By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Chantel Malone finished 10th in Group B and 21st overall of the 34 Long Jumpers in the qualifying rounds of the 15th IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China on Thursday, to warp up Virgin Islands athletes competition. She did not qualify for the final, in which Anguilla’s Shara Proctor—competing for Great Britain—won the silver medal. Proctor was a regular competition in the BVI during the Leeward Islands Jr. Championships and has family here.
Malone had a best leap of 6.46m on the second of three attempts and finished three places ahead the USA’s Britney Reese, who won the last two editions of the event in South Korea and Russia respectively.
“It felt pretty good on the run through but the first jump was a little flat,” she recapped of her 6.22m measurement. “I tried to bring the speed in the second jump and I think the speed helped with the 6.46 and I just tried to keep that momentum going, but I dropped my foot on the last jump.”
Malone said there was no difference between her last two outings where she established a personal best of 6.69m at the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Championships, after a 6.62 mark in the Pan Am Games.
“There were just some things that didn’t come together today that happened in the last meet,” she explained. “It’s not a matter of there being a difference. Today, I was a little flat and it didn’t end up the way I wanted it to.”
Malone was happy with her season in which she improved her three-year old BVI National Record of 6.65m to 6.69. She said the she started off a little slow but caught herself. “You always have to be happy for being able to do what you do, so I’m pleased,” she said. “This has been a good experience. I think this is one of the first years I didn’t come in hurt or anything like that and I was really excited and ready to compete. And I still was, but it didn’t happen in the jump. I didn’t get the mark I expected, but I still had a good time competing. I liked the accommodations and the atmosphere of the place.”
With the 2015 season behind, Malone said her goal is now to make it to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. “Whatever that entails,” she said. “It’s every athlete’s dream to go to the Olympics. That’s the ultimate goal for me really.”