a spot on the 4x400m relay team,” she pointed out.
She is now the 10th fastest Jamaican of all time with her 50.02secs clocking and with her expected improvement, she could move up that illustrious list during the Olympic Games. The national record has been held by Lorraine Fenton at 49.30secs since 2002.
But McGregor is showing that she will be a force to be reckoned with as she is improving rapidly. She ended 2018 with a season's best of 54.12secs and by the end of 2019, her personal best was down to 51.36secs.
Then at the just-concluded championships, McGregor lowered it to 50.97secs in the semis and returned in the final and lowered it again to 50.02secs.
She believes she can dip below that coveted 50-second barrier at the Olympics.
“I am still working in training, therefore there are many possibilities,” she noted.
“Mentally, I have gotten stronger [and] while the plans have changed, the goal remains the same,” said McGregor.
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