Jeanette Kwakye’s mum confident in Olympic qualification bid


Jeanette Kwakye’s injury curse threatens to derail her London 2012 adventure before it has even got off the ground.


By Ben Baker

JEANETTE Kwakye’s injury curse threatens to derail her London 2012 adventure before it has even got off the starting blocks, but mum Rose insists she won’t be alone in her race against the clock.

So soon after being the only European in the women’s 100m final at the Beijing Olympics, as well as the first Briton to make the showpiece since 1984, Kwakye went from the fastest woman on the continent to spending nearly two full years on the sidelines following knee and Achilles surgery.

And just when the worst looked behind her, putting in a full 2011 season that saw her run 11.15 seconds – one-hundredth of a second off her lifetime best – as well as claiming the 60m indoor title in February this year, disaster struck in the form of ankle and Achilles trouble earlier this month.

The 29-year-old’s return to the treatment table couldn’t come at a worse time as it forces her out of this weekend’s Olympic Trials in Birmingham with her seasons best of 11.68 seconds still some way off the Olympic A standard of 11.29.

Kwakye could yet be handed a London 2012 reprieve after being selected for next week’s European Championships in Helsinki and although the clock is ticking louder than ever, mum Rose is adamant she will be with her every step of the way, just as she did four years ago.

“Jeanette and I are best friends, we just sit down and we just talk about life really, we talk about what she is going through in training and all kinds of stuff,” said Rose, speaking at the P&G Thank You Mum campaign.

“It is hard to talk about Jeanette’s injury because she had just come back from the Olympics and they said she needs surgery for her knees and the last thing you wanted for your child was pain.

“And believe me she went through a lot of pain and the frustration that she was going through at the time, it was very heart breaking for her and it was for me as well. 

“I mean Jeanette was out, almost two years, if she didn’t have me there and that she couldn’t talk about it, she would have just said, “I’m not doing it anymore” and I had to take two to three months off work just to be with her.

“I was there to support her emotionally and to protect her and do all the kind of stuff that. I couldn’t run for her but I could sort of help her to a speedy recovery.

“The more that you support you child the more they will come to you and it is wonderful, it is wonderful to know that your child is there and that she relies on you for support and advice and I will do anything to keep that relationship going.”    

Rose wasn’t in the stands as her daughter took to the start line in China four years ago, having to sneak away from work to watch her on television.

But while the journey to Beijing was too much for Rose, it was a far longer one for Jeanette who started out juggling her athletic hopes with her studies, graduating from Loughborough University with a degree in Politics and Economics before kicking her sprint dreams into life.

“I always wanted Jeanette to be what she wants to be, whether a nurse, a teacher, whatever.  I always told her, whatever you want to do, it is down to you,” Rose added.

“I wasn’t really keen on her running at the beginning because I sort of advised her all the time that, Jeanette, you need something that you can fall back on.

“I just said to her, go to your secondary school, go to university, get a degree and then you can do whatever you want and when she did she did exactly that.”

P&G, supporting family and friends of all Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes in the lead up to London 2012 – visit

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