Kyle Greaux

WORLD CHAMPS FINALIST: Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Kyle Greaux.  --Photo: Getty Images

Kyle Greaux expects the COVID-19 pandemic to hit him hard in the pocket. Greaux was a men’s 200 metres finalist at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, last October, and was looking forward to competing in high profile, lucrative races during the 2020 season. The novel coronavirus outbreak, however, has dashed those hopes.

“I would have been in my pre-season now,” Greaux told the Express. “I wouldn’t have run any races at this point. But going forward, I’m going to incur a serious loss because of the lack of races.”

COVID-19 forced the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the Olympic Games, originally scheduled for July/August this year in Tokyo, Japan. Greaux said he supports the decision to reschedule Tokyo 2020 to July/August 2021.

“I prefer it being 2021. We have months to deal with the global issue. And preparation going into the Olympic season, had it been held in 2020, probably would have been non-existent.”

Greaux said that while training was going well before the Olympic postponement was announced, there were hurdles he had to deal with.

“Prior to the announcement, we weren’t allowed to train at Larry Gomes Stadium. We dealt with it for perhaps a full training week. At the point in time things were escalating globally so I was more or less paying attention to that, and trying to stay safe. But I continued to do gym and physiotherapy so it didn’t really impact so much on my training.”

Hampered by a knee injury in the 2019 World Champs half-lap final, Greaux finished eighth. The 31-year-old athlete said the Olympic postponement allows him more time to return to full fitness.

“I had a couple setbacks in late 2019, so I’m not certain I would have been 100 per cent fit. But I would have been there to challenge for Olympic honours. Now that the Games will be held next year, I believe I’ll be fully prepared. I’ll be in a lot better shape come 2021. More time to prepare, fine tune a lot of things, and build strength.

“I believe everyone will have a fair chance in 2021,” Greaux continued. “Not all countries would have been impacted the same way by COVID-19. Hopefully the global community and athletes would now have enough time to go back to normal living and training.”

As it stands, Greaux is unable to train as he would like to.

“Now that we’re locked down, I haven’t been really able to do much training at all. I do more core strength, plyometric stuff, flexibility, all the things that I could work on. But in terms of actual running and weights, those things are out of the picture for now.

“I have no idea,” the Sangre Grande sprinter continued, “if 2020 is completely lost. There’s so much uncertainty about when the pandemic will get under control. To be honest with you, I don’t think there will be much sporting activities this year. But I continue to train. I’m staying focused in preparation for next season.”

Greaux, though, must manage the challenge of more than 15 months of Olympic preparation with little or no income from competitive racing in 2020.

“It’s just a matter of budgeting and making a lot of cutbacks. The Olympics is one of those things where you have to do whatever’s necessary for your success. Hopefully I wouldn’t have to make too many cutbacks, and will be fully prepared in terms of nutrition and diet, physiotherapy, strength and conditioning, all the variables,” Greaux ended. “All these things incur a cost.”

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