Hurdlers Spencer, Hydeeye positive 2019
Four hundred metre hurdlers Kaliese Spencer-Carter and Jaheel Hyde opened their 2019 campaign with strong runs at last Saturday's Western Relays. The results have both Spencer and Hyde looking ahead and upward.
Spencer, the 2014 Commonwealth Games 400 metre hurdlers champion first did some speed work on the winning Sprintec 4x200 metres team. With the sky above the GC Foster College for Physical Educations and Sport turning dark, the long-legged Spencer returned for the 4x400 relay and stepped to a 51.9 second leg for the runner-up Sprintec quartet.
"To God be the glory", the 31-year-old beamed gratefully. "It has been some years that haven't been doing well."
"I'm just grateful and thankful that I'm able to come back and finish strong like I was back in the days when I was young."
According to the three-time World Championships 400 metre hurdles finalist, her endeavours at the Western Relays were something of a training exercise.
"This is like training for me today, so I just came out here, my coach wanted me to do the 4x2 and the 4x4 and I just obeyed, and I did just that", she outlined.
Fourth in the 2012 Olympic final, Kaliese's last major final was the 2015 Worlds. Her road back has taken her from the MVP Track Club where she became a star, to the Elite Performance Club to Sprintec.
"I'm just happy that I'm able to come back from my downs and now I'm just looking forward to the remainder of the season", she said.
Now coached by Maurice Wilson, and with injury trouble behind her, Spencer is optimistic about 2019.
"I'm training hard and so I'm expecting to do much better this season."
STRONG SECOND LEG
Hyde, the 2014 and 2016 World Under-20 champion, zoomed a strong second leg for the University of the West Indies' 4x400 metre relay team. After helping his institution to the runner-up spot, Hyde was feeling good.
"Well, I feel great. This year is supposed to be good, injury-free, I should be ok because I feel good now", said Hyde.
Referring to tough off season weight lifting work, "Well yes, that's what we've been doing, you know, the group of us", he said of his MVP Track Club training partners after his first race of the season. "It's been awhile, I must be honest, since I feel like this, you know, and I must give God thanks."
Since he won the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games last April, his event has zoomed into the spotlight. Qatari Chris Samba, Antiguan-turned-American Rai Benjamin, Commonwealth winner Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands and Norway's World Champion Karsten Warholm ran 46.98, 47.02, 47.54 and 47.64 seconds respectively, last year.
"I'm not too troubled by it", said the 22-year-old Jamaican who has a personal best of 48.52 seconds, "Of course, you know, I watch the races and I see, and I know what I need to do", he determined. "Kudos to the athletes, you know, to bring the event to a next level."