Dominica's pride Thea LaFond targets 15m and a medal at World Championships in Budapest this summer

By April 26, 2023
LaFond, the 2022 NACAC champion is targetting big goals this summer. LaFond, the 2022 NACAC champion is targetting big goals this summer.

Thea LaFond is gearing up for another successful season after achieving remarkable success last year. LaFond, who is based in Ashburn, Virginia, is excited to see how her hard work during the offseason will translate into her performances this year.

The year 2022 was a massive one for the 29-year-old LaFond, who won gold at the NACAC Championships in The Bahamas and a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games Birmingham, England. She was also fifth in the finals at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon. However, with that success she has no intention of resting on her laurels as the 2023 season continues to unfold.

"Last season's medals were truly an amazing experience," she told Sportsmax.TV. "To build on last year's success, I have gotten stronger and faster, and I'm eager to see how that translates through the season."

LaFond has set her sights on achieving a jump of 15m or more this year.

"15m plus is definitely one of the major goals for championships and beyond," she said. "This season, we are really focused on upping the energy and working on timing up the phases a bit better for even bigger and active contacts in the jumps."

Despite fierce competition from the imperious Venezuelan triple jumper, three-time world champion Yulimar Rojas, the current world record holder, who has dominated the event in recent years, LaFond maintains a positive mindset.

"I think that my mentality is that I am always battling it out for three medals. Always," said LaFond. "Rojas is very good, there is no denying that, but anything can happen at any meet. Coming into a competition with anything less of that mentality is setting yourself up for failure. I'm bringing my best and trying to win."

Despite the hard work put in during the off season, her indoor season-opener of 14.08m at the Don Kirby Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico was less than impressive but being a quick study, she made the necessary adjustments and did much better shortly thereafter popping a 14.60m jump. She cited approach issues for the relatively poor opener.

"One of the major takeaways was to be patient in my drive phase and to bring my knee higher so I'm not getting over-rotated in my second phase," said LaFond who is set to compete next in May at a meet in Savona, Italy.

She acknowledges the impact her recent success has had on the youth of Dominica and is grateful for their support.

“The Commonwealth and NACAC medals were received with such joy in Dominica. I think that as an athlete that lives and trains abroad, I’m really only privy to what people say online,” she said.

“I was grateful for the online posts of love and support that followed those medals. However, when I finally got to go home the love was overflowing. I really had no clue how much I impacted the youth of Dominica and how much I was seen as an inspiration. I am so grateful to have the support of my people and it is always an honor to represent my nation.”

 LaFond is also focused on the upcoming World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, with her coach Aaron Gadson. "My plans for Budapest are to go and compete with all my heart. The goal is a medal and 15m. It's time for Dominica to have a woman World medalist, and I'm ready to do the work to get there," she said.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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