Jones prepping for World Championships

Updated: November 9, 2004, 9:21 PM ET
Reuters

SALVO, North Carolina -- Former triple Olympic champion Marion Jones's training for next season is going "quite well", her new coach said on Tuesday.

"Whatever you saw last year, put it out of your mind," Steve Riddick told Reuters in a telephone interview from his Norfolk, Virginia, office.

"We're preparing for the world championships and we are training quite well," Riddick said. "We have had some great training sessions. People are going to enjoy it when they see her compete."

The 29-year-old Jones had her worst season as a professional in 2004, failing to win a medal at the Athens Olympics after claiming three golds and two bronzes at the 2000 Sydney Games.

She joined her partner, 100 meters world record holder Tim Montgomery, in Riddick's camp in mid-October.

Montgomery returned to Riddick, his former college coach, last May. Both previously worked with Dan Pfaff in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area.

The couple still lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and train in Norfolk six days a week.

"The work we are doing, she will be able to run exactly what [event] she wants to run," said Riddick, who coached Bahamian Tonique Williams-Darling to the Athens Olympics 400 gold medal.

Riddick said he believed childbirth -- Jones had a son with Montgomery in 2003 -- slowed Jones last season.

"If you give life, some of yours has got to go away," Riddick said. "Some portion of the body has to deteriorate. So the abdominal and pelvic area have got to be developed [again]. So she has to work twice as hard to get where she wants to go."

Riddick was, however, confident Jones would re-emerge as a top sprinter.

"There is a basic academic way of sprinting, which is power plus strength equals speed," Riddick said.

"If you work on power and you work on strength, speed is going to be a natural thing, and she has natural speed. So we will work on mechanics, power and strength."

Riddick would not say whether Jones plans to run indoors this winter.

"She's getting in shape for sure," Riddick said, "And I'm sure she'll come out publicly and say she is going to run indoors, but I wouldn't want to be the one (to say that) because I am not a spokesman for her."

Jones' manager, Charles Wells, said last week he expected Jones to run several times indoors but no meets had been finalised.

Riddick said training also was going well for Montgomery, who awaits a hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on doping charges brought by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

"He is in an excellent frame of mind," Riddick said. "The way he is training right now, they [other top sprinters] are going to have their hands full with him."

Jones also is under scrutiny by USADA but has not been charged. Neither she nor Montgomery have ever failed a doping test.