BVI showcases colours of the BVI at Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony

Flag bearers Elinah Phillip (50m freestyle) Kyron McMaster (400m hurdler) and Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Chef de Mission.represented the British Virgin Islands at the Opening Ceremony to mark the start of the long-awaited Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on July 23, 2021

A delegation of three represented the British Virgin Islands at the Opening Ceremony to mark the start of the long-awaited Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on July 23, 2021. Elinah Phillip, the 50m freestyle swimmer was the flag bearer and led ahead of Kyron McMaster (400m hurdler) and Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Chef de Mission.

“This has been a long wait with many challenges but we all are finally here. it is exciting. Our athletes are prepared and focused, the energy levels are up and we are ready to go!” said Harrigan-Scott.

Phillip and McMaster in turn described their emotional state as being excited and euphoric and were looking forward to getting inside the Olympic Stadium to experience the atmosphere and to see the venue ahead of the competitions.

Chantel Malone (long jump) who completes the team of 3 for the 32nd Olympiad, landed in Tokyo in the late afternoon of July 23 along with the rest of the BVI’s delegation to include Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC, Lloyd Black, Secretary General and Winston Potter, Team Coach. Swimming coach Brien Moffitt arrived with Phillip on July 18.

“While I was unable to attend the Opening Ceremony in person due to travel delays, I was able to watch our delegation walk into the Olympic Stadium with the flag held high and proud,” said Penn. “These are unusual times and we are entering a new era of Olympic Games. We have a special team that has the full support of the BVIOC and our nation and we are definitely looking forward to their competitions next week.”

The 28th nation to march into the Olympic Stadium, the 3 representatives wore outfits designed by Rhenique Cooper and Ruth Frazer of the BVI and which incorporated the Territory’s colours and traditional dress in a modern design.

“The inspiration behind this design was our original BVI traditional dress. I wanted to take elements of the puff sleeves and the big skirt and modernize it into a dress that a BVIslander of today could wear. Thus, making the skirt tiered and shorter gave it the same effect of being full without feeling weighed down. This is will be my first time designing for the BVI Olympic Committee and I’m very excited. I’m grateful to have this opportunity and it feels very surreal,” said Cooper.

Kristin Frazer, who designed the mask, project managed the production of the Opening Ceremony wear. The men’s button-down shirt and jacket were designed by her mother, Ruth Frazer.

The Opening Ceremony typically is a high demand event where the host nation presents an exceptional performance choreographed to showcase its history, culture, and innovation and to tell a story that reflects its values and that of its Olympic legacy. For Tokyo 2020, the occasion was more subdued than usual with COVID-19 protocol restrictions limiting attendance. Observing the continuous message for delivering a “safe games”, the athlete delegations representing the 206 participating nations marching into the stadium were also smaller in number than in previous editions. There were approximately 6,000 athletes and team officials, 900 Games stakeholders and guests of honour and 3,500 broadcasters and press.

At 11:15pm (JST) His Majesty the Emperor of Japan declared the Games of Tokyo, celebrating the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era open. The Games will proceed with the new Olympic motto of “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together” announced by the IOC on July 20.

A total of 11,091 athletes are expected to compete in 33 sports and 339 events at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games. The BVI’s athletes will compete in 2 sports and 3 events with the following dates and times (adjusted for the BVI) for each of their first round of competitions: McMaster, 400m hurdles heat 1 – 9:55 pm, Thursday, July 29; Elinah Phillip, 50m freestyle heats – 6:00 am, Friday, July 30; Malone long jump qualifying round – 8:50pm, Saturday, July 31. This will be the first Olympics for McMaster and Malone and the second for Phillip who made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016 in Brazil at 16 years of age. She was the BVI’s youngest athlete and first swimmer to compete at an Olympic Games.

The Olympic Games will be broadcast live on NBC with daily team reports and updates from the BVIOC on its social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by Dean Greenaway on ZROD 103.7 and CBN 90.9FM.

BVIOC Presents Team for Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games

Team IVB for Tokyo 2020

The Virgin Islands (UK) Team for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games is today confirmed by the BVI Olympic Committee and Chef de Mission, Mrs. Tahesia Harrigan-Scott to include two track and field athletes and one swimmer. Kyron McMaster will compete in the men’s 400m hurdles and Chantel Malone will compete in the women’s long jump. Swimmer Elinah Phillip will compete in the women’s 50m freestyle. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games take place in Japan July 23 – August 8, 2021.

McMaster and Phillip will be the flag bearers at the Opening Ceremony on July 23. The athletes will be in clothing and masks respectively designed by Virgin Islanders Ms. Rhenique Cooper and Ms. Kristin Fraser.

