- Written by The BVI Beacon
- Published: 16 August 2013
Long jumper Chantel Malone was the first of a record three Virgin Islands athletes — all female —to compete in the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow, Russia on Aug. 10.
Ms. Malone — in her second successive championships — had a third round leap of 6.40 metres for the best jump of her series, but did not make the 12 advancing to the final. She recorded a season’s best of 6.65 metres to qualify for the championships, which improved her previous best and national record of 6.56 metres.
Ms. Malone said she had a good warm up, but had to adjust her steps and on her first jump.
“I couldn’t get to the board and that set me up to be on top of the jump and I didn’t get where I wanted to go,” she said.
On her second attempt, Ms. Malone was able to get on the board, but didn’t have the quick ending she wanted. She wasn’t on top of herself as she wanted to be, but the mark was better.
Her last attempt mirrored the first. Officials took up her starting indicator tape so she was unable to return to the spot.
“I tried to do everything I had prepared to do, but I don’t know why, it just didn’t happen,” Ms. Malone said.
Comparing Moscow 2013 with Daegu 2011 — her first World Championships — she considered this her first one because just before departing for Daegu, she badly sprained her ankle and had to have daily acupuncture treatment to compete.
“I felt really confident coming into this world championships. My practices were great. I’d never been as mentally prepared or physically prepared, but, it just didn’t happen at this time,” she said. “I have to believe that everything that happened at this time, happened for a reason. I’ll be back for world indoors and I plan to be a factor.”
Six of the top 12 marks that advanced to finals were within her reach, including the winner United States Britney Reese’s 6.57-mete leap and Shara Proctor of Anguilla, who now competes for England. Ms. Malone’s 6.40-metre mark was 21st of the 31 competitors.
“And that is what was the frustrating part, because, I’ve done half approaches or 10 step approaches over 21 feet,” Ms. Malone. “It’s just annoying knowing that it’s within you, it just didn’t come out when you wanted it to. So, I just have to go back and work, and work and be more consistent and that’s the plan going into next year.”
Ms. Malone, a 2010 IAAF World Jr. Championships long jump and 400-metre finalist, feels this year has been the most consistent in her long jumping career.
“Even though some of the marks at meets weren’t as far as I wanted them to be, it wasn’t because I wasn’t up to par. At some meets, I had two legal jumps and the rest were fouls,” she said. “I think once I get that rhythm back and mastering the run, I’ll be fine. It was unfortunate that I didn’t get to do what I knew I was capable of doing, but every athlete has those days — even Britney Reese’s jump was no where near her best,”
“Unfortunately, mine didn’t advance me, but it’s a lesson that I have to accept and grow from it,” she added.
Veteran Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, who has competed in previous championships in 2005, 2007 and 2009, was sixth in her 100 metre heat. She recorded a non advancing time of 11.61 seconds.
Ms. Harrigan-Scott, a 2009 semifinalist, has been struggling with a injury since running 11.33 seconds to qualify for the Moscow event. It was her fastest time since the injury after running 11.65 seconds in Sweden, before the championships.
“I felt that I was ready to run faster, at least in the 11.2-11.3 range, but the start was awful and my reaction was poor,” she said. “I kind of relaxed in the blocks when he said ‘set’ which caused me to have a delayed reaction and took away the strong side of my race and it went downhill from there.”
Ms. Harrigan-Scott came to Europe on a training camp to work on the things that had been lacking since the injury, in terms of preparations and race mechanics, while acclimatising to the eight-hour time difference.
“We noticed that the starts were really good but the end was a bit of a problem, so, on this trip, we were trying to work on the end, but for some strange reason, the start didn’t come at all,” she said. “The season is over, but practices aren’t over.”
When she ran 11.33 seconds earlier in the season, Ms. Harrigan-Scott said it was a great indicator of where she was in her training that had seen her running 23.37 seconds twice — her fastest 200 metres since 2006 and a personal best of 55.33 seconds in the 400 metres.
“I was planning on going sub 11 this year, to tell the truth,” the territory’s double-sprint record holder said. “My rhythm was finally coming back, my first couple races was seeing what I had to work on and fine tuning different aspects. So, the 11.33 in that meet — considering it was raining and it was cold — I knew I was going to run a great time this year and get a personal best. Now when I got injured, a lot of the mental aspects came into play. It was not a positive as you wanted as you went through the cycle of training really well, training hard, doing everything you are supposed to do, but, something tends to happen. It’s the nature of track and field, and you always have to bounce back. It’s not always as easy as you want it to be, but next year is another year.”
Karene King rounded out the field of athletes who made her championships debut in the 200 metre at 2:55 a.m. VI time today.