|100 Metres||12.24||NWI||Kingston (JAM)||11 FEB 2017|
|200 Metres||25.09||+1.4||Tempe, AZ (USA)||14 APR 2012|
|400 Metres||55.38||San Diego, CA (USA)||29 MAR 2013|
|High Jump||1.75||Kingston (JAM)||13 FEB 2010|
|Long Jump||6.63||+0.6||Kingston (JAM)||28 FEB 2015|
|Triple Jump||14.61||+0.8||London (GBR)||15 JUL 2018|
|4x100 Metres Relay||45.14||Laramie, WY (USA)||17 MAY 2014|
|4x400 Metres Relay||3:35.41||Las Vegas (USA)||11 MAY 2013|
|60 Metres||7.99||Air Force Academy (USA)||28 JAN 2012|
|400 Metres||55.67||Nampa, ID (USA)||23 FEB 2013|
|High Jump||1.70||Albuquerque, NM (USA)||26 FEB 2011|
|Long Jump||6.04||Nampa, ID (USA)||21 JAN 2012|
|Triple Jump||14.08||Albuquerque, NM (USA)||08 FEB 2013|
|4x400 Metres Relay||3:42.11||Nampa, ID (USA)||23 FEB 2013|
|Triple Jump||14.61||+0.8||London (GBR)||15 JUL 2018|
|Triple Jump||13.93||Birmingham (GBR)||03 MAR 2018|
|2017||12.24||NWI||Kingston (JAM)||11 FEB 2017|
|2012||25.09||+1.4||Tempe, AZ (USA)||14 APR 2012|
|2013||55.38||San Diego, CA (USA)||29 MAR 2013|
|2012||55.44||Air Force Academy (USA)||12 MAY 2012|
|2010||1.75||Kingston (JAM)||13 FEB 2010|
|2009||1.70||Vieux-Fort (LCA)||10 APR 2009|
|2016||6.00||+1.1||Kingston (JAM)||27 FEB 2016|
|2015||6.63||+0.6||Kingston (JAM)||28 FEB 2015|
|2014||6.06||+0.5||San Diego, CA (USA)||04 APR 2014|
|2013||6.06||+1.7||Las Vegas (USA)||10 MAY 2013|
|2012||5.81||+1.6||Walnut (USA)||20 APR 2012|
|2011||5.75||-0.8||Fort Collins, CO (USA)||13 MAY 2011|
|2010||5.37||Kingston (JAM)||09 JAN 2010|
|2018||14.61||+0.8||London (GBR)||15 JUL 2018|
|2017||14.45||+0.2||Zagreb (CRO)||29 AUG 2017|
|2016||14.57||-1.1||Kingston (JAM)||02 APR 2016|
|2015||14.23||+1.3||San José (CRC)||07 AUG 2015|
|2014||14.00||+1.9||Eugene, OR (USA)||13 JUN 2014|
|2013||14.15||+1.8||Las Vegas (USA)||11 MAY 2013|
|2012||13.64||-0.4||Kingston (JAM)||01 JUL 2012|
|2011||12.90||0.0||Walnut (USA)||15 APR 2011|
|2010||12.29||-0.1||Kingston (JAM)||24 MAR 2010|
|2014||45.14||Laramie, WY (USA)||17 MAY 2014|
|2013||47.47||Las Vegas (USA)||11 MAY 2013|
|2012||47.71||Tempe, AZ (USA)||14 APR 2012|
|2011||46.05||La Jolla, CA (USA)||23 APR 2011|
|2014||3:47.47||Laramie, WY (USA)||17 MAY 2014|
|2013||3:35.41||Las Vegas (USA)||11 MAY 2013|
|2012||3:45.96||Air Force Academy (USA)||12 MAY 2012|
|2011/12||7.99||Air Force Academy (USA)||28 JAN 2012|
|2012/13||55.67||Nampa, ID (USA)||23 FEB 2013|
|2010/11||1.70||Albuquerque, NM (USA)||26 FEB 2011|
|2013/14||5.95||Air Force Academy (USA)||28 FEB 2014|
