Michelle-Lee Ahye clocks season’s best 10.94 to win 100m at Orange County Classic


A change of environment during the offseason seems to be paying off for Natalliah Whyte, Jamaican gold medalist at the 2019 World Championships, who set a brand new life record in the 100m last weekend, which has signaled that good things could be in store for the rest of the season.

In 2019, Whyte, then training at MVP International in Florida, rode a blistering first leg before giving way to 100m gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as Jamaica raced 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 down the world; his confidence boosted by the gold medal performance in Doha, Whyte started 2021 in great shape with a lifetime best 11.04 at the Pure Athletics Sprint Elite Meet in Miramar, Fla. on May 2. However, for reasons she has yet to understand, Whyte failed to get the Jamaican team into the Tokyo Olympics after finishing seventh in the 100m semi-finals at the national championships last June. in a disappointing 11.52.

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

“I took not to make the team really difficult but sometimes we go up, sometimes we fall but you have to know how to turn the negative into a positive.”

During the season hiatus, Whyte made the decision to leave the MVP International training group for the Tumbleweed group led by Rana Reider in Jacksonville, hoping that a change in environment might bring the change she needed.

“I finally started to take the positives from last season and I knew eventually I had to leave the past in the past because it had already happened and I couldn’t do anything but work on it. future. So it’s a new chapter and I’m just trying to work even harder and stay healthy and apply what I’m learning,” she said.

So far it seems to be working fine.

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

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

She admits, however, that despite early success, moving to Tumbleweed to work with Reider wasn’t an easy decision, but she thinks it was the right one.

“I have to say it’s hard to make changes, but sometimes changes can be good,” she said.

“I’ve worked on a lot of things and also learned a lot of new things, so hopefully bringing this new knowledge together will help me achieve the goals I’ve set for this season.”


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