Simmonds ready to tackle 2017 hurdles

February 13, 2017
Megan Simmonds

Olympic Games 100-metre hurdler Megan Simmonds says competing at the 2016 event in Rio has boosted her confidence. Simmonds, a first-time Olympian in Rio de Janeiro last year, says she is now looking ahead to better things.

The pint-sized hurdler was speaking moments after playing her part in a 4x100-metre win by the MVP Track Club at the Western Relays in Montego Bay last Saturday.

Simmonds zipped through the first leg to send MVP on its way to a 43.61-second triumph and was all smiles afterwards. Asked about the impact of being an Olympian, the 22-year-old graduate of St Andrew High School and the University of Technology replied, "It has really given me more confidence."

She went to Rio as Jamaica's number one having run a personal best time of 12.79 seconds to win the National Senior Championships.

In Rio, she raced strongly to take her place in the semi-finals in her first Olympic Games.

"Before, I wouldn't see myself being an Olympian, being as successful as I am now; but now that I've had that experience, now that I've been past that, I'm able to look forward to bigger and better things," she said.

She matched spikes with her Olympic teammate Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby on the first leg of the Western Relays 4x100 and looked speedy. She listened intently to a pre-Olympic observation from Leacroft Bolt, her coach at St Andrew High, about her ability to assimilate speed training, and said brightly, "and I'm even quicker this year."

The 2011 World Youth finalist seems ready to take on the world's best in an event where the world record was lowered to 12.21 seconds last year by American Kendra Harrison.

"I'm doing as much as I can to be ready for anything that comes," she said.

Simmonds expects to run an indoor hurdling race in Birmingham, England, on February 18.

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