Mon | Sep 27, 2021

Jamela Rookwood makes a fast track to Miss Jamaica World Top 10

Published:Wednesday | September 15, 2021 | 12:05 AMYasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer
Former student athlete Jamela Rookwood, who wears the sash Miss LP Azar, placed first in the Fast Track Fitness Challenge and is the first contestant to advance to the top five of the Miss Jamaica World 2021 competition.
Former student athlete Jamela Rookwood, who wears the sash Miss LP Azar, placed first in the Fast Track Fitness Challenge and is the first contestant to advance to the top five of the Miss Jamaica World 2021 competition.
From left: The top three in the Fast Track Fitness Challenge: Kerrion Erskine – Miss Mushroom, Jamela Rookwood – Miss LP Azar and Brithney Clarke – Miss Nationwide News.
From left: The top three in the Fast Track Fitness Challenge: Kerrion Erskine – Miss Mushroom, Jamela Rookwood – Miss LP Azar and Brithney Clarke – Miss Nationwide News.
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It should not come as a surprise that first out of the blocks at the Miss Jamaica World Fast Track Fitness Challenge is former student athlete, Jamela Rookwood. Wearing the sash Miss LP Azar, Rookwood convincingly won her rounds and has claimed an enviable spot in the top 10 of the Miss Jamaica World 2021 finals. She is ecstatic.

“I enjoy the challenges!” she told The Gleaner enthusiastically. “As a former student athlete, it reminded me of when I tried out for the UWI [The University of the West Indies] track and field team. I had that same adrenalin rush. The only challenging part was staying fit. I didn’t have access to a gym because of COVID, so what I had to do was create a home workout programme.” And it worked.

Rookwood finished ahead of Brithney Clarke, Miss Nationwide News, and Kerrion Erskine, Miss The Mushroom, at the Ministry of Health and Wellness Fast Track Fitness Challenge, which took place at St George’s College last Saturday.

“Not only did I win, but I am the first contestant to make it to the Top 10. I wanted to prove it to myself, and I did!” she said excitedly of her automatic advancement.

The contest, which is specially designed to test the athletic abilities of all the Miss Jamaica World contestants, saw them competing in team activities, after which the top five had to partake in a gruelling push-up challenge. The field was then whittled down to the final three, who faced off in a speed test.

Former track and field athlete, media personality and sports analyst Dwayne Extol smoothly guided the day’s activities.

GRATEFUL FOR EXPERIENCE

“The competition has been amazing,” shared Rookwood, whose automatic advancement to the Top 10 means that she has taken several steps towards claiming the crown. “The girls, mentors and organisers are very supportive. I am very grateful to be a part of this journey, and I am learning and developing as I go along.”

With the first of five Fast Track Events out of the way, the remainder are: the DMH Productions Fast Track Talent, scheduled for September 18 at Johnny’s Place; the Supligen Fast Track Beach Beauty and the JBDC Fast Track Model Events. The contestants have already participated in the Head to Head Challenge, which, according to the organisers, will see the public weighing in on their Beauty with a Purpose projects.

Asked what else she was hoping to scoop up before coronation day on September 26, the 27-year-old from Gordon Town, who recently graduated from UWI, answered unhesitatingly, “Everything!”

The 15 finalists in this year’s competition are: Khalia Hall – Miss General Foods Supermarket; Shinell Mills – Miss TM Ross Beauty; Mazika McDermott – Miss Knutsford Express; Jahvel Byfield – Miss Len’s Catering; Melessa Vassal – Miss RETV; Shaedance Facey – Miss Interlinc Communications; Pickqueena Burrell – Miss PA Benjamins; Chantelle Bieisay – Miss Jamaica Pegasus; Kerrion Erskine – Miss The Mushroom; Justine Graham – Miss Jamaica Observer; Brithney Clarke – Miss Nationwide News Network; Dominique Shorter – Miss Fontana Pharmacy; Mauritian O’Sullivan – Miss Island Bridges; Toni-Ann Lalor – Miss Whitter Village, and Jamelia Rookwood – Miss LP Azar.

Toni-Ann Singh, Jamaica’s representative to the 2019 Miss World pageant, was crowned Miss World in December 2019. She is still the reigning title-holder of both Miss Jamaica World and Miss World.

The 70th Miss World Coronation Show will be held in Puerto Rico on December 16, 2021.

yasmine.peru@gleanerjm.com