Coach says two-time jump champion Phillip lived up to expectations
Kingston College's Amani Phillip in action in the Class Three long jump. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

Jeremy Delisser, coach of Kingston College's (KC) freshly minted Class Three high jump and long jump champion Amani Phillip, believes that his young charge has a very bright future in the sport once he remains healthy and focused.

The 14-year-old Phillip produced a scintillating display on Friday to capture his second gold medal at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships when he won the long jump event with a mark of 6.53 metres at the National Stadium.

Excelsior's Michael Graham won silver when he cut the sand at 6.33m, while Calabar's Richard Green took bronze with a leap of 6.25m.

Delisser told the Jamaica Observer that he is not surprised by Phillip's performances in both events because he has shown he has a lot of quality and he is definitely someone who works very hard in training.

"He is very talented and so I am not really shocked that he won both events at this championships for us," said Delisser. "He is definitely one for the future in the long jump but for high jump he still has a long way to go. But, he is someone that we can look to in the future."

Delisser added: "He is at a good place but there are definitely areas that we want to see him improve [on] and gradually [make] progress [in]. It is also for him to mature and to understand what he is doing, and develop both physically and mentally."

Delisser shared that the young Phillip had to come through a lot of challenges in the championships as both events were held a day apart, and so he had to be mentally and physically prepared to compete.

"He was confident because he held his nerves. It wasn't easy because the competitions were back-to-back days, but he went out and put on a showing for us," he said.

"His parents were also here and so he wanted to make them proud — and he went out and did that so we are happy for him."

Phillip's victories have earned KC, who are defending champions, 18 massive points in their quest to retain their title. The veteran coach underlined that Phillip's double-gold performances will certainly be huge for the North Street-based institution.

"I think that it is excellent for us because if you can get 18 points any day, then you have to take it because these are massive points for us on the board in the point standings at this championships," Delisser said.

Robert Bailey

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