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Tyra Gittens eager for World Champs berth
In this file photo, TT's Tyra Gittens competes in the women's long jump final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, on August 3, 2021, in Tokyo. - AP

Tyra Gittens eager for World Champs berth

Go Back : Newsday : Jonathan Ramnanansingh : 30.06.2022

TRINIDAD and Tobago's Tyra Gittens is ready to execute her new long jump technique at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA.

Gittens, 24, retained her national long jump title with a 6.27 metres leap on Sunday and is eager to showcase her athletic growth at the upcoming championships (July 15-24) and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK (July 28 to August 8).

Since her transfer from Texas A&M University to the University of Texas in February, Gittens tweaked her training regime and wants to implement her new tactics on the big stage.

She expressed confidence ahead of her first major international competition for 2022.

"My (US) season has been an amazing process. It's all about development. I'm working with a new everything; approach, technique and feeling stronger and faster.

"It's adapting and making sure that when I'm ready, and when I need to be ready, (for) Worlds and Commonwealth, I'm ready to perform and represent at the fullest.

"That's what my coach and I have been doing we've had a programme of where I need to do good and so far I've hit my marks here. It's all a process. I'm not concerned by any means," said the former Texas A&M All-American.

Gittens made her Olympic debut in the women's long jump at the Tokyo Games last year and placed a credible tenth. She initially chased qualification for the heptathlon, her pet event, but barely missed out on qualifying by just two points.

The multi-event athlete said she has been using open events to strengthen her hep performances. The heptathlon comprises seven events - 100m hurdles, 200m, 800m, high jump, long jump, shot put and javelin.

She has been, however, placing heavy emphasis on her jumps.

"The plan is just long and high jump. Potentially maybe some hurdles and a 200m here and there. It's really just so I can develop myself as an open eventer. As a multi, it's hard to develop in specific events.

"I believe I have too much talent to limit myself and I really want to give myself a chance to see what I can do. It's been a crazy transition. I didn't know how hard it would be to adapt to open events. I'm ready to surprise myself and the world," she added.

On retaining her national title, Gittens was elated to compete in front of her home crowd after four years.

She continued, "It was awesome to see everybody and have that energy. Performance-wise I have a lot to learn. I wasn't aiming for (any particular) distance because the technique is more important. I know once I get on the board I'm going to do something great so it was more of training and get consistent with my approach."

Gittens leaves for Oregon on July 12 and then immediately heads off to the UK to compete.

She closed, "It's a bunch of travelling for me but it's going to be worth it because I plan on bringing home some good things for the country."