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(Photo: Bryan Cummings)
A stronger self-belief and less fear of her opponents has led to a breakthrough season for quarter-miler Verone Chambers. She has put herself in the conversation in what is a competitive Jamaican women's 400-metre event and admitted that getting over her “respect” for her rivals has led to her big improvement.“Last year I was more fearful,” she told the Jamaica Observer.
“I used to respect everybody I race against — too much respect — I would say 'oh they are better than me' ,and they would beat me.”
After dipping under the 52 second barrier earlier this year, the GC Foster athlete has been consistent all year and made her national debut as part of the bronze medal-winning Jamaican team at the IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas earlier this year.
Chamber's improvement has not gone unnoticed and she has been invited to participate at the JN Racers Grand Prix on Saturday June 10. She will not get to mix it up with the best in the business as she is booked for the second-tier race on the programme — the 400m “A” race set for 6:40 pm. Still, it is a perfect chance to shine in what is expected to be a sellout National Stadium.
With a personal best 51.70 seconds, set a month ago, Chambers, under the tutelage of Maurice Wilson, won the women development 400m race at Saturday's 14th Jamaica International Invitational at National Stadium in 51.93 seconds. She beat Junelle Bromfield (52.05) and IAAF World Under-20 gold medallist Tiffany James (52.58).
Getting more comfortable in her second season at GC Foster and having “settled in”, she said things are finally falling into place.
“I have been consistently running 51 seconds all year, it's all God and his perfect timing. This year there is much more confidence and even when I am not at my best I am still running well, still consistent.”
After her victory at the recent Inter-Collegiate championships, she told the Observer it was the highlight of her year so far.
She was selected to the team to the World Relays, which she described as “a major step up”.
She added: “I wanted to be on that team and I was on the team that ran in the finals.”
The Racers Grand Prix will be another stepping stone for Chambers as she continues her preparation for the Jamaican Senior Championships and, by extension, the IAAF World Championships in London in August.