Dominica's pride Thea LaFond targets 15m and a medal at World Championships in Budapest this summer

By April 26, 2023
LaFond, the 2022 NACAC champion is targetting big goals this summer. LaFond, the 2022 NACAC champion is targetting big goals this summer.

Thea LaFond is gearing up for another successful season after achieving remarkable success last year. LaFond, who is based in Ashburn, Virginia, is excited to see how her hard work during the offseason will translate into her performances this year.

The year 2022 was a massive one for the 29-year-old LaFond, who won gold at the NACAC Championships in The Bahamas and a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games Birmingham, England. She was also fifth in the finals at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon. However, with that success she has no intention of resting on her laurels as the 2023 season continues to unfold.

"Last season's medals were truly an amazing experience," she told Sportsmax.TV. "To build on last year's success, I have gotten stronger and faster, and I'm eager to see how that translates through the season."

LaFond has set her sights on achieving a jump of 15m or more this year.

"15m plus is definitely one of the major goals for championships and beyond," she said. "This season, we are really focused on upping the energy and working on timing up the phases a bit better for even bigger and active contacts in the jumps."

Despite fierce competition from the imperious Venezuelan triple jumper, three-time world champion Yulimar Rojas, the current world record holder, who has dominated the event in recent years, LaFond maintains a positive mindset.

"I think that my mentality is that I am always battling it out for three medals. Always," said LaFond. "Rojas is very good, there is no denying that, but anything can happen at any meet. Coming into a competition with anything less of that mentality is setting yourself up for failure. I'm bringing my best and trying to win."

Despite the hard work put in during the off season, her indoor season-opener of 14.08m at the Don Kirby Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico was less than impressive but being a quick study, she made the necessary adjustments and did much better shortly thereafter popping a 14.60m jump. She cited approach issues for the relatively poor opener.

"One of the major takeaways was to be patient in my drive phase and to bring my knee higher so I'm not getting over-rotated in my second phase," said LaFond who is set to compete next in May at a meet in Savona, Italy.

She acknowledges the impact her recent success has had on the youth of Dominica and is grateful for their support.

“The Commonwealth and NACAC medals were received with such joy in Dominica. I think that as an athlete that lives and trains abroad, I’m really only privy to what people say online,” she said.

“I was grateful for the online posts of love and support that followed those medals. However, when I finally got to go home the love was overflowing. I really had no clue how much I impacted the youth of Dominica and how much I was seen as an inspiration. I am so grateful to have the support of my people and it is always an honor to represent my nation.”

 LaFond is also focused on the upcoming World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, with her coach Aaron Gadson. "My plans for Budapest are to go and compete with all my heart. The goal is a medal and 15m. It's time for Dominica to have a woman World medalist, and I'm ready to do the work to get there," she said.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • Jamaican quarter-miler Ackeem Bloomfield retires at age 27 Jamaican quarter-miler Ackeem Bloomfield retires at age 27

    Jamaican quarter-miler Ackeem Bloomfield has announced his retirement from track and field at the age of 27, Sportsmax.TV has confirmed.

     The two-time World Championship 4x400m relay silver medalist has reportedly informed the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association of his decision and has also requested to be removed from the Registered Testing Pool (RTP) with the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO). Marie Tavares, Executive Board Member of the JAAA confirmed Bloomfield’s retirement on Thursday, saying “He has. I got confirmation yesterday, either yesterday of the day before.”

    Tavares opined that it sounds as if Bloomfield, a former Kingston College star, will be concentrating on his academics but was otherwise uncertain about his motivations.

    Bloomfield, who holds the distinction of being the second-fastest Jamaican ever over 400m with a personal best of 43.94 seconds, first burst onto the scene as a promising young talent. He became the first Jamaican schoolboy to break the 45-second barrier, a feat that heralded a bright future in athletics. However, his career trajectory was hindered by a series of prolonged injuries and personal challenges, including the emotional toll of his mother's death in 2021.

