She has been around for a while and has enjoyed marginal individual success, but for freshly minted Commonwealth Games 400m silver-medal winner Anastasia Le-Roy, yesterday’s triumph could not have come at a better time.
Le-Roy, now 30 years old, found an extra gear on the home stretch to overtake and outlast compatriot and bronze-medal winner Stephenie-Ann McPherson (50.93), crossing the line in a personal best 50.57 seconds, with Botswana’s Amantle Montsho winning gold in 50.15.
An experienced member of national mile-relay teams, Le-Roy, before yesterday, found individual international success elusive and admitted that she had, on several occasions, considered giving up.
“This silver medal is a gold for me. I have been through it all. I wanted to give up, but I have too many people who believe in me and who keep pushing me to be the best of my ability,” Le-Roy told The Gleaner.
“Going forward is to just improve on what I did tonight. It has surely boosted my confidence, and no matter what, I will believe and trust in God. He will not leave or forsake me. I just have to trust the process,” she added.
Le-Roy, who had shown good form throughout the com-petition on Australia’s Gold Coast, pointed to perfect execution of coach Maurice Wilson’s race strategy.
“My coach, Mr Wilson, told me what to do, and I just followed his instructions as best as possible. He said they were going to go out, but I had to stay in close contact. I’m fast, and I just need to believe in myself, and no matter what happened, I should sprint for my life and finish,” Le-Roy shared.
Le-Roy’s success came on a day when Aisha Praught-Leer created history by winning Jamaica’s first gold medal in the 3000m steeplechase at this level after stopping the clock at 9:21.00 to beat the Kenyan pair of Celliphine Chespol (9:22.61) and Purity Kirui (9:25.74) into second and third.
The Jamaicans will, this morning, look to add to the country’s 12 medals (three gold, five silver, four bronze), with nine athletes lining up in four finals.
Ristananna Tracey, Ronda Whyte, and Janieve Russell will compete in the women’s 400m hurdles final at 4:30 a.m. Russell (54.01 seconds) is the fastest qualifier for the final after her win in the heats. Whyte (55.10) and Tracey (55.66), the World Championships bronze medal winner, both finished fourth in their respective heats and will be looking to do better today.
Andre Clarke (49.10) and Jaheel Hyde (49.14) are the second- and third-fastest heading into the men’s 400m hurdles final, which faces the starter at 4:45 a.m.
The Jamaicans found the going rough in the men’s 200m semis, where only Warren Weir, who was fourth in 20.62 seconds, moved on to the medal round, which faces the starter at 6:56 a.m. Dethroned champion Rasheed Dwyer (20.82) ran fifth in his semi-final, while Kenroy Anderson was disqualified for a lane infringement.
However, all three women will compete in the 200m final, with Shericka Jackson, who won her semi-final in 22.28, leading all qualifiers. Sashalee Forbes (22.93) and Elaine Thompson (22.95) both ended second in their semis.
The women’s 200m final takes place at 6:38 a.m.