|2012/13||5.62||Albuquerque, NM (USA)||01 FEB 2013|
|2011/12||6.04||Nampa, ID (USA)||21 JAN 2012|
|2017/18||13.93||Birmingham (GBR)||03 MAR 2018|
|2015/16||13.95||Portland, OR (USA)||19 MAR 2016|
|2013/14||13.97||Albuquerque, NM (USA)||15 MAR 2014|
|2012/13||14.08||Albuquerque, NM (USA)||08 FEB 2013|
|2011/12||13.34||Albuquerque, NM (USA)||10 FEB 2012|
|2010/11||12.98||College Station (USA)||12 MAR 2011|
|2012/13||3:42.11||Nampa, ID (USA)||23 FEB 2013|
|8.||Triple Jump||14.13||+0.3||London (GBR)||07 AUG 2017|
|8.||Triple Jump||13.95||Portland, OR (USA)||19 MAR 2016|
|1.||Triple Jump||14.25||-0.9||Toronto (CAN)||12 AUG 2018|
|1.||Triple Jump||14.23||+1.3||San José (CRC)||07 AUG 2015|
|2.||Triple Jump||14.52||+1.0||Gold Coast (AUS)||10 APR 2018|
|4.||Triple Jump||13.85||+2.8||Glasgow (GBR)||29 JUL 2014|
|1.||Triple Jump||14.39||+0.6||Kingston (JAM)||24 JUN 2018|
|1.||Triple Jump||14.00||+1.9||Eugene, OR (USA)||13 JUN 2014|
|1.||Triple Jump||14.14||+1.9||Eugene, OR (USA)||07 JUN 2013|
|06 JAN 2018||Kingston Ted Dwyer Classic||JAM||F||F||1.||14.49||0.0|
|03 FEB 2018||Kingston Grace Puma Youngster Goldsmith||JAM||F||F||1.||14.37||+1.4|
|10 FEB 2018||Kingston King of the Ring||JAM||F||F||14.02||+0.9|
|10 FEB 2018||Kingston King of the Ring||JAM||F||F||1.||14.16||+2.2|
|10 MAR 2018||Kingston GC Foster Classis||JAM||F||F||1.||14.16||+1.5|
|10 APR 2018||Gold Coast Commonwealth Games||AUS||A||F||2.||14.52||+1.0|
|12 MAY 2018||Shanghai IAAF Diamond League||CHN||GW||F||2.||14.55||0.0|
|07 JUN 2018||Oslo Bislett Games||NOR||GW||F||4.||14.44||+1.8|
|09 JUN 2018||Kingston JN Racers Grand Prix||JAM||E||F||1.||14.39||+0.7|
|24 JUN 2018||Kingston Jamaican Ch.||JAM||B||F||1.||14.39||+0.6|
|30 JUN 2018||Paris Meeting||FRA||GW||F||5.||14.38||+1.5|
|15 JUL 2018||London Athletics World Cup||GBR||E||F||1.||14.61||+0.8|
|12 AUG 2018||Toronto NACAC Championships||CAN||GL||F||1.||14.25||-0.9|
|30 AUG 2018||Zürich Weltklasse||SUI||DF||F||2.||14.55||-0.8|
|03 MAR 2018||Birmingham IAAF World Indoor Championships||GBR||GW||F||10.||13.93|
Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.
Compiled 25 July 2016
Shanieka THOMAS, Jamaica (Triple Jump/Long Jump)
Born 2 February 1992
Coach: Kerry-Lee Ricketts (Jamaica)
Agent: Norman Peart
Shanieka Thomas is among the world's top ten triple jumpers for 2016, but she is far from where she thinks her talent is capable of taking her. She has already jumped 14.57 metres, but is confident that with technical improvements she will be able to do even better.
