After disappointing debut, Thomas aims further

May 30, 2016
File Shanieka Thomas

Triple jumper Shanieka Thomas will compete in Rome, Italy this week where she hopes to improve in a modest Diamond League debut in Doha a few weeks ago.

However, for Thomas and her coach, Kerry-Lee Ricketts, the end-game is Rio de Janeiro and the Games of the XXXI Olympiad.

All their plans are aimed at being ready when the Games begin this summer.

The lanky 2015 World Champion-ship finalist admits that her 14.10 metre jump in Doha wasn't what she expected.

"I'm a bit disappointed," she said of her Diamond League debut.

"Going into the meet, my personal best was 14.57. So in terms of distance, I was disappointed," she said after her last practise session before her departure for Rome today.

full attention

After the Rome meet on Thursday, the 24 year-old triple NCAA champion will be competing in the Birmingham Diamond League meet on Sunday before heading home to jump at the Racers Grand Prix on June 11.

Despite that, the Olympics has her full attention.

"It's exciting because I remember 2012, trying to get the standard and jumping really close but was just out of it at the Trials," she reminisced. "This year I'm much stronger, more focused."

She is also faster on the runway. Ricketts has retooled her running. He expects her to be near to her personal best of 14.57 metres, set at the UWI Invitational, in Rome and she is raring to go.

"I've been working towards Rome all this week getting some final preparations, working on landing and stuff like that, so yes, I'm looking forward to Rome."

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