Coach sure Belle will soar
Coach Michael Linton believes there are big things in the future for Tia-Adana Belle who won a silver medal in the 400 metre hurdles at the IAAF World Youth Championships last Saturday in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Belle only took up the hurdles after the CARIFTA Games last year, but her work ethic and dedication to training point to a young woman determined to succeed.
“Tia is a hard worker. She wants to be an Olympic champion,” Linton told NATIONSPORT.
“She is very disciplined. She will laugh and joke about, but when I turn up, she is ready to work because she knows I don’t go to waste time.”
Linton is pleased, but also surprised at just how successful this season has been.
“We didn’t have a track this year to put in the work, but she could go faster,” he said referring to the National Stadium, where there is now a newly-laid track after being out of commission for some time.
“She could go about 56 (seconds) if she puts in the right preparation.
“It is remarkable that it came out so well because we trained on the 150-metre track. The track only became available the Monday before National Championships and we put in about two or three workouts before Nationals and about two or three before she had to leave.”
Belle’s silver medal time was a personal best 58.42, down from the previous best of 58.81 in the semi-finals. It puts her second in the world. When she left Barbados almost two weeks ago, she was running 59.55, but had done 59.14 last year.
Linton does not take all of the credit for her success. Anthony Jones plays a key role in physiotherapy and rehabilitation and Andrew Callender, the national weightlifting coach, is responsible for strength and conditioning.
Belle’s mother Antoinette also gets behind her daughter, reminding her to do abdominal work and is instrumental in looking after the diet.
Linton said there were a number of challenges this season, but Belle’s dedication to training never wavered. In October and November, she did hill sprints on her own on Eastland Hill, near her Ellerton, St George home.
One day when she arrived to train at Combermere, it was raining and the pasture was full of water. Belle still put in the workout and Linton stood up in the rain with her.
“I said we would both get wet together,” he said.
If she missed a day of training, she found the time to put it back in.
“I am proud of Tia and I told her before she left here she could win a gold medal. She was so confident, that is why she did so well in the semis.
“She messed up at the two hurdles (seven and eight) and that cost her the race, but those things happen. She will do a lot of good things for track and field and for Barbados.”