Lanae-Tava Thomas triumphs in 400m at Martin Luther King Memorial as plan emerges for pre-Olympic preparation

By January 21, 2024

Lanae-Tava Thomas stood triumphant at the Dr. Martin Luther King Collegiate Invitational, claiming victory in the 400m with a stellar performance clocking in at 51.97. The win in her first run over the distance this indoor season showcased her prowess on the track, setting the stage for an exciting winter season and offering a glimpse into her ambitions for the upcoming outdoor competitions.

In her wake were compatriots Shaquena Foote, who attends San Diego State University, who clocked 53.30 for second place, just ahead of Olympian Candace McLeod, who was third in 53.31.

As Thomas basked in the glory of her 400m triumph on Saturday, her eyes were firmly set on the bigger picture – a coveted spot on Jamaica's team for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Her coach, Eldrick Floreal, she revealed, has laid out a strategic plan to enhance her capabilities in the 200m and 100m events by incorporating more 400m races into her regimen.

The decision to prioritize the 400m was a deliberate move by Floreal to build Thomas's strength, recognizing that a stellar performance in the 400m would translate into success in the 200m and, subsequently, the 100m. Thomas, with a personal best of 51.22 achieved in April 2023, embraced this new focus on the 400m with determination.

"I think mostly he wants to build my strength, but I am more focused on the 400 than I was in previous years. I have never done the 400 before other than a few times outdoors. But he said a great 400 makes a great 200, and a great 200 makes a great hundred."

In her season opener on January 12, at the UK Ron McCravy Memorial in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas showcased her dominance in the 300m, crossing the finish line comfortably in 36.51. While the focus remained on the outdoor season, Thomas acknowledged the importance of adapting to the indoor setting and fine-tuning her skills for the challenges ahead.

As Thomas continued to navigate the indoor season, she explained her dual approach to the 400m – utilizing it both for competition and as preparation for the 200m. With only one competition under her belt prior to Saturday, the 300m, Thomas emphasized her commitment to the plan outlined by her coach, even in the face of running solo in the absence of strong competition.

"I've only had one competition so far, the 300. My very first race of the season, it went fine. It was a 36.5. But the next person, she ran a 39, so I was pretty much just running by myself," Thomas shared, highlighting the early stages of her indoor campaign.






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 he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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