Sprinter Whyte rounds into shape as Olympic Trials nearsThursday, April 15, 2021
BY HOWARD WALKER
Jamaica's 2014 Youth Olympic 200m champion Natalliah Whyte is hoping to stay healthy as she tries to transition and make her first senior Olympic team this summer.
The talented, but injury prone sprinter, clocked an impressive 11.07 (1.3 m/s) in the heats of the 100m at the Miramar Invitational last Saturday.
She returned with 11.16 (1.6 m/s) in finishing third in the final, in what is by far the fastest 100m race this season. American prodigy Sha'Carri Richardson sped to a world-leading 10.72 clocking to win the event.
The 23-year-old White, who trains with the Florida-based MVP International under the tutelage of Henry Rolle, said training has been going very well.
“I think it's a very good start to the season being that it was my fastest opener,” said the former St Jago High School star.
“I have been training very well and being patient and trying very hard to stay healthy because that has been one of my biggest setbacks over the years, so I hope to continue on the same path,” she added.
Whyte, who went to the University of Auburn and Florida Atlantic University, went close to her personal best of 11.04 since 2018, but played down the expectation of achieving her first sub-11 clocking.
“It's still a little early in the season and there is a lot to change and improve on. So I am just working on those and hope to go faster as the season progress,” she pointed out.
“Training is going well so far. I have been working on, as I said before, staying healthy and also getting stronger. And I mean every day you learn something new, so it's all about staying focus and trying everything you learn together and executing a good race when it comes to competing,” said Whyte.
The talented sprinter, who has a 200m personal best of 22.55, was a part of Jamaica's gold medal winning 4x100m team at the Doha World Championships in 2019.
With double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson out injured, Whyte gave Jamaica an absolute brilliant start, and when she handed over to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the race was as good as over. Jonelle Smith and the makeshift 400m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson completed the job magnificently in 41.44.
Whyte, who is excellent over both the 100m and 200m, has left her options open for both events at the Olympic Games.
“At the moment I will be competing in both and each event compliment the other,” said Whyte.
“But as it gets closer to the Trials my coach and I will decide based on how I have been competing,” she added.
“The goal is to always improve and due to COVID and the setbacks last year, I am just to take it one race at a time, and try being consistent and overall to enjoy competing among some of the best in the world,” White continued.
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