World champion Tajay Gayle coy on Olympic goalsWednesday, March 03, 2021
Long jump World Champion Tajay Gayle got his new season off to a flying start with a win at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Qualification Trials at National Stadium last Saturday.
Gayle had a best leap of 8.03m, while battling swirling wind, but came out smiling, especially after having the opportunity to compete for the first time since last August.
“It's a good feeling. The Government finally release us. It felt like years, honestly, just training, not doing anything, now we finally get to compete, get rid of the rust,” said a smiling Gayle.
It was the first event being held on the newly laid track at the stadium and Gayle was appreciative of the bounce that he got while competing.
“The track feels wonderful, I can't complain,” he said.
While a lot of athletes were going stir crazy during the lockdown, Gayle says that his only challenge was not competing.
“The only problem for me was not competing, because everything seemed the same to me. I never wanted to go out anyway, it's just training and home, TV, games, that's all, just the competition alone [I missed].”
Gayle was trailing Adrian Riley of Ricketts Performance Centre going into the final jump with a best of just 7.62m before he soared beyond the 8m mark to snatch the win. Riley had a best of 7.74m for second, while Damon Williams, also of Ricketts Performance Centre, was third with 7.20m.
For Gayle the season opener has set the stage for his Olympic assault later this year.
“I actually had a season best…so it's a good look for the rest of the year,” he noted.
The MVP athlete would not be drawn into answering, when asked what his goals were as far as the Olympic Games are concerned, raising a finger to his lips with a smile.
— Dwayne Richards
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