Ristananna Tracey: "Without God we can do nothing"

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Read our track & faith interview with Jamaican Hurdler, Ristananna Tracey. After a bronze medal at the World Champs, we caught up with her at the Birmingham Diamond League meet:

You are part of a really talented generation of Jamaican track athletes, how do you keep producing high quality performers?

"I think our facilities can be better so we work with whatever we have, we work extremely hard and we train extremely hard. I think that is what leads to our success."

You actually started out with the high jump, how did you then find the hurdles?

"I was doing high jump and my high school coach came to me and he said 'oh we have this tall girl and she is just wasting her talent over here' because I wasn't doing that well. He asked me, why not try the 800 metres? So from there I started training for the 880 metres and I started competing. Each time I competed I realised that my times were going down and they kept on improving. At that time I decided to try the 400 metre hurdles and did well at the event, from there people saw that I had potential and I just continued to do it."

What are the keys to becoming a world-class hurdler?

"Most definitely, I think the 400m hurdles is one of the hardest track events, you need to have endurance and I solely depend on it in most of my races. I'm not as fast as the other girls, their flat 400 races are faster than mine and so I think strength, endurance and technically is a big part of it."

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Off the track your faith in Jesus is important to you, does it impact your athletics?

"Most definitely, I mean without God we can do nothing. I believe that with him everything is possible. All the glory goes to him."

And what difference does knowing God make to your life?

"I put all my believe in him, I put all my trust in him so when I am going out to race, my mum always told me not to be afraid to go down on my knees and pray. I do exactly that before my races, ensuring that I pray before I go out to race and when I pray I realise that I am achieving whatever I am asking for. That then makes me believe in Him more."

How much does your faith help you in difficult times?

"Injuries do come and sometimes you feel like giving up but I always have people around me, telling me that better days are coming. I pray about it and believe."