This will be the first Olympic Games for McMaster and Malone while Phillip made her Olympic debut at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil where she was the VI’s youngest athlete and the first to represent the Territory in aquatics at any Olympics.

While Olympian Eldred Henry had an automatic qualification to compete in the shot put at Tokyo 2020, ongoing recovery from an injury in his throwing arm resulted in the decision to step down from the team.

“I am proud to present our athletes for Tokyo 2020,” said Chef Harrigan-Scott, a three times Olympian in the 100m sprint. “Even though COVID-19 has drastically changed the dynamics of the Olympic Games, it did not waiver the determination or drive of our brilliant athletes. They have prepared vigorously to represent the Virgin Islands in their respective events coming up in the next few weeks and, after communicating with each of the athletes and watching their preparatory competitions leading up to Tokyo 2020, I am confident that they will make these Virgin Islands proud.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Tokyo 2020 Games to be rescheduled by one year to take place in the summer of 2021, the IOC, Tokyo 2020 Organisers and the Government of Japan have issued stringent protocols set out in regularly updated Playbooks to ensure the health and safety of all athletes, personnel, delegates, media and the people of Japan. The strict measures for the VI delegation are overseen by appointed COVID Liaison Officers (CLOs) BVIOC Secretary General Mr. Lloyd Black and Chef Harrigan-Scott.

The Chef de Mission highlighted how the response to the pandemic has differentiated Tokyo 2020 from previous Olympic Games. Precautions include restrictive movement of the delegation, strict COVID-19 counter measures which include daily temperature and COVID-19 testing, the inability to attend other sporting events, limited-to-no guest allowance in the Olympic Village, the lack of spectators from foreign countries, no site seeing by the delegation and every movement in Tokyo and Japan needing to be pre-approved by the Japanese Government.

“The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games probably are one of the most anticipated Games in sports,” said Mr. Penn. “The continuing changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have been quite a challenge and on behalf of the BVIOC, I highly commend all our athletes and Chef de Mission for their focus, determination and tireless efforts which have resulted in thorough preparation and impressive performances with new national records set in all three disciplines by Chantel, Kyron and Elinah in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Games. We are sad that Eldred will not be joining the team in person but intend to include him in our reports from Tokyo 2020. We are extremely proud of all our athletes have achieved thus far and will be in Japan to give our support and to watch them perform at the 32nd Olympiad.”

The delegation to Tokyo will include BVIOC President Mr. Ephraim Penn, Secretary General Mr. Lloyd Black, athlete coaches Mr. Lennox Graham (McMaster), Mr. Dwight Phillipe (Malone), Mr. Brien Moffitt (Phillip) and Mr. Winston Potter (team coach). Dr. The Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley MHA, Deputy Premier, Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture is also slated to attend the Games pending travel restrictions.

“I want to congratulate these hardworking individuals for this momentous achievement. It is even more exciting knowing that we have athletes, through their hard work, who are poised to compete for medal and I plan to be there to cheer them along waving our Virgin Islands flag. I wish all our athletes well; we are extremely proud of you!” said the Dr. The Honourable Minister Wheatley.

Daily updates will be posted on the BVIOC social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and reports will be disseminated to media from the BVIOC PRO, Sofia Fay, Broadsword Communications, who will be in Tokyo to cover the VI’s athletes.

iFOREX partners with BVI Olympic Committee to support National Team’s journey to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

iFOREX – a leading global financial broker with offices in the BVI – announced its partnership with the British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee (BVIOC) and will act as sponsors of the Virgin Islands (UK) Olympic team on its journey to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

A spokesperson for Formula Investment House Ltd, operator of the www.iFOREX.com website, said: “As a company licensed in the British Virgin Islands, we have first-hand awareness of the spirit and potential of this exceptional team and we are proud and excited to support the athletes in their remarkable efforts to bring home the Territory’s first Olympic medal.”

So far, those who have qualified include Kyron McMaster in the Men’s 400m Hurdles, Eldred Henry in the Men’s Shot Put, and Chantel Malone in the Women’s Long Jump.

It is believed that the partnership marks the first occasion an investment firm has sponsored a National Olympic Committee and iFOREX joins athletic brand PUMA as one of the BVIOC’s two official sponsors.

For over 25 years, iFOREX has remained one of the largest and most respected firms in the Fintech industry, emerging early on as an industry leader in technological innovation and with a dedication to trust and excellence.

“By lining up with PUMA, known for its history of performance and athletic support, we’re proud to help the BVI’s athletes to represent their country with devotion and determination,” said an iFOREX spokesperson.

Throughout the sponsorship, iFOREX will show its support for the BVI Olympic Team with online content chronicling the team’s journey from their training camps to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, as well as the team’s results, which will be available to both clients and staff all over the world at iFOREX News.

Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC commented on the partnership, saying: “The BVI Olympic Committee is very happy that a respectable and successful investment firm such as iFOREX has identified the potential of the BVI team for Tokyo 2020. We have a strong line up of athletes for these Games so far and the additional support is very much appreciated as the athletes prepare to bring their best performance to Japan continuing to make us very proud as a nation.”

Chantel Malone joins long jump 7-meter club, qualifies for Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games

Chantel Malone, winner of the Long Jump Gold Lima 2019 Pan American Games, qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics with a national record and PB leap of 7.08m, PHOTO: Todd VanSickle

With 4 months to go until the long jump qualifying round on August 1, 2021 at the Summer Olympic Games in Japan, British Virgin Islands national, Chantel Malone joined the long jump 7-meter club when she surpassed the Tokyo 2020 qualifying mark of 6.82m with a leap of 7.08m (23’ 2 3/4”)+1.4 wind at The Florida International Pro Addition Track Meet at IMG Academy in Bradenton on Saturday, March 27, 2021.

Malone won her first event of the outdoor season in her fourth jump after landing a 6.83m distance in the second round and fouling her third attempt. 2nd place went to Darla Klishina (7.05m 23’ 1 3/4” and 3rd spot to Akela Jones (6.58 21’ 7 1/4”).

“We’ve been working really hard these last 2 month. Mostly focusing on technical execution and my speed,” said Malone. “I’m pretty excited about what future holds. This season will be a good one once I remain healthy. I love being a part of the 7m club. I’ve been working towards it for a very long time. Finally achieving that goal is a testament to my resilience and determination. This is only the beginning!”

Chantel Malone joins long jump 7-meter club, qualifies for Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games
The mark, which currently is officially ranked the world’s second longest jump of the year, is a new national record beating Malone’s previous jump of 6.90m (22’ 7 3/4”) and is a personal best. She is the second Caribbean woman to jump beyond seven meters.

“This is a fantastic result on many levels and we congratulate Chantel on her record setting achievement in the long jump,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee, the body responsible for the nation’s participation in major Games including the Olympics. “These past twelve months have been an extreme challenge for our athletes who have had to continue to train and prepare for the re-scheduled Summer Olympic Games, working within the constraints of COVID-19 protocols and foregoing the regular competitions and qualifying events that would normally help them on the road to the Olympics.

“To break through the psychological barrier and stay focused on the goal to perform at world class levels is highly impressive and we commend Chantel for her grit and determination. We encourage our slate of athletes to keep their eye on the prize and continue with their excellent efforts.”

Malone joins Tokyo 2020 qualifiers Eldred Henry (shot put) and Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles) along with Elinah Phillip (50m & 100m Freestyle), a sophomore at Florida International University, who is making her mark at the recently resumed swim meets.

This will be the first Olympic Games for Malone and McMaster who each were respective gold medal winners at the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Both achievements were historic for the Territory as the first medals to be won by VI nationals in those Games. Malone is the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games silver medalist and also holds the OECS long jump record.

Tokyo 2020 postponement sees spirit of resilience and cooperation dominate global response

The postponed 2020 Summer Olympic Games will remain in Tokyo – PHOTO: Yoshikazu Sekiguchi

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, and the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo, held a conference call this morning to discuss the constantly changing environment with regard to COVID-19 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating. Yesterday, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is “accelerating”. There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour.

In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.

The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC said that while the postponement was an understandable outcome of the talks and the current pandemic, the focus of the BVIOC will turn to supporting the athletes and any impact the delay may have on their psyche and preparations.

“Moving the dates to an unknown time in the future is hard on the athletes but this is not the first time that our athletes have had to face adverse situations and we will be doing our utmost to support them and to ease the strain of preparing for the future,” said Mr. Penn. The BVIOC provides a monthly training scholarship and has also secured sponsorship from iForex to assist VI’s Tokyo 2020 athletes in their preparations for the Games.

“While initially I was disappointed with the IOC’s decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Games, on reflection I’m thankful that they are putting our health first,” said Chantel Malone, the Lima 2019 Pan American Games VI long jump gold medalist. “With everything going on, the restrictions definitely put a limitation on training with regards to what we can and can’t do so, all in all, postponing these Summer Olympics is for the greater good and will give us more time to be even more prepared to produce awesome results. Every cloud has it’s silver lining!” Tokyo 2020 will be Malone’s first Olympic Games.

“It’s unfortunate that these 2020 Summer Olympic Games have been postponed because we have been training so hard in preparation but we understand the decision to put our health and safety first and we’ll be making the most of the extra time available to get ready for this important competition,” said Eldred Henry, the VI’s shot putter whose first Olympic appearance was at Rio 2016.

