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'I jumped for my mother' - Vere Tech's Sabina Allen claims first Champs gold

Published:Thursday | March 31, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Vere Technical's Sabina Allen competes in the girls' triple jump open. She won the event with a leap of 12.63 metres. Avril McGhee (St Jago) was second with 12.58m, and Nickeva Wilson (Camperdown), third with a 12.32m leap.
Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships mascot 'Champsy' poses with athletes from St Andrew College on the opening day of the meet at the National Stadium yesterday. photos by Ian Allen/Photographer

Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer

Vere Technical's Sabina Allen has inked her name in the history books after capturing the first gold medal at the 101st staging of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships at the National Stadium on yesterday's opening day.

She leapt a distance of 12.63 metres to capture the girls' triple jump open, ahead of St Jago High's Avril McGhee (12.58) and Nickeva Wilson (12.32) of Camperdown High.

Allen, who came into the final having jumped .15m less than McGhee, saved her best for last as she executed her winning jump with her final leap of the day.

She was naturally elated with her performance on such a big stage.

"I am 100 per cent excited. I am overwhelmed and frightened over what I have done," a jubilant Allen shared. "I didn't know that I would do this, but motivation from my coaches and teammates helped me."

The 16-year-old said, though, that her biggest motivator was her mother who is currently overseas.

"Family support has been good, my mother and my father," Allen said. "My mother is actually in America now and I feel bad that she is not here, but when I jump, I just tell myself that I am jumping for her.

"My mom and I have a close relationship, even though she is not here. I texted her early this morning and didn't see a reply, but I got a response in the day. She said, 'May God be with you'," the emotional 10th-grader added.

Allen, an aspiring neurosurgeon, posted a mark of 11.11m in the event last year, which was not good enough to take her into the final.

"About two days ago, I was concentrating on what I am going to do and I was telling my friends that I am going to win the triple (jump), but I wasn't sure," she said. "I was just telling them and it actually happened."