A proud Jamaican - Mayhew satisfied following history-making Youth Olympics bobsled run
Jamaican youngster Daniel Mayhew says he is extremely proud following his 13th-place finish in the Monobob competition at the Winter Youth Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway yesterday.
The 17-year-old, who is the first Jamaican participant at the Winter Youth Olympic Games, registered times of 58.85 and 58.62 seconds in his two runs for a combined time of 1:57.47 which placed him 13th in the 15-man field taking part in the event.
The gold medal was won by Germany's Jonas Jannusch, who recorded a time of 1:54.29, with the silver medal going to Russia's Maksim Ivanov, 1:54.22, Norway's Kristian Olsen (1:54.53) took the bronze medal.
Speaking to The Sunday Gleaner shortly after his run yesterday, Mayhew, who was remarkably only introduced to the bobsleigh event just under a year ago, said he would have loved to finish in the top three, but is very proud to have represented his country so well and against the odds.
"I am a little sad that I didn't get a medal, but I really feel good in myself and proud that I was able to come here and compete at the Youth Olympics and make everyone proud," said Mayhew.
"Overall, I am satisfied with my performance here. I have gained a lot of experience now, and I hope that I can continue with bobsled along with the other things that I want to do," added the aspiring pilot.
Mayhew, a student of Charlemont High in St Catherine, had a decent push-off in his first run, registering a start time of 5.67 seconds. He was solid throughout, even if he did not generate the speeds he would have liked, topping off at 106.2 km/h (the slowest among the competitors) and having a brush with Turn 13 before crossing the line in 58.85 seconds. This was 1.92 seconds slower than Ivanov, who was the leader at that stage of the competition.
His second run was slightly better as he again got a good push-off time 5.67 seconds (10th best) and improved his top speed to 107.5 km/h to end the course in 58.62 seconds.
"I know I can do better I have done better before, so I know I can. So, hopefully, I can continue in the sport and improve and always represent my country and make everyone proud," Mayhew added.
The Jamaican has been a hit with the crowd and the international media in Norway since his arrival and it was no different on the course yesterday.
"I am glad that I got the opportunity to compete here. I received a lot of support from everyone here. Everyone was cheering for me and it was an extraordinary feeling. I think it was a factor which helped me to get my fastest push time," he shared.
"The competition was close, especially for the top guys. It was good for me. I did my best push time today, so it was a good feeling that I improved that. My overall track time wasn't a personal best or the best that I could have done, but it was enough to cross the finish line and finish 13th, so I am satisfied," Mayhew said.
His coach, Harry Nelson, is the man behind his development from a teenager who had little interest in competing in sport, to one of the best young Monobob athletes on the planet after a year of training.
Nelson was overwhelmed with the youngster's efforts.
"It's an overwhelming feeling," Nelson told The Sunday Gleaner.
"Seeing the support we as Jamaicans got and that even though we didn't get the best time of the series, I am very proud of him. It was a proud moment to see him complete the track," Nelson said. "And to get his personal best start time of 5.67 seconds is also a very good accomplishment for him.
The pair will return to the island on Wednesday.