Kalawan’s coach ponders Olympic challenge

April 06, 2016
Shannon Kalawan

Undefeated junior 400-metre hurdler Shannon Kalawan is taking her breakthrough season one day at a time, according to Edwin Allen Comprehensive High hurdles coach Kirk Douglas.

In the weeks to come, Douglas will be helping Kalawan to improve, with the World Junior Championships as her main target. Success at those meets would add to the Boys and Girls' Championships and Carifta gold medals she has already collected.

Asked to explain her progress from a personal best of 58.93 seconds to her Carifta Games winning time of 56.29, Douglas said, "I don't think she has run a clean race yet, which we will work on, at least for the World Juniors, hopefully."

In an exclusive interview, he noted that an injury interrupted her progress after she had been the runner-up at Champs 2014.

"Last year, she started well but she got hurt, and that's what people don't remember."

A string of lifetime best from 57.20 at Central Championships to 56.80 at Carifta Trials to 56.41 at Champs had observers wondering if Kalawan could also qualify for the Jamaican Olympic team.

Kalawan is only 0.09 from the Olympic qualifying standard of 56.20 seconds.

Douglas, once a star hurdler and coach at Kingston College, isn't counting that out.

"I don't put it out of reach, but we're just going to take it one day at a time," he said.

"We have to look at these three weeks to Penn (Relays) and then a six-week programme to the Junior trials."

The National Junior Championships are set for June 18 and 19, with the four-day National Seniors starting on June 30.

Other Sports Stories