Arantxa King narrowly missed the long jump final at the London Olympics and now wants to make her mark at the World Championships in Moscow next year.
Long jumper Arantxa King hopes to mark her maiden season as a full-time athlete by reaching the final of next summer’s World Championships in Moscow.
King turned professional after the London Olympics, a “bittersweet” experience for the 22-year-old who agonisingly missed out on the final after finishing tied for 12th.
But without the burden of having to juggle her studies with athletics, the Stanford University graduate expects to jump further and more consistently this season.
“Obviously I don’t have to worry about school anymore and this season is all about growing as an athlete,” she said.
“There are a lot of different areas outside the actual jumping that I need to improve on like my speed and getting stronger.
“Those are the key areas of focus for me this coming season.”
King has spent the last few months dusting off the post-Olympic cobwebs in Boston with some light training and beach work.
However, she plans to relocate to warmer climes soon to begin more intense preparations for her first pro season.
“I did take a little bit of time off after the Olympics, maybe a month or so, but I have actually been doing a lot of preparation,” said King, whose mother Branwen Smith-King represented Bermuda in the shot put at the 1971 Pan Am Games.
“It’s hard to take too many breaks in track and field without getting out of shape and next month my training will be a lot more focused towards jumping.
“Once my training steps up I will be relocating; it’s not definite where yet but it will be somewhere warmer, probably somewhere like Florida or Texas.
“I’ve got a couple options with different training groups. I’ve been talking to my former coach (Edrick Floreal) and the Bermuda National Athletics Association and we’re still determining what’s the best strategy for me.”
Although King hasn’t set specific targets this season her ultimate goal will be finaling at the World Championships and believes her near miss at the Olympics has only made her more determined.
“I don’t like to set targets as they distract from the main goal although I suppose making the final at the World Championships would end all goals.
“I just want to compete well and have the sort of season where I’m getting better each meet and generally jumping far.”
Added King: “The Olympics was a bittersweet experience for me. I beat of lot of women including the reigning champion who consistently jump further than me, which was an accomplishment in itself.
“But then one girl didn’t compete in the final and another tested positive so that was the icing on the cake it terms of being frustrated.
“That said, you just have to brush it off and use that disappointment to refocus for next season.”
King, Tyrone Smith and Aaron Evans were each handed $5,000 as part of a 12-month sponsorship package on Monday from Bermuda Healthcare Services.