NATIONAL track and field athletes are back on the track as the Government has allowed them to train at sporting facilities. Kyle Greaux and Jerod Elcock are two of these athletes, who are relishing the opportunity to continue their training ahead of an Olympic year.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were set to be held from July 24 to August 9, but because of the covid19 pandemic, it will take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021.
Since March, the TT athletes have not been able to access the sporting venues because of the virus. On Monday, the TT athletes got the green light to resume.
Greaux and Elcock are part of a group of 15 to 20 athletes training four days a week, at the Larry Gomes Stadium, in Arima.
Greaux, 32, said, “I am happy to be able to use the training facilities as I would have in the past.”
The Sangre Grande native said a full routine leading into an Olympic year is key.“It is extremely important because this year things were restricted in the sense that you could not do things that you would normally do, so in preparation for the Olympic Games I am very excited to fall back into a regular routine and be able to train as I normally would.”
Greaux, who is a 100-metre and 200m runner, is eager to get competition ready as the Olympic approaches.
“It is extremely important because this year very few people competed. I don’t think any of our national athletes competed, but for me personally, I did not compete and I was unable to train for much of the season because of the restrictions. Now that we are back into a regular routine, in terms of training, the next step for me is competing and getting back into a swing of things in terms of competition and the mindset ahead of the Olympic Games.”
The 2021 National Championships should be held in June, which in an Olympic year is normally one of the last meets for local athletes to qualify for the major event.
Greaux, a 200m finalist at the 2019 World Championships, is eyeing several meets in the first half of 2021.
“I am hoping to probably compete in about five meets ahead of our Senior National Open Championships and then the Olympic Games. I think I should shake off a lot of the rust because competition is a lot different from just training, it is a different mindset.”
Greaux did not let the pandemic halt his training as he focused on strength work.
“I spent a lot of time strength training because that was the only thing that I could do from the comfort of my home and that was an area that I needed improvement on so, I spent a lot of time working on that.”
Elcock, 22, said he has been enjoying the transition from a junior to a senior athlete. He was a member of the TT men’s 4x100m team that copped silver at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.
The quartet also included Greaux, Keston Bledman and Akanni Hislop.
Elcock, who runs the 100m and 200m, will train locally for a few more weeks before returning to the US to continue his studies at Butler Community College, in Kansas.
Elcock is delighted to return to training. “It is better when we train with each other, so we could push each other to the best of our abilities,” Elcock said.
Elcock is aiming to make his Olympic debut next year and with a hectic college track and field schedule, he wants to get some much-needed competition time.
“I will be in college from January so every two weeks I will have competitions, so an average of about ten meets before the National Champs.” Elcock, a sophomore at Butler Community College, has not been wasting time during the pandemic doing core work and strengthening his weak areas.
He has taken the postponement of the Olympics in stride.
“I definitely took it as a blessing.
“I got a lot of injuries this year, so I took this time to strengthen weaker areas and go back to the drawing board as you say and prepare myself.”