Reece hitting Euro circuit
Promising that the best is still ahead of her, Shakera Reece, the Barbados national record holder in the women’s 100 metres, left the island yesterday to compete in three meets on the European circuit.
Reece won the 100 metres at the National Championships last weekend in 11.63 seconds and was second in the 200m in 23.78 behind Jade Bailey (23.39) who holds the record over that distance.
Through agent Joseph Codrington, a Barbadian who resides in the United States, she will be competing in Italy and France on Friday, Sunday and next Tuesday.
“It’s still kind of early compared to when I was at college. It takes some time to warm up.
“It will be interesting being on the circuit because I think there is more in there. I haven’t maxed out yet. I still expect to get better,” the 22-year-old Reece told NATIONSPORT yesterday.
Reece has a best time of 11.34 seconds. This year, her season’s bests are 11.46 and 23.74 seconds, respectively.
She has qualified for the Pan Am Games and the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Senior Championships.
Since returning home from Rice University with a bachelor’s in kinesiology, Reece admits to being torn by the fact that she isn’t “working”, but has decided to fully commit to track and field leading up to the 2012 London Olympic Games.
It has been challenging without a training partner. She believes that working with Bailey would be beneficial to both, but has never spoken to the other sprinter about it.
“I don’t have a training partner. It is just me and my coach [Mike Gaskin]. There are hardly any senior females doing track and it is hard to stay motivated,” Reece said.
“It would help both of us. We wouldn’t have to worry so much about travelling to get competition and we would qualify faster for meets.
“It is not so much that I want a rival, but you need someone to push you.”
Of last weekend’s championships, Reece said after the Bailey false start it was quite an anti-climax to the 100m because she was ready to race, especially since they had been drawn in the same semi-final heat, then reseeded.
In the 200 where she was beaten, Reece said she should’ve pushed herself harder.
“Before the race you think of everything, but then you don’t follow the plan.
“I will work harder and try to bring my times down. I haven’t given up on qualifying for Worlds,” she said.
Coach Gaskin isn’t too concerned about last weekend’s performances as there are higher goals.
“We have a long-term plan towards Pan Am and the Olympics.
“It is difficult to get her prepared for Nationals, CAC and the World University Games. The difficulty comes because it is stretched out to October and we hope she will qualify for Worlds at some point in there.
“I was working on getting her stronger while we competed.”
Gaskin said that with little or no sponsorship, most of the expenses for the trip to Europe had been “out of pocket”, but it was necessary because there was no competition in Barbados.
Reece trains five days a week, three at the Barbados Community College and two at the National Stadium.