Posted: Tuesday, August 3, 2021. 12:30 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Belize’s Samantha Dirks ran the 400m in 54.16 seconds finishing 7th in Heat 3 at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on Monday night (Tuesday morning in Japan) but said she was aiming for a better time though it was her season-best.
“The race today didn’t go as planned, as I had wanted to,” Dirks said.
“I hit a season-best by just a fraction of a second, so it’s far off from where I want to be and how I want to represent, but I’m proud to be here representing Belize. The outcome I wish was better. But I’m working on training down and I’m in great shape so I should have run with what the standard was.”
“But I’m happy to be here and it’s been a long season with injury and getting over COVID at the beginning of the year as well. So, I’m blessed to be here and end this season on a high note competing at such a great stadium,” Dirks said.
She was faster than Tetyana Melnyk of Ukraine who clocked 54.99.
Allyson Felix of the United States won the heat in 50.84.
Jamaican Roneisha McGregor was second in 51.14 winning over Lada Vondrova in a photo finish. Vondrova clocked the same time as McGregor.
Samantha’s personal best in the 400m is 53.19 seconds which she recorded in 2015.
Samantha said after the Olympic heat that she still has more races this year. She wants to lower her mark to 51 seconds.
“The 400 metres kind of chose me. It’s something that I’ve just naturally improved on over the years training for it. This year, I expected a big draw. Unfortunately, I didn’t see it here, but I’m still working to get it.”
“This will not be my last competition for the year, so hopefully by the end of the year I could show myself and prove myself, to hit that number that I know I can hit. It is a tough race, but I like a challenge so I’m working to keep improving and be able to represent Belize on another world stage,” Dirks said.
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