Cool Bernard shatters field in Class Three high jump

Sport

Cool Bernard shatters field in Class Three high jump

Saturday, March 24, 2018

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Their track and field programme maybe in a rebuilding phase and they may not be a threat for the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships title, but Campion College possesses some quality individuals and young Derrick Bernard is one of those so blessed.

The 13-year-old Bernard proved just that when he created a massive upset to claim the Boys' Class Three high jump title at the National Stadium on Thursday.

Bernard cleared the bar at a new personal best of 1.80 metres to topple his more-fancied rivals in the Kingston College pair of Blaine Byam and Christopher Seaton — heavy favourites for the gold medal.

Both Byam, who ended sixth place last year, and Seaton cleared the bar at 1.75m and failed in their attempts to clear 1.80m.

Byam came into the contest with a seeded height of 1.80m and Seaton with a height of 1.82.

But none could match the feat of the lanky Bernard, who came into the event as the heavy underdog as he was nowhere to be found in the expert predictions.

That may have worked in his favour as he maintained his focus with very little pressure and was the only one roaring at the end of the event.

“I came in knowing that I wasn't expected, to be in the medal so I was cool, calm and collected and executed, just like my coach said. I went out their with a winning mindset and also to get a personal best, which I did — and I just want to extend gratitude to my coach and my parents for supporting me,” Bernard told the Jamaica Observer shortly after his victory.

“I am really happy because many didn't expect me to medal, better yet win, but I knew I had it in me... I felt it before the start of the event, and after putting in the hard work in training it's great to come out as a champion,” he added.

And with the taste of victory being so sweet for the final-year Class Three athlete, Bernard now heads back to the training pitch with his sights set on repeating the feat in Class Two.

“I have been improving in training and it has shown here. It feels good to get a medal for the school and I feel proud, having represented them well. Next year Class Two I am hoping to win again and possibly go for the record, God's willing,” Bernard ended.


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