Tracey thanks coach Wilson for World Champs bronze

August 11, 2017
Ristananna Tracey fights to the finish for bronze at the IAAF World Championships in London 2017.

LONDON, England:

Two years after putting her trust in Maurice Wilson and his GC Foster College based Sprintec Track Club programme, World Championships 400 m hurdles bronze medal winner Ristananna Tracey is thrilled to be sharing a special first with him.

Wilson is one of the most highly regarded coaches in Jamaica and has been at the forefront of Jamaican teams to major international championships for more than a decade.

He has also personally coached athletes who have represented Jamaica at the World Championships and Olympics and is the coach responsible for the most athletes on this current team.

Tracey, who ran a personal best 53.74 seconds to finish behind American pair Kori Carter, 53.07 and Dalilah Muhammad, 53.50 inside the London Stadium, not only secured her first podium finish at the senior international level, but also the first for Wilson, as far as individual medals are concerned.

It's a success that means a lot to Tracey and one that takes on more significance for her, given the struggles she has experienced over the past few years.

"Danniel Thomas-Dodd is my roommate and I saw that she lost the bronze medal on the last throw and when she came home I told her I was happy for her and her performance and I was like 'Danniel what if I gave my coach his first medal?' and she told me I would do it," Tracey shared. "I came out here and put it on the line because he is always encouraging me and motivating me and telling me that I should believe in my abilities because I am strong and I can do great things."

Wilson, Tracey explained, was crucial in her preparation and mental approach for the final.

"Experience teaches wisdom and I think I have had a lot of experience so I sat and talked to myself and said 'Rista you can be on that podium'," she said. "I have been going through the rounds easy. At first when I saw the lane draw all my rivals were behind me and I was saying that I wanted to see them because I don't want them to get any advantage over me but I remember going to my coach and he told me that I am stronger than all of them and that I should go out there and run my own race and I will be on the podium."

She said she followed Wilson's advice and "ran my own race."

"I ran the first 200 m really hard because I know I can maintain because I still have the 800 m strength in me," Tracey said. "He (Wilson) told me once I come off the eighth hurdle and I am in touch, I should not panic, I should not worry, just drive straight for home and if it means diving to the line, do exactly that and I think I came out and dug deep after that last hurdle."

It's exactly what she did, powering away from Zuzana Hejnova on the final two hurdles to secure Jamaica's sixth World Championships medal in the event.

Wilson is also the coach of men's 400 m finalist Demish Gaye.

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