Thomas was born in Morant Bay, St. Thomas which is at the eastern end of the island and not known for producing many sporting stars. She showed early potential as a middle distance runner and was recruited to join Vere Technical High school, located in central Jamaica and which has produced a plethora of World and Olympic medallists.
But as an 11 year old she was too young to compete in the 800 and 1500 metres at the premier (10-18) competition, the ISSA Boys and Girl's Athletics Championships and so she was shifted to the high jump. She won the high jump for her age group (11-13) in 2005, her only gold medal at the prestigious event.
She never did go back to the middle distance though, contesting the high jump and "occasionally the long jump in 2006."
But by 2007, Vere, a perennial contender for the Girl's CHAMPS title, needed another triple jumper and Shanieka fit the bill.
"We had Kim (Kimberly Williams), she was doing really well, she always won, she had the record for years, so she was basically teaching me how to do the triple jump. My first track meet I jumped 11.77, so they saw potential so I just continued doing that and the high jump."
That potential also translated to the regional scene. She won her first regional title, Caribbean Free Trade Association, CARIFTA Games in 2008, leaping 11.83m to take triple jump gold.
She never competed at a World U18 or World U20 Championship but at the regional level her best results came in the triple.
However, she still was not convinced it was the event for her. "In high school I still loved high jump, I thought triple jump was just for fun and I approached it that way." But eventually she caved in to the idea.
"When I went to college, it was my second year when I started focusing solely on the triple jump, because I was improving drastically by a metre each year and it was less stressful on my body, because I had patellar tendonitis and for some reason it gave me more problems when I did the high jump."
Incidentally, it was while trying to treat her injury that she met her husband to be and now coach, Kerry-Lee Ricketts. "A teacher from Vere Technical asked me to come and see him at UWI because I had patellar tendinitis and she knew him as a physiotherapist, so she recommended me to come see him and see if he could work out what was wrong."
She admits he did a good job. He admits that he also tried to get her to remain in Jamaica, but she was set on jetting off to San Diego State University, where she won three NCAA Division one titles, two outdoors and one Indoors.
She admits however that winning even one NCAA title never crossed her mind when she entered the institution. "I went there jumping 12.36 metres, and the girls who were winning were jumping like 14m, so in my first year I just wanted to get to 13 metres so it seemed so far, to think about winning."
But under coach Carjay Lyles she continued to improve over the next two seasons; 13.64m in 2012 and 14.15m in 2013 when she won her first NCAA title. However, Lyles left San Diego for Missouri in 2014, when she worked with Shelia Burrell. She didn’t improve on distance that year, but she continued to perform well.
That year she won the NCAA Indoors and Outdoors and made her first senior Jamaican team, finishing fourth at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland; a creditable performance, but one she was far from pleased with. "I wanted to do better than fourth, because I jumped 13.85 and I felt like I could have jumped way better than that."
She might have done better had it not been for a hamstring injury she says hampered her for both the 2013 and 2014 seasons. "I still have some hamstring problems right now," she explained, emphasising her continuous struggle with the problem.
At the end of 2014 she had a tough decision to make. She had to decide whether to stay in the United States or return to Jamaica. Home, the land of wood and water, got the nod. “At first I thought about staying in the States and working with coach Carjay, but the thing is he left San Diego and was in Missouri, but Missouri is cold and I don’t do cold,” she said with a chuckle, so she decided to come back to Jamaica.
Her decision was probably made easier by the fact that she was coming home to her fiancé, who would also be charged with the responsibility of coaching her. She remained adamant though that her decision to come back was based more on his expertise as a coach rather than the fact that she was in love. “We have some good field events coaches, but they don’t get as much talent to work with, so it’s difficult to show that yes, I am a good coach, if I am not getting talent to work with.”
She referenced Julian Robinson, coach of 2011 IAAF World U18 and 2012 World U20 discus throw champion Fedrick Dacres and her coach, who she said was doing a great job with her, as examples.
