BIRMINGHAM, England — Judo competitor Ebony Drysdale-Daley says she feels a sense of privilege after carving her name in Commonwealth Games history, becoming the first Jamaican to make the podium in her discipline, following last night's silver medal-winning performance in the women's 70kg category at Coventry Arena.
Drysdale-Daley fell to Australia's Aoife Coughlan, who won by ippon in the final with the Jamaican surrendering three penalties during the six-and-a-half-minute match.
With her mother in the stands watching her for the first time since she was a child, the 27-year-old British-bred Jamaican said she was desperate to secure the gold medal but is hoping that her accomplishment will not only help to raise awareness about the martial arts discipline and also promote the use of the craft in daily life.
"It's a bit bittersweet because I wanted to give Jamaica everything, as in the first medal but also that cherry on the top, the pinnacle of being the first Commonwealth Games champion for judo and, unfortunately, that just didn't happen," Drysdale-Daley told the Jamaica Observer.
"But I'm pleased for all the energy and support from everyone; it really made me feel good but on the flip side [I didn't win that title] and you don't have a title for silver.
"I feel like it's a privilege and it can spur me on to get to where I want to get in my career but outside of that, in the greater good, I actually want to make it be something to put the stamp on the sports so we can have more Jamaican athletes for judo, to go further, to get more records and to create that pathway. That is the important thing for me. I need that pathway, back home in Jamaica," said Drysdale-Daley, who shared that winning the medal with her family in the stands added an extra touch of a fairy-tale feeling to the occasion.
"My mom came, someone who hasn't been to my judo competition since I was a child, so she's never been to any of my serious tournaments, so that was a great thing. My uncle has never come and seen me before; my aunties, and even some of my siblings as well. It was quite a shock and just really heartfelt," she said.
Drysdale-Daley highlighted a day that saw Jamaica's track and field athletes begin their competition at Alexander Stadium, where Elaine Thompson-Herah led the way as almost all of the athletes progressed in their events.
Drysdale-Daley had earlier beaten England's Kelly Petersen-Pollard and Northern Ireland's Rachael Hawkes.
Jamaica's competitor in the 63kg category, Lauren Semple, got by Bahamas' Cynthia Rahming, but lost to Audrey Etous Biock of Cameroon and Katharina Haecker from Australia in the bronze-medal match in her category.
In netball, Jamaica's Sunshine Girls remained perfect and geared up for today's table-topping match against Australia, with a solid 78-34 win over Scotland at the NEC Arena.
Jhaniele Fowlers scored 37 goals from 37 attempts while Shimona Nelson added 33 from 35 with goalkeeper Shamera Sterling's five interceptions and mid-court player Adean Thomas' 18 assists also contributing significantly to the Jamaicans' victory.
In squash, Julian Morrison fell 3-0 (7-11, 8-11, 9-11) to Zambia's Kundanji Kalengo in their Men's Singles Plate semi-final at the University of Birmingham squash courts.
Chloe Whylie finished eighth in the women's 76kg final in weightlifting, lifting 81kg in the snatch and 95kg in clean and jerk. In the women's 87kg final, Yvgeni Henderson, managed 73kg in the scratch and 90kg in the clean and jerk to close out in tenth place.
Meanwhile, Robert Simpson fell 21-9 in lawn bowl men's singles sectional play action while boxer Daniel Hylton also found the going tough in his round of 16 welterweight KO loss to Scotland's Tyler Jolly.
In swimming, Nathaniel Thomas won his men's 50m freestyle heat in 23.89 seconds while Sidrell Williams, 23.94 finished seventh in his heat.