KELLY-ANN BAPTISTE: Not shying from the spotlight

 

Kelly-Ann Baptiste is admittedly a shy person. Yet the 100-meter star, representing Trinidad and Tobago, is doing all she can to remain in the spotlight.

“I think in my event, especially, if you’re not really in it to win the thing then you start off on the wrong foot,” she said. “Obviously, I would like an Olympic gold medal. If I don’t get that, any color would be fine.”

Baptiste earned bronze at the last year’s World Championships and currently owns the second-fastest time in the world this season in the 100 meters (10.86). Baptiste is atop a growing field of dynamic short sprinters that will be on display at the adidas Grand Prix June 9 at Icahn Stadium in New York that including Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Americans Carmelita Jeter, the top-ranked sprinter in the world last year, and now Allyson Felix.

The pressure of a jam-packed field doesn’t quite bother the Tobago native though. That prospect pales in comparison to Baptiste’s position as already the most successful female sprinter to ever represent Trinidad and Tobago.

“When I see Jamaica, who carries on the tradition of Merlene Ottey and Veronica (Campbell) and all those people, they have someone to look up to. So for me, my goal is always to create that environment for the female athletes in my country. I have always taken it upon myself as a responsibility even before I had to bronze medal.”