... Sister Jonique eager for improvements
Jonique Day is thinking that this could be her best year ever. The 27-year-old quarter-miler, who has been running in the shadow of her older sister Christine for the past few years, believes that her renewed self-confidence and a greater sense of urgency will yield the desired result this Olympic year.
"I have been off for the last three or four years, but I want to get back in the game. I want to prove to myself and the people who don't believe in me that I can become one of the best so that's what I am aiming for," she said, following her second-place finish in the 800-metre Olympic Development race for women at the McKenley-Wint Track and Field Classic at Calabar High School on Saturday.
To that end she said she has been training hard at her new club Cameron Blazers alongside her sister and elite athletes like World Championship 400 metre hurdles finalist Kaliese Spencer, and that has helped her lift her game and reignite her ambitions.
"Training with them every day, you have to be better because they are very
talented athletes, so I have to push myself every day so I know I am going to improve a lot this year," said Day, whose personal best of 52.11s was run in Jacksonville, Florida in May 2012.
The Lousiana State University alum said that recognising that the window on her career is rapidly closing has helped her develop a sense of urgency and forced her to look inwardly to find renewed faith in her talents.
"I am not going to be in this thing forever, so if it's not now it's never," she said. "This is when I looked into myself and said that I have to get in the game."
The mental barriers now stripped away, Day revealed she has been making progress in training. "I now have more confidence in myself. One time I would be running 600m or 800m and my mind would just tell me that I can't past 400m so I would hold back myself, but now I am running consistently back-to-back 600s, back-to-back 800s, and I am feeling way stronger."