TRINIDAD AND Tobago's Tyra Gittens took gold in the heptathlon on Saturday evening, at the 2021 NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Division One Outdoor Track and Field Championships, in Eugene, Oregon, United States.
The 23-year-old, representing Texas A&M University, amassed 6,285 points, ahead of Miami (FL)'s Michelle Atherley (6,067 points) and Texas' Kristine Blazevica (5,984 points).
Gittens finished first in the high jump (1.84 metres), 200 metre (23.79 seconds) and long jump (6.64 metres) within the heptathlon.
During a post-race interview, which was aired live on ESPN, Gittens said, "This week has been the hardest week in my collegiate career. I'm used to doing this amount but, having NCAA so close and only having a week to recover, training (was) difficult to think and (I) had to get over some minor injurie to make sure I'm ready. I'm so happy to be done."
Gittens, who qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics a few weeks ago, continued, "This meet was not how I wanted it to go. I came in, I did what I had to do and I'm finished."
She admitted that she was dealing with an ankle injury caused by a freak accident.
"On Monday of last week," Gittens said, "I was walking home and I tripped on some grass. I wasn't even looking at my phone. The sidewalk was literally on grass and I stepped on it half-and-half and I went tumbling. Even when I came here, I had my ankle taped. That's why I said training was very minimum. I'm happy with my score, even though high jump and long jump I didn't do great."
Asked what are her plans between now and the Olympics, Gittens replied, "The first week and a half, (will be) only treatment and rest. The season takes a toll on all the NCAA athletes. You have to go into the professional world where you don't get a lot of breaks between meets."