So far it seems she made a very good decision. In her first year back, Ricketts guided her to the World Championship final in 2015. This followed a gold medal performance at the NACAC Championship in San José, Costa Rica.
Things got even better in 2016. She leapt 14.57 metres in April – a world leading mark at the time –and also registered her first top three finish at a Diamond League when she ended third in Rome in June.
She has also qualified for her first Olympic Games after a second place finish at the Jamaican Championship.
Despite all those accomplishments on the track, the thing that gave her most joy was her marriage to coach Ricketts. Their wedding came in June. Yes June, in the middle of the track and field season.
“We originally planned for December 17 2015, but only his mom and dad live here and we were trying to get as many family members as possible, but a lot of people couldn’t get off work and some of the kids wouldn’t be able to leave, so we had to find a date that would work best for everybody and it just happened to be June 18,” she explained with a broad grin on her face.
Her husband and coach admitted that there are challenges with the husband-coach-athlete relationship. “There are times when I have to make her know this is not the husband part, this is the coach part and there are times when I don’t know when to shut down from being a coach and it’s probably a relaxed mood and she doesn’t want to hear about triple jump all the time, but apart from that we always work things out.”
Now with the knot tied and her ticket to Rio booked, the focus is on raising her level and becoming the first Jamaican to land an Olympic triple jump medal.
“For this year I am trying to get to 15 metres, I think I – no, I know I will get to it at the Olympics, if I execute everything that I have been working on and get the extension,” a deficiency in her landing phase she thinks is holding her back from much bigger jumps.
Shanieka loves cooking. Her favourite meal is stew peas and rice, which she said she cooks very well and her husband concurred. She said she could cook you grass and you would eat it.
She is also a big fan of sitcoms, as is her husband so they will have little problem with television time.
Eugene Oregon is her favourite place to compete. That shouldn’t be surprising because she won her two outdoor NCAA titles there. She said the vibe there is special as “it doesn’t matter who is competing they still cheer.”
400m- 55.38 (2013)
High Jump- 1.75m (2010)
Long Jump- 6.63m (2015)
Triple Jump- 14.57m (2016)
High Jump: 2007- 1.71; 2008- -; 2009- -; 2010-1.75
Long Jump: 2013- 6.28w; 2014- 6.06; 2015- 6.63; 2016- 6.00
Triple Jump: 2008- 11.83; 2009- -; 2010- -; 2011- 12,90; 2012- 13.64; 2013- 14.15; 2014- 14.00; 2015-14.23A; 2016- 14.57
2007 4th CARIFTA Games (U17) (Providenciales) (high jump) 1.71
2008 1st CARIFTA Games (U17) (Basseterre) 11.83
2009 1st CARIFTA Games (U20) (Vieux Fort) (high jump) 1.70
2011 9th NCAA Indoor Championships (College Station) 12.98
2012 7th NCAA Indoor Championships (Nampa) 12.99
2012 2nd NCAA Championships (Des Moines) 13.96w
2012 4th Jamaican Championships (Kingston) 13.64
2013 2nd NCAA Indoor Championships (Fayetteville) 13.82
2013 1st NCAA Championship (Eugene) 14.14
2013 3rd Jamaican Championships (Kingston) 13.97
2013 6th World University Games (Kazan) 13.53
2014 1st NCAA Indoor Championship (Albuquerque) 13.97A
2014 1st NCAA Championship (Eugene) 14.00
2014 2nd Jamaican Championships (Kingston) 13.54
2014 4th Commonwealth Games (Glasgow) 13.85w
2015 2nd Jamaican Championships (Kingston) 13.69
2015 9th Pan American Games (Toronto) 13.74w
2015 1st NACAC Championship (San José) 14.23A
2015 11th World Championship (Beijing) 14.08
2016 2nd Jamaican Championships (Kingston) 14.44
Prepared by Ricardo Chambers for the IAAF “Focus on Athletes Project.” Copyright IAAF 2016