Olympic Newbies: Yanique Thompson targets sprint hurdles finalsFriday, July 30, 2021
By Daniel Blake
Yanique Thompson was a record breaker at the junior level and now she's ready to make waves at the senior level, as she competes in her first ever Olympics.
The former Holmwood Technical star booked her ticket to Tokyo after finishing second in the women's 100m hurdles at the national trials in June. She clocked 12.73 seconds which is the second fastest time of her career.
Thompson says she had to come with her 'A-Game' to secure a spot in a talented hurdles field.
“I told myself despite whatever happens in the race, I know that I would run good because it's going to be a tough field and I kept focus throughout,” she said.
Rio 2016 Olympics champion Omar McLeod was highly critical of the schedule at the senior trials which he says contributed to him not making the team. Thompson says she understood his plight but fought through to qualify.
“To be honest, I had the same experience like Omar before I ran. My calves were contracting and I started to pray, I started to rub heat, I started to do everything I possibly could. I was like praying 'God give me some more time so this pain could come out my foot so I was able to run'. I tried to stay mentally focused and not let the pain distract me from what I was about to do.”
The 2013 World Under-18 Champion is now living her Olympic dream, something she desperately wanted five years ago.
“2016 I actually was in the stands watching the Olympic team and I told myself you know if I was training, I know I'd be on that team so that's what motivated me to go to my first trials which was 2017 and I made the World Championships team and then from that, I started to work on (making) the Olympics.”
It has not been an easy journey for the two-time world championship semi-finalist as she has battled through achilles, knee and hamstring injuries since becoming a senior. However, she is not letting that hold her back.
“I've never gotten a full season of training so I still believe I'm not near my full potential but I keep working through the injuries and the older I get, the more I'm able to deal with these injuries.”
Now, as competition looms, Thompson wants to run faster than ever before and hopefully, it will bear fruit.
“I haven't PB'd since 2017 so my main goal is to get a personal best. Once I have a personal best, I know I will get into the final,” she said.
“The last two world championships I missed the finals by one hundredth of a second and I promised I would not make that mistake again so I'm going to stay focused and hopefully I can achieve those goals.”
Thompson, who has a personal best of 12.69 seconds, will compete in the heats of the sprint hurdles on Friday, July 30.
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