Natalliah Whyte was well pleased with her 100m outing at the Miramar South Florida Invitational on Saturday but she is hoping that she will go much faster as the season progresses.
Whyte was third in 11.16 behind runaway winner Sha’ Carri Richardson, who ran a jaw-dropping 10.72s, the fastest time in the world this year.
The 23-year-old Jamaican, who ran the lead-off leg for Jamaica’s gold medal-winning 4×100 relay team at the World Championships in Doha in 2019, had run even faster in the preliminary round clocking 11.07s, her season-best.
However, taking the two races together, Whyte said she was happy with the overall performance.
“The first 100 metres of the season after not competing or doing much due to Covid this time last year, and with a time of 11.07 in the heats and 11.16 in the finals, I am satisfied,” she told Sportsmax.TV following her race.
She explained that the races were meant to provide her and her coach with indicators of what her progress is this season.
“It’s really just taking each race at a time and finding out my weak points and working on those so I can put everything together to get that perfect race,” said Whyte, who trains with Puma MVP International at their base at the Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.
“I was hoping to go faster in the final run but, as I said, the race wasn’t perfect but there is still room for improvement. It’s the first race of the season and I think everything will come together as I move forward.”
Whyte did not compete indoors during the winter but does not believe it had any impact on her performances outdoors where she has run two 200m races recording times of 22.88 and 23.28 on March 20 and April 4, respectively.
“Not competing indoors doesn’t give you that early push that pushes you into outdoor. So basically, just training doesn’t give you a true benchmark of where you would want to be,” she explained.
“Competing with world-class athletes is what really sets the standard for what to work on and to just see where you are in your progress. So this meet was a great meet. It had a lot of world-class athletes so it was a true test of progress.”
Having run both short sprints so far this season begs the question, does she plan to compete at both at the Olympic this summer should she qualify at her national championships set for June? Whyte said it’s too early to say.
“Both events complement each other so at the moment I am using each event to get better at the other. The 200m really helps with speed endurance but eventually, when it gets closer to that time, my coach and I will decide based on how the season progresses, what will be best,” she said.
“At the moment, I am delighted for the opportunity to compete. I haven’t run the 200 consistently for the past few years so I am just trying to familiarize myself with the event again. So it’s really a learning process as I go along. I am also trying to stay injury-free, which is my number one goal.”
Commenting on Richardson’s phenomenal time, Whyte said: “Richardson’s run was spectacular, she’s a very talented athlete.”
Source: Leighton Levy