Evelyn qualifies for World Indoor

Barbados’ fastest woman, Tristan Evelyn, has qualified for the 60 metres for next month’s World Indoor Championships from March 1 to 3 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The 26-year-old Olympian clocked a new Barbados national record of 7.10 seconds on Friday to win the women’s 60 metres final at the Howie Ryan Invitational hosted at the Yeoman Fieldhouse in Houston, Texas.

Evelyn effortlessly eclipsed the qualifying standard of 7.19 seconds to book her ticket to Glasgow as she outclassed the field by extending her lead to win by five metres.

Representing API Athletics, Evelyn bolted from the blocks and swiftly sped to the front, showcasing excellent form and technique to easily shut down the contest at the halfway point.

She soundly dismissed Linesha Thompson of the University of Houston, who placed a distant second in 7.42 seconds, while Prairie View’s Darnisha Lykes was third in 7.50 seconds.

Evelyn’s new 60 metres personal best of 7.10 seconds currently ranks her joint ninth in the world, tied with American Mikiah Brisco.

Evelyn first recorded 7.18 seconds in the final of the Robert Platt Invitational, before a time of 7.21 on February 3.

Mental health

The former Springer Memorial School student spoke to Sun Sport after Friday night’s achievement.

“I feel really thrilled for World [Indoors]. At the last World [Indoors] I qualified but had to withdraw due to injuries, so to be healthy and performing at a high level ahead of World [Indoors] I’m excited and taking in the moment,” said Evelyn, who last tasted international competition for Barbados in July at the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador where she was unable to qualify from the 100 metres heats with a time of 11.71 seconds.

The Barbadian sprinter credited her coach Allan Powell, as well as a focus on mental health, as reasons for her early season success.

“We had a complete fall [season] with the usual endurance, speed, and strength training. On top of that I’ve been intentional with my mental health going into fall training and that has been key,” she said while adding Powell’s comments to her after the race.

“The message from [the] coach is I’m right where I need to be, stay locked in these next two to three weeks as we head into World [Indoors] , and of course celebrate the moment,” said Evelyn.

She also expressed her displeasure with the state of track and field in Barbados right now.

“It’s really heartbreaking the state of track and field in Barbados right now. We are just a few weeks out from NAPSAC and BSSAC Championships with no timeline on a solution. My heart really feels for those who are at home. I would, however, encourage athletes to keep working towards their goals in spite of the current reality,” concluded Evelyn, who is based in Houston.

With only a week to go until the February 18 qualification deadline, Evelyn and World 400 metres bronze medallist Sada Williams, based on her 2023 times, are the only Barbadians to have so far qualified for the World Indoor Championships.

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