Jenna Prandini carries motivation to Tokyo from neighbour - world record hurdler Keni Harrison

Prandini and Harrison live side-by-side, even cutting a path through their fence to share meals. And the California native has her eye set on the podium for the 200m.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

If you're Jenna Prandini and you need something quick, who do you call?

Next door neighbor Kendra 'Keni' Harrison - the world record holder in the 100m hurdles.

Prandini, who is competing in both the 100m and 200m at Tokyo 2020, moved to Austin three years ago to train with coach Edrick "Flo" Floréal and Harrison, among others.

When the house next to Harrison went up for sale, Prandini thought, 'Why not?'

"Me and Keni are best friends," Prandini told in an exclusive interview. "So to be able to have her as a next door neighbor and a training partner is really cool. It's the perfect scenario, like the perfect setup. To be able to have her not only to train with, but to hang out with after practice, it's really cool and makes everything that I feel even more fun."

Prandini will compete in Saturday's women's 100m alongside another fellow training mate in Teahna Daniels, as well as Javianne Oliver, though Prandini's stronger event is the 200m.

She was added onto the 100m after Sha'Carri Richardson positive test for marijuana after last month's U.S. Olympic trials.

"It was tough," Prandini said of Richardson's positive test. "No one wanted to be in that situation. "But (for me), to be able to go represent the U.S. at the Olympics, it's the kind of opportunity that I would never say no to."

Prandini: 'My family is my backbone'

The women's 200m begins on Monday (2 Aug.), while Prandini could also run in the 4x100m relay for the U.S., which is set to start on Thurs. (5 Aug.).

While she is ranked No.19 in the world in the 100m, Prandini shines in the 200m, having taken second at the event at U.S. Trials, and made the semi-finals of that event at Rio 2016. She'll take lessons learned from five years ago onto the track in Tokyo.

"I felt like I left a lot on the table and I didn't perform how I wanted to," Prandini said of 2016.

"It made me hungry throughout the past five years now, with my training, to try to get better and grow as an athlete and be able to get to Tokyo and perform how I want to." - Jenna Prandini on Rio 2016

When she's in Tokyo she'll have a whole slew of support from her family and friends back home in Clovis, California, a small town near Fresno. Her former elementary school celebrated her, there are signs hung around town, and her family - loud and proud - are holding watch parties.

"It's a very tight knit community and they're very supportive," Prandini said of Clovis. "They've kind of followed me through [college at] Oregon and now as a professional and they've always been my support system.

"My family is my backbone of who I am as a person and an athlete. I'm always forever thankful for that."

Podium goals - in the 200m for Prandini

While the 100m was added to her programme, the 200m is her focus. The goal? The podium.

"I think if you don't go into the race wanting to win the race, you're already shooting yourself in the foot," she said. "So I want to come home, have big goals for myself. Obviously, I want to win gold if I can. And that's what we've been training to do. But yeah, I definitely want to come home for sure with some hardware in my bag."

While she's ranked No.13 in the world in the 200m, her 21.89 Olympic trials time will be right in the mix with the top in the world - including U.S. champ Gabby Thomas, who edged out Prandini in Eugene, Ore.

While the pressure is immense in Tokyo, the lead-up was simple: Training in Austin and neighborly dinners with Keni. Who cooks? Usually that was Jenna.

"Right when I moved in, we had a piece of the fence cut down so that we could just walk back and forth in the backyard, to each other's house. It's been really cool. We literally live directly next door to each other."

"I couldn't ask for a better setup."

With Harrison going for gold in the 100m hurdles, sharing the Olympic experience with a close friend and neighbor is something Prandini thinks has helped both of them - no matter the outcome.

"I think our friendship just takes the pressure off," she said. "When we're together, we're just us, we're just human, like we're just hanging out. We regulate things, but we're also in the same situation when it comes to our careers and stuff.

"We know when to turn it on and off. And so when we're at practice, we're all for focus and intensity. But when we're at home, we're very chilled and relaxed." - Prandini on friendship with neighbour Keni Harrison