Paul Clarke, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Veronica Campbell-Brown's father, Cecil Campbell, watched intently yesterday as his daughter breezed from the starting blocks to register 10.81 seconds and a third-place finish in the women's 100m final at the 2012 London Olympics.
Before the start of the race, he was, well, cautiously optimistic she would medal, telling The Sunday Gleaner team, who travelled to Clarks Town, Trelawny for the occasion that Veronica, once she did her best, would definitely get on the podium.
After the sprint, with the pressure released, he offered a broad smile.
"I knew she would have won a medal ... This time it's a bronze but this is not her pet race. We will see in the 200 metres. She really made us proud once again and I am so happy for her."
He was certainly not alone, as a few metres from his house, one vendor in the square at Clarks Town was elated with Campbell-Brown's performance.
Seated at her stall, stocked with several ground provisions and some children clothes to boot, Viviene Bennett revealed that she knew Campbell-Brown would have medalled.
"She did extremely well to get a medal. I never actually saw the race but I heard it all and VCB did us proud again.
"The 100m is not her best (race) but she gave it her all and with Shelly-Ann we got two medals. We love Veronica," a happy Bennett said.
VCB, as she is adoringly called, ran from lane four, with compatriot and defending champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in lane six, with American Carmelita Jeter in between them. However, by the 80m mark, Campbell-Brown was neck-and-neck with the two and narrowly missed silver, as Fraser-Pryce won in a time of 10.75 seconds with Jeter stopping the clock at 10.78.
"She is a God-send. God gave her to us, to this family and to Jamaica for a reason," the proud 60-year-old father beamed.
"Veronica did her best and that is all we could have asked for. We could not want anymore from her. Whenever she runs, she put God before her and she always have faith in him, so I am happy, very happy," he added.
He said Campbell-Brown had looked impressive going into the final and that was sign enough that she was going to claim a medal.
"I saw her in the heats on Friday morning and I said that she looked really good. Then in the semi-final, she again ran good and finished second to Jeter. But I knew that Shelly was hard to beat and Jeter was there also. Veronica is a great person, a real nice girl and she proved that," he offered.