Change of scenery reaping benefits for World Championships gold medallist Natalliah Whyte

By May 06, 2022

A change of environment in the offseason seems to be paying off for Natalliah Whyte, Jamaica’s 2019 World Championships gold medallist, who last weekend ran a brand new lifetime best in the 100m, which signalled that good things could be in store for the remainder of the season.

In 2019, Whyte who was then training at MVP International in Florida ran a blistering lead-off leg before handing off to 100m gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as Jamaica sped to a gold medal in the 4x100m relay at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Notwithstanding the intervening ‘pandemic year’, 2020, when Covid-19 shut the world down; her confidence boosted by the gold-medal performance in Doha, Whyte began 2021 in fine form running a lifetime best of 11.04 at the Pure Athletics Sprint Elite Meet in Miramar, Florida on May 2. However, for reasons that she is yet to comprehend, Whyte failed to make Jamaica's team to the Tokyo Olympic Games after finishing seventh in the 100m semi-finals at the National Championships last June in a disappointing 11.52.

“I don’t know what happened to be honest. I started the season well but didn’t progress,” she said while revealing that the disappointment of not making the team to Tokyo was hard to take.

“I took not making the team really hard but sometimes we rise, sometimes we fall but you have to know how to turn negatives into positives.”

During the season break, Whyte took the decision to leave the MVP International training group for the Rana Reider-led Tumbleweed group in Jacksonville, hoping that a change of environment might bring about the change she needed.

“I eventually started to take the positives from last season and knew that eventually, I had to leave the past in the past because it already happened and there was nothing I could do but work on the future. So this is a new chapter and I am just trying to work even harder, stay healthy and apply what I’m learning,” she said.

So far, it seems to be working well.

On April 30, in her first 100m of the season at the UNF Invitational in Jacksonville, she ran a lifetime best of 10.97 to follow up on the 22.57 she ran over 200m two weeks before at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational in Gainesville.

“I’m really happy with the results as much as you would imagine,” she told Sportsmax.TV afterwards. “I just want to stay patient, continue to work on the many things I can improve on and see what else God has in store for me.”

She does admit, however, that despite the early success, making the move to Tumbleweed to work with Reider was not an easy decision but she believes it was the correct one.

“I have to say making changes is hard but sometimes changes can be good,” she said.

“I have been working on a lot of things and also learning a lot of new things so hopefully putting the new knowledge together will help me reach the goals I have made for myself for this season.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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