Kelly-Ann Baptiste established herself as a genuine World Championship medal contender in both sprints with two sizzling runs at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, on the weekend.
On Saturday, Baptiste established a new Trinidad and Tobago record—10.83 seconds—in winning her seventh women’s 100 metres national title. The clocking was the fastest time in the world this year.
And on Sunday, the final day of the NAAA Sagicor General/NGC National Open Track and Field Championships, Baptiste captured the 200m title in 22.36 seconds—also a new T&T standard. She is joint-fifth on the 2013 women’s 200m world performance list.
But while Baptiste is certain to bid for precious metal in the 100m dash at the August 10-18 IAAF World Championships, in Moscow, Russia, the 26-year-old track star told the Express she has not yet made a decision on her participation in the longer sprint.
“I really don’t know. I actually told my coach if I don’t run a certain time by the World Championships, I’m not going to double. It (the time) was within this ball park, so that’s a good sign.
“I’ll see how I do on the Diamond League circuit against other competitors, and depending on those performances, I will make a judgment then.”
But even if Baptiste decides to chase one individual title in Moscow, her half-lap outings this season will not be in vain.
“I need to work on my speed maintenance towards the end of my 100, and also in the 200. Running the 200 is going to help me gather that in the 100 metres.”
Baptiste said that since she was nursing a quadriceps injury, recently, Saturday’s 10.83 run was particularly gratifying.
“After May I picked up a slight cramp on my quad, so I was out for a while, so it was just about coming out here and getting back some confidence in my execution of my race and just being excited to compete again. The time just came along with my excitement to be able to compete. I wasn’t expecting a 10.83, but it happened and I’m grateful for that.”
The closest challenger for Baptiste in Saturday’s century final was Michelle-Lee Ahye, the 21-year-old sprinter seizing silver in a personal best 11.06 seconds. The competition will be stiffer when Baptiste competes at the July 6 Meeting Areva IAAF Diamond League meet, in Paris, France.
The 2011 World Championship 100m bronze medallist is hoping her times in Europe, in the build-up to the 2013 Worlds, will be similar to what she produced at the Crawford Stadium on the weekend.
“I have to go out there and try to replicate my performance, and replicating it means executing it the same way that I did—whether it’s against Michelle and this type of competition, or whether it’s against Carmelita Jeter and Shelly-Ann Fraser, I have to be able to duplicate the same technical things that I did in this race. It gives me a gauge as to what I need to do when I go on the circuit.”