Having won bronze and silver medals, respectively, at his previous two ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships, Jamaica College (JC) long jumper Uroy Ryan has set his sights squarely on securing gold in today's final of the event.
Ryan, 19, who is the leading junior long-jumper this season, entering with a mark of 7.28 metres, eclipsed that in the preliminary round of the competition on Tuesday with a new season's best 7.35m.
In fact, Ryan's mark is the leading jump going into today's final of the highly anticipated final.
The St Vincent and Grenadines-born athlete told the Jamaica Observer that he is determined to take home the gold medal this year because he has worked hard in his preparations.
"The possibilities are very high, and once executed properly on the day, then I know that I will win the gold medal," said Ryan.
"My confidence is very high because I have trained very hard for this and my preparation was good and it was an injury-free season for me, and so I must thank God for that," he added.
Ryan added: "Winning this event would mean a lot to me because coming up in my first year in Class One, I finished third, and last year I finished second behind Jaydon Hibbert, so winning this year will mean a lot to me," Ryan said.
Ryan, who is the favourite for the event, is expected to receive strong competition from Calabar's Aldaine Angus (7.20m), and Demario Prince from St Jago who has the third-best jump of 7.13m from the preliminary round going into today's final.
The lanky Ryan shared that he is expecting tough competition from and he is expecting a very exciting final.
He also pointed out that he is expecting the boys' segment of Champs to be very close this year, and so winning the final will give his school nine massive points on the board.
"I really don't focus on my competitors because I am just focusing on myself and what I need to do to win the gold medal," he said. "But there are some good jumpers in the final and so it should be a really exciting final for all to see.
"However, there is no pressure on me at all because this is what I enjoy doing and, therefore, I am just going to go out and do my best for my school. We also want to win the Boys' Champs and so I really want to win this event to put some early points on the board for my school," Ryan said.
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