Strachan ends season in Jamaica

After taking part in every Velocity Fest meet this season, Bahamian female sprinter Anthonique Strachan revealed that she’s preparing to wrap up her season and focus on qualifying for the Olympics next year.

Strachan said she is done as far as competing in Jamaica for the year is concerned, but she’s leaving the door open on finishing the season in Europe. There are still three Diamond League meets remaining on the 2020 World Athletics Tour international calendar – the next one being an exhibition event taking place in Brussels, Belgium, tomorrow.

The Golden Gala 2020 is set for Thursday, September 17, inside Rome’s Olympic Stadium in Rome, Italy; and the Doha Wanda Diamond League Meet has been rescheduled to September 25 in Doha, Qatar. A total of seven of the Diamond League meets this season were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strachan, 27, appears healthy and fit and is ready to finish the season strong. This past Saturday, she clocked in 23.87 seconds in the women’s 200 meters (m) but has a season’s best time of 22.67 seconds that she did at the fifth version of the meet about a month ago. She has run 11.46 seconds in the 100m. She is eighth best in the world in the 200m this year, and in a four-way tie for 69th in the 100m.

“I feel good. I ran faster this season than I did in the past six years, so I feel good about that,” she said. “It was OK – I really can’t complain about it. We’re still looking at the possibility of competing in Europe, so we’ll see how that goes. I’m just looking to stay healthy and finish strong.”

Strachan said she is still training on a regular basis and should know by the end of the week if she will make the long trek to Europe for competition this season. The former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Female Rising Star winner, a double sprint world junior champion in 2012, said she was disappointed by the stance of the global governing body for athletics to suspend the qualifying period for the Olympics until December 1. The new date for the Summer Olympics is July 23 to August 8, 2021, still in Tokyo, Japan.

Strachan dipped below the qualifying standard of 22.80 seconds in the women’s 200m twice this season, but those performances have gone for naught, as they fell outside of the qualifying window.

“I find it to be odd since a world record was set and that was recognized but how can you count a world record and not count qualifications? They should have changed everything once athletes started competing and once they themselves started hosting track meets,” she said.

Be that as it may, the decision of World Athletics, formerly the IAAF, is final.

Strachan, who trains among global superstars Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah in Kingston, Jamaica, remains confident that she will eventually qualify. 

For now, she said she just wants this COVID-19-shortened season to be over and done with, and to switch her focus to next year. The former junior sprint sensation has been a member of the Maximising Velocity & Power (MVP) Track and Field Club in Kingston for the past three seasons.

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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