Tyra Gittens eyes early pentathlon Olympic qualification, also mulls long and high jump in Tokyo

By March 10, 2021

Texas A&M’s Tyra Gittens wants to wrap up qualification for the Olympic heptathlon as soon as the outdoor season begins, but if she doesn’t, she is confident that there are other ways for her to get to Tokyo.

The 22-year-old Trinidadian multi-event athlete harbours aspirations of competing at the Olympics this summer whether it is in the heptathlon or another discipline and during a season when she has set personal bests this year in the pentathlon (4,612 points), high jump (1.91m) and long jump (6.62m), Gittens believes her indoor form sets her up well to achieve just that.

“I will definitely try to get the Olympic standard for the heptathlon as soon as possible. At our outdoor regionals we do not have a heptathlon because it’s a week before nationals but my plans are to qualify at my first heptathlon,” she said.

As stated earlier, Gittens has had a good indoor season for far notwithstanding a disappointing sixth-place finish at the SEC Regionals just over a week ago, but with an indoor best in the pentathlon as well as the high and long jumps, she feels she is in a good position to achieve the 6400 points she needs to book her spot on Trinidad’s team to Tokyo in July.

“Indoors is normally a good indicator of how your heptathlon is going to go, and so my pentathlon has definitely shown that it is very possible that my first heptathlon will be around the qualifying standard.

I would hope I won’t have to leave it to the last meet, although I have nationals to qualify, I definitely believe I can get to qualification at my first heptathlon, which will probably be in April or March.”

However, Gittens is not hanging her hopes in the heptathlon alone. So, in the unlikely event that she falls short of the Olympic pentathlon standard, she knows other opportunities abound.

 “Obviously, my goal is to make it into the Olympics in the heptathlon but because of how this season has been going so far there is a big possibility of making it to the Olympics in the high jump and the long jump, and so that is the new goal that I am going for,” she said.

“I won’t be devastated if I don’t (qualify for the pentathlon) because I see there is a chance for me to do that then I am going to run with it. I am going to train hard for that, it’s very exciting,” she said with the caveat that she would only attempt all three events if the schedule allows for it.

“I am sure other ‘multis’ like Nafee (Harris) and Kathleen Johnson-Thompson has done that before but I have never competed at such a level as the Olympics so I don’t know the schedule, I don’t know if it’s just too much.

“I don’t know if its different (from SECs or Nationals) so I am going trust my coach’s judgement and if I do qualify and the schedule allows me at the Olympics then I will definitely try to compete in all three, if possible.”





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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