Malone Leaps To BVI’s 1st Pan Am Games Medal In 36 Years

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Long Jumper Chantel Malone sails through the air, en route to capturing the BVI’s first Pan Am Games medal in 36 years, last night in Lima Peru PHOTO: Todd VanSickle

Chantel Malone, in winners row, center, is joined on the podium by the USA’s Kethurah Ojiri, left, silver medalist and Jamaica’s Tissanna Hickling, who earned bronze  PHOTO: Todd VanSickle

Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
BVI Pan Am Games Media Contact
LIMA, Peru—Four years after a medal slipped from her grasp in the final round of
competition in Toronto, Long Jumper Chantel Malone buried the field on her first
attempt, to win the BVI’s first Pan Am Games medal in its 36-year history, on the
opening day of track and field in Estadio Nacional, in Lima, Peru.
Malone, No 14 on the 2019 IAAF list and the No 3 listed jumper in the Americas, sailed
through the chilled air, then cut the sand at 6.68m (21’11”), a mark none of her 13
pursuers would surpass.
The USA’s Keturah Orji would come closest at 6.66m for silver while Jamaica’s Tissanna
Hickling earned bronze with 6.59m.
“This is amazing,” Malone said. “We know how the season started with a great bang and
then I hand an injury, been up and down, with performances and trying to figure things
out. And, to come here and come out with the gold, that means everything to me.”
She said after her opening jump, in her mind she wanted to go further but as it got
colder and colder—with temperatures dipping to 59 degrees—it became harder.
Malone explained that her thought process heading into the competition was not to
focus on what happened in the past nor anyone else.
“Coach and I were talking and he said ‘you need to be a Dog from the get go and let
people chase you and you don’t chase them,’” she pointed out. “Normally, I would do
good as I progress, but honestly, I just went out there, trusted the process and tried to
execute and that’s the result that came.”
Malone said she’s happy with her performance which she hopes will inspire other young
athletes.
“Winning gold is a big deal,” she said. “It lets the world know that the BVI is there. We’re
small, but we have a lot of talent and I’m just happy to be an ambassador for my
country.”
After jumping a world leading 6.90m at the time then getting a hamstring injury, her
coach, Olympic and World Championships gold medalist Dwight Phillips, said he was
grateful Malone was able to come out victorious. He said they had been working on
hitting the World Championships standard of 6.75m on the first jump an improvement
she has been making.
“The conditions were quite cold, not the best conditions, but she has been able to come
out victorious,” said Phillip, an Olympic champion Long Jumper and four times IAAF
World champion.
“I have my first medalist in the Pan Am Games and I’m grateful for that,” he said. “It’s
more rewarding coaching someone to a gold than actually winning the gold medal
myself.”
BVI Olympic Committee President Ephraim Penn, said he knew that BVI has the caliber
of athletes to win a Pan Am title, but didn’t know who’d do it first.
“Chantel came through in flying colors,” he said. “Looks like every time we win our first
medal, it has to be a gold,” he said referring to the Central American and
Commonwealth Games. “I know everyone at home is proud of this moment—this is a
special moment for the BVI. We’re making major breakthroughs after our first
Commonwealth and Pan Am Games medals and next year, maybe the first Olympic
medal.”
Laser Sailing
Thad Lettsome got in two more Laser races in Paracas yesterday and continues today.
He’s currently 19 th overall in the fleet.
NOTE: Radio reports on CBN 90.9 FM, with Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway, are aired
9.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., through Sunday, with a 9 a.m. wrap up on Monday.

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