Photo: Samantha James competing in the 800m at the recently held NCB Intercol Track and Field Championships.
The last three years have been a “time of refocusing and getting a clearer understanding the tactics and regimes needed to lift my game to another level” former national 800m representative Samantha James revealed just a few moments after winning the women’s 800m race at last Saturday’s staging of the MVP Track and Field meeting.
The former UTech and MVP Track Club athlete is now taking instructions from the managers at her new university, Mico University College and by extension the Cameron Blazers Track Club.
When asked about how her new environment has helped or changed her approach to the ongoing season, she was quick to point out that just one thing has changed for her.
“It’s not a start from scratch, not much changed except my mind-set — and I am just trying to refocus and get my race together, piece by piece and thus far I am doing pretty good. Doing a few 400 meters, but it’s not a trade of the 800m. My program is geared for me to get more speed, cause am already strong,” she explained.
James won heat two in a season's best time 2:09.72 seconds which is still some way off from the 2:01.50 seconds needed to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games.
“I know it’s just a few weeks left to fully sort that out (Olympic qualification) but I am confident I will be ready to give of my best at the national trials.”
The 2016 NCB Intercollegiate 800m champion is remaining defiant and determined to be on the plane to Brazil, but is not disregarding the fact that the competition will be a tough one this year.
The likes of reigning national champion Natoya Goule, World Championship representative Simoya Campbell, GC Foster College standout athlete Danielle James, Kimarra McDonald and the return of veteran and many time national Kenia Sinclair, are all likely competitors aiming for the three spots on offer.
“My plan is to qualify for the Olympics,” James stated clearly. “It’s a very simple plan –I am not getting ahead of myself, but I have all confidence that I can get that qualifying time and also break into that top three at the national trials.”
James was a part of the history making 4x 800m female relay team that wore the national colours at the last edition of the IAAF World Relay in Bahamas 2014. She also represented the country at the 2015 NACAC U23 Championship in her pet event, but failed to advance beyond the preliminary round.