Wolmer’s’ Smith revels in 200m gold medal win
JONIELLE Smith of Wolmer's Girls ran a blistering curve in the Class One 200-metre dash to take the gold medal against a strong field on the final day of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys's and Girls' Athletics Championships at the National Stadium yesterday.
Smith, running out of lane four, was fourth in the race at one point, but came off the curve in front and began to step away from her rivals to win in a time of 23.45 seconds. Saqukine Cameron of Edwin Allen, who was favoured to win the event, was second in a time of 23.58, with Sashalee Forbes (23.65 seconds) of Holmwood Technical taking the bronze.
The 18-year-old Smith, after finishing second with a new personal best of 11.32 in the 100-metre finals on Friday, outlined that she was happy with the race though she didn't win.
"I am elated and really great right now to finish second in a race like this with such tough competition... there is nothing more I can ask for. That was my best start for the season, I just have to keep on trying, stay healthy and there are more great things to come in the future," she told the Sunday Observer.
The first-year Class One athlete, who took the sprint double in Class Two last year, said her next step will be the CARIFTA Games.
"I thought that was the best curve I have ever run in a final in three years and I am really happy. I still think there is work to be done. I want to go to the World Juniors and do better, but that is nothing that cannot be fixed."
She also expressed that she wanted to run a personal best in the 200-metre final, and although failing to do so, she was happy she won and dedicated the race to her teammate Shauna Helps, who had earlier false-started out of her Class Two event.
"I am feeling great although my teammate false-started. I saw her before the race and she came over and hugged me and I told her that this win would be for her, so I just went out there and did what I had to," Smith explained.
Michael Carr, who coaches both Helps and Smith, says he is elated about the victory, but is also saddened about the unfortunate disqualification.