Whyte not surprised by PB as World Relays prep picks up paceWednesday, April 21, 2021
TWO personal bests in the 400m over a short space of time is in keeping with what Ronda Whyte wants for her 2021 season.
The Sprintec Track Club athlete specialises in the 400m hurdles but at the moment is focusing her preparation on the flat 400m, as so many hurdlers do in the early stages of their season.
Whyte entered the season with a personal best of 52.42s but lowered that to 51.82s at one of the JAAA Qualification Series meets last month. That performance enabled her to achieve the dream of gaining selection to Jamaica's World Athletics Relays team for the second time.
Having punched her ticket to the Games in Chorzow, Poland, next month Whyte then celebrated the achievement by running yet another personal best in the 400m at Velocity Fest 9 at National Stadium last Saturday.
The new personal best of 51.28s was not surprising, but it was humbling for Whyte.
“I wasn't really surprised because I've been very consistent in my training. I'm just humbled by the fact that all that hard work is paying off,” she noted.
Clenched fists and a broad grin were on display when Whyte got a look at the clock after crossing the finishing line first to win section two of the women's 400m in a new meet record.
“I was actually giving God the glory in that moment. I couldn't have done it without God's help. That blissfulness at the end was me being grateful to finish strong and injury-free,” Whyte gushed.
She also admitted that running new personal bests is a source of inspiration and motivation.
“It does. I mean it's always a motivation to want to do even better,” Whyte said.
When questioned about running the flat 400m alongside the 400m hurdles, Whyte said it is an idea that her Coach Maurice Wilson has often bandied about.
“Actually, my coach always believed that I could run the 400m flat as well, based on my training. But I've never really liked it. I have however, been getting some good results so I'm indeed grateful.”
Winning a medal in Poland next month is the next thing on the agenda for the former Maggotty High school student.
“This will be my second World Relays. I have never gotten a relay medal before so it would mean a lot to get one,” Whyte stated.
Unlike most of her peers, Whyte has no “Champs experience” as she never participated at the world reknown ISSA/GraceKenndy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships.
“I have no Champs experience whatsoever. The only experience I got in high school was running for Maggotty High at some small meets,”she shared.
She credits Wilson for discovering her and finding out which event she was suitable for.
“I was doing long distance training when coach called me and sent me into the quarter-miler programme. I actually tried to do long jump first and then distance before that.
“Maurice Wilson moulded me into an actual athlete. I can't forget his words. 'Come here. You see you, young lady, you have talent.' Those were his words when he sent me over into the quarter-miler programme. Those were his words when he discovered that I could actually run,” said a grateful Whyte.
Maurice Wilson is the head coach at Sprintec Track Club and has discovered and prepared a number of Jamaican Olympians.
— Dwayne Richards
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