Coach hails record breaker Goule

July 21, 2018
File Natoya Goule's coach Mark Elliot

Coach Mark Elliot has praised Natoya Goule after she again lowered the national 800 metre record yesterday.

Goule clocked one minute 56.15 seconds at the Monaco Diamond League meet to finish third to South Africa's World and Olympic champion Caster Semenya. Elliot said her training had indicated that she had the speed to run in the 1.56 range.

"Natoya ran a great race", he praised. Echoing a sentiment shared with STAR Sports earlier in the week, he noted, "her confidence is very high."

After a fast but comfortable 57 second opening lap, the 27-year-old Jamaican pursued the South African only to lose the runner-up spot to Burundian Francine Niyonsaba at the finish line.

"She took a chance in this race with a more aggressive last 300 metres," observed Elliot, who is head coach at Clemson University.


Semenya won in one minute 54.60 seconds, with Niyonsaba at 1.55.96.

"Again better competition brings out the best in her," he noted.

Goule lowered her pre-2018 personal best to one minute 58.82 seconds to win the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in April, and hit top form in recent weeks. Last week in Paris, she clipped Kenia Sinclair's national record from 1.57.88 to one minute 57.62.

Elliot, who coached her to NCAA titles at Louisiana State University and Clemson, knew she had more to give. However, even he didn't know she would improve so dramatically in Monaco. "1.56? Yes. I did not specifically in this race, but her training indicated she can run 1:56 for sure, but that's easier said than done."

He did predict fast times for the meet in the municipality just outside France. Speaking earlier in the week, he said, " We're excited to see what she can do, because Monaco seems to yield all the best performances so might as well, we go there and take advantage of that too."