    After a standout collegiate career at Auburn University, where he set his remarkable 400m time at the NCAA National Outdoor Championships in 2018, Bloomfield signed with Puma and joined the MVP International training group in Florida. His talent and potential were on full display at the 2019 World Athletics Championships, where he finished eighth in the 400m final with a time of 45.36 seconds.

    In 2021, seeking a fresh start and recovery from a debilitating hamstring injury, Bloomfield moved to train with Rana Reider’s Tumbleweed group, where he reunited with high school rival and Calabar star athlete Christopher Taylor. Bloomfield declared himself fully recovered and expressed optimism about his future in the sport. “It was a really bad injury to my right hamstring. I did an intensive rehab process after I got injured. Even though I shut down my season I was still doing rehab. So, I can say for the most part, right now I’m 100 percent healthy,” he said in an interview with On Point.

    Despite his determination, Bloomfield’s journey continued to be marked by transitions. In September 2022, he left Tumbleweed to train under former Jamaican Olympian Sanjay Ayre at Chase Athletics Track Club. However, he departed from Chase Athletics a year later, signaling the turbulence that characterized the latter part of his career.

    Bloomfield’s last known competitive performance was at the Tom Jones Invitational in April 2023, where he ran 45.52 seconds to finish sixth. This race marked the end of a career that, despite its ups and downs, offered glimpses of what could have been.

  • Yohan Blake records season-best 10.16 in 100m at Raiffeisen Austrian Open, Christania Williams impresses in women's race Yohan Blake records season-best 10.16 in 100m at Raiffeisen Austrian Open, Christania Williams impresses in women's race

     Double Olympic silver medalist Yohan Blake demonstrated that he is far from finished at the 2024 Raiffeisen Austrian Open in Eisenstadt, Austria, on Wednesday, clocking a season-best 10.16 seconds in the 100m heats. However, the final did not go as planned for the Jamaican sprint star, as he was disqualified for a false start, negating his third-place finish time of 10.26 seconds.

    The 34-year-old Blake's performance in the heats was a testament to his experience and competitive edge, as he comfortably advanced to the final with the fastest qualifying time. This season-best effort underscored Blake's determination to remain a formidable force in sprinting, even as he continues to navigate the later stages of his illustrious career.

    In the final, Blake crossed the finish line third with a time of 10.26 seconds. However, his results were invalidated due to a false start that led to his disqualification. The disqualification came as a significant disappointment, especially after his promising performance in the heats.

    Fellow Jamaican sprinter Christania Williams also impressed at the meet. Williams, who is based in Austria and trained by Coach Phillip Unfried, ran a strong race in the women's 100m, clocking an impressive 11.33 seconds. Her performance highlights her consistent progress and potential as she continues to train and compete in Europe.

    The Raiffeisen Austrian Open served as a crucial platform for athletes like Blake and Williams to gauge their form and readiness as they prepare for upcoming national champions in just over a month’s time. Despite the setback in the final, Blake's season-best time in the heats remains a positive takeaway, indicating his capacity to compete at high levels.

    For Williams, the meet was an opportunity to showcase her talent and the results of her training under Coach Unfried's guidance. Her time of 11.33 seconds is a solid mark as she aims to continue improving and achieving new personal bests.

  • Antiguan Greene set to make third Olympic Games appearance in Paris Antiguan Greene set to make third Olympic Games appearance in Paris

    Antigua and Barbuda’s top senior men’s sprinter, Cejhae Green, is set to make a third Olympic Games appearance, as he recently hit the men’s 100 metres qualifying mark of a flat 10.00 seconds while competing at the PURE Athletics Sprint Elite Meet in Florida, recently.

    Greene, 28, who represented his country at the 2016 and 2020 Games in Rio and Tokyo respectively, has qualified for this summer's Paris Olympic Games scheduled for July 26 to August 11.

    He achieved the feat when he placed second behind American Kendal Williams who registered a world leading time of 9.93 seconds. Greene's time of 10.00s, is the fourth fastest time this year, as he copped silver ahead of Puerto Rico's Eloy Benitez, who clocked a time of 10.04 seconds.

    The Antiguan had previously clocked 10.16 seconds in the preliminary round.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.