How a change of mindset propelled Britany Anderson's rise as one of the best hurdlers in the world

By February 24, 2022

On August 1, 2021, Britany Anderson lined up in lane seven of the final of the Tokyo Olympics 100m hurdles. Having run 12.40, a personal best and the second-fastest time going into the final, only Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, who set an Olympic record of 12.26 in her semi-final, was faster.

Expectations of a medal were high for the 20-year-old Jamaican but it was not to be. She hit the sixth hurdle, managed to clear the seventh but then stumbled, lost her momentum and with it any chance of a place on the podium and making history as the first woman from the Caribbean to win an Olympic medal in the event.

That honour went to her compatriot, Megan Tapper, who finished third behind world record holder Kendra Harrison of the United States, who won silver and Camacho-Quinn, who created history of her own becoming the first Puerto Rican woman to win an Olympic gold medal.

During a recent sit-down with Sportsmax.TV where she talks about her improvement this season, how her training group and her faith in God, have helped her successfully transition to senior competition, Anderson revealed that running her personal best in the semi-final impacted her in a way that she did not expect.

“My emotions were all over the place. I was crying. I was excited, I was overwhelmed,” she said about what caused her to lose her focus after running her lifetime best in the semi-final.

“In the final, I don’t know what…it was like, something went wrong, not just with the hurdles, but because I was so overwhelmed and it was my first senior games, everything was just all over the place.”

Nevertheless, she said she was not disappointed at the eventual outcome saying that she felt like she had won just to make the finals at the Olympic Games.

It is with that mindset that Anderson has approached the start of the new season wherein the span of three weeks she ran three-lifetime bests in the indoors 60m hurdles. Starting at the Millrose Games on January 29, Anderson, who turned 21 in January, ran a lifetime best of 7.91 to defeat a field that included Kendra Harrison.

Just about a week later, she lowered that time to 7.88 while finishing second to Danielle Williams, who ran a then-personal best 7.83 at the New Balance Grand Prix in New York.

Six days later, at the American Track League Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, Anderson would go even faster clocking 7.82, the fourth-fastest time in the world. Only Williams (7.75), Harrison (7.81) and Alia Armstrong of the USA (7.81) have been faster.

According to the former Vere and Camperdown athlete, her success this season comes down to the change in mindset bolstered by improving confidence.

“I feel like it was just the mindset that changed from last season to this season. Last season was just something to show me what I could do this season and I bring all of that to this season, worked on what I had to work on in practice and just bring it out there on the track,” she said.

It wasn’t that long ago that Anderson set the World U20 record in the 100m hurdles, 12.71, in July 2019 in Finland. She is the World U18 champion and the silver medallist at the World U20 Championships in Finland in 2018.

Since that time, her transition to the senior ranks has been relatively painless as evidenced by her qualifying for her first Olympic final eight months after she turned 20.

She credits her training partners at Tumbleweed, the training group she joined in 2019, for helping her make the transition to the senior ranks.

“Most parts of it was the people I had around me, like my training partners, they helped me throughout everything, off the track and on the track so the transition from a junior to a senior wasn’t really hard,” she said, adding that having fellow Jamaicans Christopher Taylor, Christania Williams and fellow hurdler Omar McLeod, played their part in helping her make a smooth transition.

Transitioning to the senior ranks comes with its own challenges because before she can conquer the world, she has to first overcome perhaps the deepest pool of talent currently at Jamaica's disposal with the likes of Danielle Williams, Tapper, Ackera Nugent, perhaps Janeek Brown and Yanique Thompson among others. Asked about where she sees herself among Jamaica's world-class hurdlers, Anderson confidently indicated that she knows what she is capable of.

"I know what I can do. I know what I am going to do. At the trials, I know what I am going there for, so I will just let all of that play out in God's way," she said.

As for this year, Anderson is focused on the World Championships in Oregon in July but as it relates to World Indoors next month and the Commonwealth Games, no decision has yet been made. Her agent Mario Bassani said those decisions will be made at a later date and will be as a result of discussions with her coach Rana Reider, whom she describes as a really great coach.

“The lesson I take from him is I can do whatever I can put my mind to,” she said.

So far, that advice seems to be working well for Britany Anderson.

 As Bassani tells it, whichever championships she decides to compete at this year, she will be ready.

 

 

 

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.

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