'We planned for the one-two-three,' says Day

Thursday, July 31, 2014    

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GLASGOW, Scotland — Jamaica's historic 1-2-3 in the women's Commonwealth Games 400m final at Hampden Park on Tuesday seemed as easy as A-B-C for the medal winners themselves.

A sweep at this level is rare, but the Jamaican trio of Stephenie McPherson (gold), Novlene Williams-Mills (silver) and Christine Day (bronze) seemed unfazed by it.

At post-race interview, they were cool, calm and collected. Their posture suggested they expected it to go exactly as it turned out. Perhaps not in the order it did, but certainly they had dreamt gold, silver, and bronze for Jamaica.

Day confirmed it: "Before we came out here, we planned for the one-two-three."

The veteran of the trio and whose life story is a triumph of the human spirit, Williams-Mills hungered for the gold, but she graciously applauded the younger runners for their success, and revelled in hers.

"Yes, I am a little bit disappointed, but I am very happy for Christine and I am happy for Stephenie and we came out here and put on a good show," said the 31-year-old, stooping while she spoke with Jamaican journalists.

The silver for Williams-Mills, a cancer survivor, was an upgrade from the bronze she won in Melbourne, Australia, in 2006.

Gold medal winner, McPherson, 25, said she simply carried out her coach's instructions, and the victory was the end result.

"I came here with my coach's instructions and went through the rounds as best I could. It's a good place to win my first (senior gold medal) as the Great Britain girl, Christine Ohuruogu, won her first medal here, so hopefully I can follow in her footsteps," said the 2014 World Indoor Championships silver medallist.

But as her teammates swept ahead of her and defending Commonwealth champion Amantle Montsho was moving up on her outside, Day needed something extra. And she found it.

"I realised I wasn't in the medal position, so I just kept swinging and I just have to thank God that I pulled through," said the London 2012 4x400m bronze medallist.

Day, 27, has a message for young athletes. "Don't matter the obstacles in the way, you shouldn't give up, just keep fighting and work towards your dream." She should know the value of that message.

Now the historic trio looks to the 4x400m, and the prospect for gold is very good. So, maybe after all, Williams-Mills will get her elusive Commonwealth Games gold medal.

In sweeping the race on Tuesday night, McPherson clocked 50.67secs, Williams-Mills 50.86secs, and Day 51.09secs.

-- Sean Williams





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