Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Wolmer's Girls sprinter Jonielle Smith finally managed to give her mother the gift she so badly wanted on Friday night inside the National Stadium.
She captured her first gold medal at the championships on her fifth attempt after triumphing in the Class Two 100m final at the 2013 Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships.
It took a mere 11.58 seconds for the 16-year-old to realise a lifelong dream, as she streaked across the finish line ahead of teammate Shauna Helps (11.66), who was losing her first 100m race ever at Champs.
"Every single track meet this season, I have dedicated to my mother, because I know she has done all she can for me. So this is my dedication to her right now," Smith said immediately following the race.
"My mother is my best friend, she is like everything to me; mother, father, sister, brother; everything. So everything I have been doing here at Champs and everything I have been doing all my life is for her."
Smith's mother, Dianne Oakley, was as usual right up at track side to watch her second of three children in action and it turned out to be a performance like none other.
she did it!
"I saw her in the lead, but then I realised the others were getting close, but when I realised that she was pushing out I said 'yes, she got it, she did it!' I was out of my seat to greet her, as it was something different and I was just overwhelmed," Oakley told The Sunday Gleaner.
"This is what she (Smith) always wanted, this is what she has been working for, she trains hard and now that it has happened, it is just unbelievable."
Smith was not finished there, however, as she returned on yesterday's final day to complete a fine individual double by winning the Class Two 200 metres in 23.87 seconds. She then completed the triple by running the final leg in her school's 45.15-seconds triumph in the sprint relay and was later named Class Two champion with 18 points.
The Michael Kerr-coached athlete believes the gold medal was long in coming due to a lack of mental strength, but she finally got it all together
"I often defeated myself before the race even started at Champs, but this year, I gave it my all with CXC and everything else and I trained hard, as I had the desire and the hunger," Smith shared.