How a change of mindset propelled Britany Anderson's rise as one of the best hurdlers in the world

By February 24, 2022

On August 1, 2021, Britany Anderson lined up in lane seven of the final of the Tokyo Olympics 100m hurdles. Having run 12.40, a personal best and the second-fastest time going into the final, only Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, who set an Olympic record of 12.26 in her semi-final, was faster.

Expectations of a medal were high for the 20-year-old Jamaican but it was not to be. She hit the sixth hurdle, managed to clear the seventh but then stumbled, lost her momentum and with it any chance of a place on the podium and making history as the first woman from the Caribbean to win an Olympic medal in the event.

That honour went to her compatriot, Megan Tapper, who finished third behind world record holder Kendra Harrison of the United States, who won silver and Camacho-Quinn, who created history of her own becoming the first Puerto Rican woman to win an Olympic gold medal.

During a recent sit-down with Sportsmax.TV where she talks about her improvement this season, how her training group and her faith in God, have helped her successfully transition to senior competition, Anderson revealed that running her personal best in the semi-final impacted her in a way that she did not expect.

“My emotions were all over the place. I was crying. I was excited, I was overwhelmed,” she said about what caused her to lose her focus after running her lifetime best in the semi-final.

“In the final, I don’t know what…it was like, something went wrong, not just with the hurdles, but because I was so overwhelmed and it was my first senior games, everything was just all over the place.”

Nevertheless, she said she was not disappointed at the eventual outcome saying that she felt like she had won just to make the finals at the Olympic Games.

It is with that mindset that Anderson has approached the start of the new season wherein the span of three weeks she ran three-lifetime bests in the indoors 60m hurdles. Starting at the Millrose Games on January 29, Anderson, who turned 21 in January, ran a lifetime best of 7.91 to defeat a field that included Kendra Harrison.

Just about a week later, she lowered that time to 7.88 while finishing second to Danielle Williams, who ran a then-personal best 7.83 at the New Balance Grand Prix in New York.

Six days later, at the American Track League Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, Anderson would go even faster clocking 7.82, the fourth-fastest time in the world. Only Williams (7.75), Harrison (7.81) and Alia Armstrong of the USA (7.81) have been faster.

According to the former Vere and Camperdown athlete, her success this season comes down to the change in mindset bolstered by improving confidence.

“I feel like it was just the mindset that changed from last season to this season. Last season was just something to show me what I could do this season and I bring all of that to this season, worked on what I had to work on in practice and just bring it out there on the track,” she said.

It wasn’t that long ago that Anderson set the World U20 record in the 100m hurdles, 12.71, in July 2019 in Finland. She is the World U18 champion and the silver medallist at the World U20 Championships in Finland in 2018.

Since that time, her transition to the senior ranks has been relatively painless as evidenced by her qualifying for her first Olympic final eight months after she turned 20.

She credits her training partners at Tumbleweed, the training group she joined in 2019, for helping her make the transition to the senior ranks.

“Most parts of it was the people I had around me, like my training partners, they helped me throughout everything, off the track and on the track so the transition from a junior to a senior wasn’t really hard,” she said, adding that having fellow Jamaicans Christopher Taylor, Christania Williams and fellow hurdler Omar McLeod, played their part in helping her make a smooth transition.

Transitioning to the senior ranks comes with its own challenges because before she can conquer the world, she has to first overcome perhaps the deepest pool of talent currently at Jamaica's disposal with the likes of Danielle Williams, Tapper, Ackera Nugent, perhaps Janeek Brown and Yanique Thompson among others. Asked about where she sees herself among Jamaica's world-class hurdlers, Anderson confidently indicated that she knows what she is capable of.

"I know what I can do. I know what I am going to do. At the trials, I know what I am going there for, so I will just let all of that play out in God's way," she said.

As for this year, Anderson is focused on the World Championships in Oregon in July but as it relates to World Indoors next month and the Commonwealth Games, no decision has yet been made. Her agent Mario Bassani said those decisions will be made at a later date and will be as a result of discussions with her coach Rana Reider, whom she describes as a really great coach.

“The lesson I take from him is I can do whatever I can put my mind to,” she said.

So far, that advice seems to be working well for Britany Anderson.

 As Bassani tells it, whichever championships she decides to compete at this year, she will be ready.

 

 

 

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.

Related items

  • Frater confident 'determined' Williams will have success at senior level Frater confident 'determined' Williams will have success at senior level

    Titans Track Club coach and former Olympian Michael Frater is confident his new charge Briana Williams will be able to make the transition from star junior to successful senior, despite admitting that it has been difficult for former junior stars in the past.

    The 20-year-old Williams recently announced the decision to part ways with long-time coach Ato Boldon and join Frater and Gregory Little at Titans.  As a junior, Williams was a world champion in both the 100m and 200m.  Since turning pro in 2020, however, the athlete has failed to engineer anything close to similar success at the senior level.

    Williams has made both the Olympics and World Championship teams, going on to win 4x100m relay gold, but has only managed to secure a spot in the relay pool to date and missed out on individual appearances.  At the Jamaica national trials, earlier this year, her time of 10.94, a new personal best, was only good enough for fourth spot.

    In track and field, it isn’t uncommon for junior stars to fail to make the grade at the senior level but Frater believes Williams has the mindset to join the likes of Usain Bolt and Veronica Campbell-Brown as world juniors champions who went on to excel at the senior level.

    “It’s hard for a lot of these athletes that do great things at young ages, a lot of them never surpass what they do,” Frater told the SportsMax Zone.

    “That's why most people will tell you that they prefer athletes who weren’t teeing off at a young age,” he added.

    “I think with Briana’s attitude and dedication, though, it won’t be a problem for her transitioning to the next level, and as coach Ato said he may not have been able to spend enough time with her.  For an athlete to be a world-class athlete she has to get the full attention that she needs.”

  • BREAKING NEWS: Olympic gold medallist Briana Williams joins Titans International with former coach Ato Boldon's blessing BREAKING NEWS: Olympic gold medallist Briana Williams joins Titans International with former coach Ato Boldon's blessing

    Olympic sprint relay gold medallist Briana Williams is about to launch a new chapter of her track and field career under the guidance of new coaches to begin the 2022/2023 track season.

  • Jamaican Venique Brown named Director of Operations for track & field and cross-country program at University at Albany Jamaican Venique Brown named Director of Operations for track & field and cross-country program at University at Albany

    Jamaican thrower Venique Brown will return to the University at Albany in the role of Director of Operations for the track & field and cross-country program, the school announced on Tuesday.

    Brown, 26, will begin her term part-time before assuming the full-time role in October.

    Brown joined the University at Albany in 2018 as a graduate student after attending the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. Before University, she attended the Ardenne High School.

    She is one of the highest-performing competitors in UAlbany history. Brown is one of two members of the women's program to earn Division I All-America honours after placing sixth in her signature event, the discus, at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships. 

    Furthermore, Brown is the first woman in program history to specifically earn First Team All-America honours in the Division I era. 

    That same 2019 season saw Brown being named Northeast Region Women's Field Athlete of the Year. She also set the UAlbany program record in the event, recording a mark of 57.94m. Her personal best of 58.97m was done in 2017.

    Brown earned two graduate degrees from the ENEB Business School, her MBA and her Master's in Supply Chain Management in 2021 after earning undergraduate degrees from UAlbany in Economics and Business Administration in 2020. 

    After exhausting her eligibility, Brown continued her role with UAlbany track & field as a student volunteer assistant coach while she completed her degrees.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.