By Neto Baptiste
Women’s 100-meter national record holder, Joella Lloyd, said that getting to this year’s Tokyo Olympics is number one on her list of things to accomplish.
The University of Tennessee track star who, in May, clocked a new National Record of 11.19 seconds in the 100 meters at the Tennessee Challenge at Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium in Knoxville, was just .04 seconds off the 11.15 seconds mark required for the summer games.
“It’s very important, it’s really at the top but I am trying to execute my races instead of thinking about the times so that I can get the time. I’ve been training towards nationals so I haven’t really taken any rest, I’ve been training just the same,” she said.
To date, sprinter Cejhae Greene and boxer Alston Ryan have qualified outright for the games while sailor Jalese Gordon earned a solidarity (wildcard) entry into the July 28 to August 8 Games.
Lloyd also had a fruitful indoor season during which she set a personal best of 7.15 seconds to win the 60 meters dash in what was her first final and first medal at the indoor championships.
However, the sophomore, who also set a new Tennessee record in the process, said she is just taking things one step at a time.
“I try to execute my race and try to have fun but I really want to get that time though, but it hasn’t been on my mind. I felt like I was really close with my personal best [11.19] and I feel like I can get it but it’s just a matter of me getting it,” the athlete said.
Lloyd was slated to compete at the National Track & Field Championships that should have taken place on June 19 and 20. The event was however postponed in an effort to give the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) additional time to meet all of the Covid-19 protocols set out by the health ministry.