Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer
By her own account, Christine Day continues to bask in the afterglow of her surprise third-place finish in the highly competitive women's 400 metres at the National Senior Athletics Championships just over a week ago to assure her a spot on Jamaica's Olympic team to London.
"This is truly a great feeling!" declared the petite 25-year-old, breathless and unbelieving after her triumphant run.
She admitted she was struggling for words to describe her elation. "To know that I am able to qualify for the Olympics and to finish among the top three in the event, to be honest, I cannot express my feelings now because it is unbelievable, and maybe if I was asked the question in another week, about my feelings, I would be able to answer much better."
Defying the odds, Day passed the tape at 51.00 seconds in the semi-finals. She had finished second in a personal best of 50.85 seconds behind national champion Novelene Williams-Mills in 50.52 seconds.
Family in a tizzy
In achieving this feat, Day firmly placed the little known Tacky High School in St Mary in the limelight - and her family in a tizzy.
Day is a St Mary girl by birth, bringing memories of the likes of Jacqueline Pusey and Doreen Small of St Mary High School in the parish.
But it was the first time Tacky was soaking up the glory of one of its own.
Day's father, Hope Day, a farmer in St Mary, could hardly contain himself when The Gleaner caught up with him.
"It is a very great feeling for the family and the people of Mile Gully. George Town, Bonnie Gate, and Gayle in the parish were all celebrating after Christine's achievement," he gushed.
He was not surprised by the feat of his second of five children as they all had manifested athletic prowess as they developed.
"I am extremely elated about Christine's achievement, but I am not surprised because all four girls are good athletes and I had expected my oldest daughter, Denise, to have made it first because she had more talent than the others, but at the time, there was not a serious track programme at Tacky," he said.
Christine is not the only current athlete in her family. Her sister, Jonique, also participated in the 400 metres but was eliminated in the second round.
Jonique went to Tacky High before she transferred to St Jago High
Jonique was part of LSU's successful team that won the recent NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Track and Field title in the US. She also ran the anchor leg on the 4x400 metres relay team that finished a close second in the final.
Read all about Ja's medal chances at the London Olympics, coming in The Gleaner's Olympic Special tomorrow.