Mon | Sep 26, 2022

Dominant Hibbert still has work to do

Published:Tuesday | August 9, 2022 | 12:09 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer
Jaydon Hibbert celebrates the championship record he set in the men’s triple jump at the World Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, on Friday.
Jaydon Hibbert celebrates the championship record he set in the men’s triple jump at the World Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, on Friday.

Cali, Colombia:

SINCE THE inception of the World Junior Championships, now known as the World Under-20 Championships, Jamaica has had great success on the track, especially in the sprint events, including relays, but in Cali, Colombia, the country had two rare feats.

For the first time, gold was mined in the triple and high jumps through Jaydon Hibbert and Brandon Pottinger, respectively.

Pottinger’s win was a welcome surprise, but Hibbert was the favourite who smashed everybody into submission with his very first jump – a 17.27-metre championship record – in the final.

A year ago in Nairobi, Hibbert finished second for silver in the triple jump, and the 17-year-old, who will attend the University of Arkansas in a few weeks’ time on a track and field scholarship, was happy to go one place better in Cali.

“I definitely came to the Championships to win the gold. Knowing that I was the world leader and being unbeaten in the event all season, I was very confident,” Hibbert said.

Hibbert was shocked with his first attempt.

“I went into the championships with an injury, as you can see the tape on my leg, and when I heard the distance, I did not believe. I was shocked because I did not get on the take-off board. I Immediately asked the official if the distance was wind aided because I didn’t expect to go that far so early in the competition,” he continued.

“Being the favourite to win, I was not under any pressure. I was very focused, and this really helped me to achieve what I did,” he said.

Now that Hibbert is done with high school competition, he is looking forward to competing with the bigger boys in college.

“Going to college, I know the competition will not be easy, and I do have a lot of fixing to do, especially with my run-up, and I will be working on this area to improve,” said Hibbert.

He had high praises for his coaches.

“I would like to big up my high school coaches, especially Mr Jeremy [Delisser], who was not at the championships,” he said.