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Farquharson wins centenary's first gold

Published:Thursday | March 25, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer

St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) jumper Rochelle Farquharson will forever be remembered as the first athlete to win a gold medal at the 100th staging of Champs, as she took the girls' triple-jump open with a personal-best mark of 13.2 metres, on yesterday's opening day of the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships, at the National Stadium.

Farquharson was elated at winning a gold medal on such a big stage.

The Wolmer's pair of Samantha Francis (12.68m) and Jeanelle Facey (12.5m) were beaten into second and third, respectively.

"I am over-elated to be the first gold medallist at this the biggest event of this kind for school athletes in the world," said Farquharson.

The 17-year-old had no doubts that she would have won the event despite the difficulties experienced during preparations.

'No doubts about winning'

"I had no doubts about winning, my only disappointment is that I did not get the record this time. But next time around, I think I will get it ... I will be coming back next year to take the triple-jump record," said Farquharson.

"It is very difficult for me because I am at the CXC level now. I have evening classes and all that so to do the training and the studying is very difficult, but my family was behind me 100 per cent," she added.

Farquharson has now set her sights on the long-jump record.

"I will be doing the long jump and the heptathlon and I am pretty confident that I will be winning the long jump this time and also get the record."

She is ranked fourth in the world among junior triple jumpers, having finished fourth at the World Juniors in Italy last year; and is also the Penn Relays defending champion.

"I plan to go to the Carifta Games and jump over 13m and probably get the Under-20 record; and also at Penn Relays I will be defending my triple-jump title."