Young Calabar high jumper Jovan Swaby was asked to fill a void left by his captain Demar Robinson who only a few day before, was ruled ineligible for ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships.
Swaby, the second string jumper in Class One, was suddenly the main man for the green-and-black bearers from Red Hills Road, and who delivered despite competing with a broken wrist.
When Calabar captain Robinson was ruled ineligible Calabar looked down and out, as the experts had predicted that they would win the championship by a meager three points. Robinson was expected to deliver at least 14 points on a platter being the defending champion in the high jump, and he was expected to garner at least six points in the triple jump.
The weight of the Class One high jump dropped on the shoulder of the youngster and days before championship he broke his wrist in a Physical Education class.
But despite the cast on his left hand, Swaby stepped up to the plate showing a lot of bravery as he competed through the pain barrier of the fracture in search of crucial points for his school.
When the Jamaica Observer spoke with him during the early rounds, he had just cleared 2.00m and hobbled into the final.
"I am all right," he said bravely. "I can medal this year," as he struggles a bit to put on his sweat gear using one hand.
When quizzed as to the expectations from his school in replacing a key member, Swaby was just full of confidence.
"One man can't make Calabar win Champs, so I am just giving Calabar one more chance to win Champs and I want to go out there and win," said Swaby.
As for the pressure and pain he had to endure, Swaby shook his head. "A little, but nothing major. I just have to face the pain and go out there and do my best," he noted. Robinson himself was at the jumping area giving instructions and encouraging his schoolmate. But whether or not he would have won at that point, mattered not. Swaby was already considered a champion in his own right for his selfless and courageous effort.
The lanky youngster defied the odds and the imbalance from the injury and went on to capture the silver medal after placing second with a height of 2.08m and secured seven crucial points for his school.
He was only defeated by one exceptional jumper in the name of Christoffe Bryan of Wolmer's Boys who leapt an amazing 2.19m to break the 18-year-old record of 2.15m set by Enrico Gordon of Wolmer's in 1995.
With Calabar amassing 299 points to win by 41, Swaby's effort might not seems so great but to compete through the pain barrier for a cause, is worthy of special mention.