Jessica Lewis continues strong start to season with personal best
Jessica Lewis continued her encouraging start to the new season after achieving a personal best time while competing in Switzerland.
Having got the campaign off to an ideal start with two victories at the Mississauga Ontario Parasport Track Meet in Canada at the beginning of May, the Bermudian wheelchair sprinter headed to Europe to race in the IPC World Para Athletics Grand Prix and Daniela Jutzeler Memorial track meet over the past week.
Competing at the grand-prix series, the 29-year-old secured two third-place finishes in the T53 200 metres and 100 metres as well as finishing fifth in the 400.
However, the best was yet to come at the memorial track meet, where Lewis clinched second place in the 100 in 16.37sec, breaking her previous record of 16.74. She also finished third in the 400.
While Lewis was not completely content with her results as a whole, she was delighted to be able to set a personal best as she continues to adjust to new racing equipment and techniques.
“Competing in Switzerland is always a great time because they are the most attended events throughout the racing season, so the competitions are amazing,” she said. “I had some up-and-down performances, but I was trying out a few different techniques within my 400 metres races — some worked out and some didn’t.
“However, I was really excited to have ended the series with a massive 100 personal-best time of 16.37.
“This was the first competition where I used my hard gloves in the 100, as I am feeling more confident in them for my starts. My acceleration felt really smooth and they helped me to continue to hold a high pace throughout the full distance.”
Attention now turns to upcoming events in Paris next week, with Lewis to continue to make tweaks with her ultimate focus geared towards the World Championships in July 2023.
“Going forward this season, as it is an off year from any major competitions, I think we will be making a few different changes to my equipment and seating position to be sure I’m getting the most out of my ability to generate power and speed,” she added.
“We are training in Switzerland for a few days and will then be heading to Paris for some races next week.
“They will be taking place in the same stadium that our World Championships will be happening in July 2023. It will be a great opportunity to get a feel for the track and to get the lay of the land.”