24/06/09: Baptiste’s first sub-11 gives her confidence ahead of Berlin
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago - Kelly-Ann Baptiste, the first Trinidad & Tobago woman to break the 11-secs barrier, is looking forward to the World Championships optimistically. “My goal is to stay healthy and make the finals at the World Championships", she said "and I think once I am in the finals anything could happen. That is just my main focus right now".At last weekend’s National Championships in Trinidad, Baptiste became the 65th woman (all-time) to run under 11 seconds when she ran 10.94, to break her own national record (11.06 secs) set in 2008.
“I actually wasn’t thinking about the time but I knew I had it in me,” she added. “I entered a lot of competitive races this season with people who have run that fast and I was actually beating them, so I knew once I got my race together I would eventually run fast". “I was just thinking about executing and putting together a good race,” she also added in response to the reason for her fast time.
One year after bursting on the world scene (when she became the youngest semifinalist in the 100m at the 2002 World Junior Championships), Baptiste won bronze at the 2003 World Youth Championships. In 2005 she started her four year tenure at the State University of Louisiana, (LSU) and at the tender age of 18, won her first National sprint title with a splendid 11.17 seconds.
In 2008 she completed the NCAA sprint double, when she won both the indoor 60m and outdoor 100m titles’, then topped it off with a wind assisted 11.02 seconds to take her country’s National title again. The Tobagon born athlete, after her record breaking run, said she felt it was about time she ran that fast. "Since entering LSU, my development was rapid and there were signs that I would break the 11 secs barrier", she said "but just could never get it together". "It was a relief to finally come out and put it together. I had the right conditions and the right people in the race. Everything was just perfect for that moment and I was happy that I was able to pull it off". "You start doubting yourself if time and time again you are trying for something and it is never happening. For it to finally come is a relief to me”.