High jumper hints at retirement after failing to qualify for World Championships

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By Neto Baptiste

National high-jumper and two-time Pan American Games silver medallist Priscilla Frederick has hinted at retirement after a failed bid to qualify for this year’s World Championships slated for September 28 to October 6 in Doha, Qatar.

Posting to social media, Frederick said she was just three centimeters off the qualifying standard of 1.94 meters and that the athletics association’s request to the IAAF that she competes via a universality spot did not bear fruit.

Speaking with OBSERVER media, Frederick said a number of factors could force her out of competition by the end of the year.

“My coach is moving; he is going off to coach a college and so just a lot of obstacles are happening right now, and something will have to change. I will have to see if the changes are doable for me with the stipend that Antigua gives me, and if I can get a job out there; so there is a lot of moving factors out there right now,” she said. 

Ranked 39th in the world, Frederick recently won silver at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru after she registered a leap of 1.87 meters (6.13 feet). The athlete had also won silver at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Canada.

Frederick said her inability to qualify for the World Championships could be attributed to her not being able to invest the time needed for training and competing.

“Coaching at a high school conflicts with the meets I can potentially compete around; and so, losing that time definitely makes me upset because coming from indoors and jumping 1.91, you normally do better outdoors than you do indoors and to only be at 1.88 for the outdoor season is a little disappointing. And to not be able to even compete or participate and give myself another opportunity because of three centimeters, it sucks,” the athlete said. Frederick only missed out on the gold medal at the Pan Am Games after she counted more misses than St. Lucia’s Levern Spencer. Spencer registered a similar leap of 1.87 meters but was given the nod based only on her consistency. Jamaica’s Kimberly Williamson claimed bronze.

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