Barbados’ top female long jumper Akela Jones says that the recent challenges she has faced have only motivated her to better herself for future endeavours.
Speaking in a telephone interview with Barbados TODAY, the national record holder in the long jump said she has already set her sights on future events.
“This season proved to be a great season where I broke the national record. If my best was not enough to qualify for the Olympics, I’ll continue to push myself even more for the championships next season. Missing out on the Olympics like any other athlete is just a pitfall we must overcome. So I take not making it as motivation to train harder and continue building upwards,” Jones said.
The twenty-six-year-old suffered an injury quite recently adding to the disappointment of not qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics but remained coy on the status of the injury or how far she is in the recovery process. She preferred to highlight the Barbadian athletes on show in the Olympics.
“I’ve been tuning into the games, and I’m proud of all our Barbadian athletes thus far. As track and field is about to commence, I’m sure the track athletes will give us nothing but their best, just as the swimmers did. I am super proud of all our athletes and staff,” she said.
There has been some controversy recently regarding the relationship between media and national athletes due to the way some outlets have assessed their abilities and performances at the Olympics. Asked her thoughts on this, she said: “The results will speak for themselves. All our athletes have qualified to be at these games, they have qualified and deserve the same credit the rest of the world is receiving. I believe all parties; athletes, associations and federations, media and the general public, can always do more to bring recognition to the countless hours of hard work that goes into this thing called sport. It’s a collective effort, none is independent of the other.”
In the meantime, Jones’ focus now turns to continuing training and getting in the best possible position to attend and compete in upcoming competitions before the season ends. In the last few seasons, she has opted to compete in just the long jump but has kept all other options on the table. Away from the field, she has been focusing on the arts as well as growing her business Edged X Echelon.