LONDON, England - It appears that the World Junior double sprint champion will contest her specialty after all, a thrilling bit of news for Team Bahamas.
Dianne Woodside, national team coach with direct responsibility for the women, confirmed yesterday that Anthonique Strachan will be ready to go when the opening rounds of the women's 200 meters (m) get underway on Monday. Strachan qualified for the Olympic 'A' standard in both the 100 and 200m, but will only run in the latter, and is also expected to be a pivotal part of the women's 4x100m relay.
"I'm just going to go out there and run my own race," said Strachan. "The main thing right now is advancing out of the heats. My goal is to get a personal best time. Once I do that, I think I'll be able to advance. I'm not worrying about making the final or anything like that. I'm just going to take it one day at a time and hope for the best. Right now, I'm just training every day and watching the rest of the Olympics. I feel good. I'm just ready to compete."
Strachan's personal coach in Auburn, Bahamian Henry Rolle, revealed that they were watching the strained tendon in her Achilles which flared up after the World Junior Championships. Hence, the decision to pull her out the 100, and monitor her availability for the 200. However, after a workout session on Wednesday, the decision was made that Strachan would run the 200.
"She's fine. She will be running the 200," confirmed
Dianne Woodside. "She's eager to get on the track and compete. All of the athletes are actually ready to go. They've been waiting for a while, just lying around the village being patient, and waiting for their competition to begin. They're relaxed and ready to go. I think that we'll see some good performances from all of them."
As far as Strachan is concerned, her 22.53 for the gold at the World Juniors has her listed among the world's best. A similar time in the semis could definitely get her in the final. The blazing time is 17 one hundredths of a second better than the previous junior national record which was shared between Strachan and Shaunae Miller.
It's also the world leading junior time, the new championships record for the World Juniors and the fastest time turned in by a Bahamian female in the half-lapper this year. Her margin of victory at the World Juniors in the event was also recorded as the biggest in the history of the event at the world level championships.
"There's no doubt she'll be a force to reckon with," said Rolle. "She's competing with the seniors now, but Anthonique is always up to the challenge."
If Strachan makes the final here at the Olympic Stadium in London, it will be the first time that a Bahamian junior has qualified for an Olympic final in an individual event. Matching her personal best of 22.53 seconds could definitely get her there. A similar time would have been good enough for a final appearance at the last Olympics in 2008, and last year's World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. In the latter, it would have actually given her a fourth place finish behind Americans Carmelita Jeter and Allyson Felix, and Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown.
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