“It’s disappointing after all this time training and competing in what few meets we had in the lead up to the Games in July but we will overcome this hurdle and look to the future as we continue with our preparations. We just hope that our sponsors, the VI government and our supporters continue to stand by our side during this extended period,” said Kyron McMaster, the VI’s Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles gold medalist who will make his Olympic debut at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games.

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020 in consultation with Mr. Penn remains in constant contact with the Virgin Islands’ athletes confirmed or hoping to attend the 2020 Summer Olympic Games and will continue to relay information received from the IOC and the organisers as they decide on the new dates and associated changes.

“I have an open line of communication with all our Tokyo 2020 confirmed and hopeful athletes and our real time conversation enables me to keep them up to date with correct information from the official channels. Right now, the news has been quite hard on them as they have been as focused as they can to compete in their best form in July. They are recalibrating but overall they are in a positive mindset and are determined to work with the outcome of the IOC’s decision to postpone and plan to make the most of the extended time to train hard. It is also really important that the support and encouragement behind them continues,” said Chef Harrigan-Scott.

The global community has rallied to the IOC’s news with three major Tokyo 2020 sponsors – Proctor & Gamble, Intel and Coca-Cola – all reaffirming their commitment to the Games. Organisers of major Games including the 2021 World Athletics Championships slated for August 6 – 15 in Eugene, Oregon and the Commonwealth Youth Games Trinbago 2021 scheduled for August 1 – 7 in Trinidad & Tobago have already communicated their willingness to shift their events to accommodate the new date for Tokyo 2020.

Panam Sports in a press release also stated that it will maintain all of its aid programs for athletes, coaches and National Olympic Committees. They also said that once the new dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are defined, Panam Sports will work together with the IOC, the International Federations, the NOCs and the athletes to be able to adjust the schedules for the competitions that follow, in particular the Junior Pan American Games of Cali 2021 that were scheduled between June 5-20.

Malone, Lettsome to attend inaugural Panam Sports Awards Gala

With the aim of recognizing the effort, passion and dedication of the athletes of the Americas, for the first time in history, Panam Sports is bringing together athletes, media, sport and government leaders to an awards ceremony on December 13 honoring the best of the best in sport in 2019, with the highlight being the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.

Chantel Malone – who made history when she won the Virgin Islands’ first Panam Games medal with her gold winning leap of 6.68m in the long jump – and Thad Lettsome, the VI’s first sailor in the Games since the 1990s – will join Olympians, World Champions, historical sporting icons and those who shined brightest in the Peruvian capital at the inaugural Panam Sports Awards in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee and Lloyd Black, Secretary General, BVIOC will also be in attendance.

“This is a momentous occasion for the Virgin Islands,” said Mr. Penn. “We are exceptionally proud of Chantel and Thad who were selected from thousands of athletes to be invited to attend this special, historic event.”

The evening is expected to rival those seen in Hollywood, complete with Red Carpet, bright lights, artistic performances, glamor and emotion.

Featuring the great athletes of the Americas, the Panam Sports family and VIP guests, the historic ceremony honouring the greatest moments and performances from the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games will be broadcast live for the world to see who will be crowned the Best Athletes of the Americas.

The Panam Sports Awards will officially begin at 7:00 pm EST and will conclude at 8:15pm EST.

Univisión is producing and transmitting the event that will be shown free-to-air on their television network on Saturday, December 14 at 11:00 pm EST, 10:00 pm CST and 8:00 pm PST. The special program will feature the best moments and highlights from the inaugural Panam Sports Awards called “Gala del Deporte de las Américas”.

Sports fans across the globe will also be able to watch the Panam Sports Awards ceremony live through multiple streaming platforms. ESPN PLAY will stream the event throughout Latin America and the Caribbean; the R7 channel owned by Record TV in Brazil will also live-stream; and of course, the new and improved Panam Sports Channel will begin the live-stream at 5:00 pm EST from the Red Carpet.

ABOUT PANAM SPORTS

The Pan American Sports Organization (Panam Sports) is the leader of sport and the Olympic Movement in the Americas. We propel the development of sport and support our 41 member National Olympic Committees to inspire more participation in international competitions as well as participation of the youth to prepare the generation to come in our region.

Panam Sports works closely with athletes, National Olympic Committees (NOC), Organizing Committees of all regional games, Pan American Sport Confederations, International Federations (IF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to secure the success and celebration of our main event, the Pan American Games.

BVIOC free sports clinic stepping stone to promote grass roots development in the community

The BVI Olympic Committee organized and ran a free sports clinic for the community at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Grounds on Saturday, October 12 as part of celebratory activities to mark Chantel Malone’s historic gold medal win in long jump at the Lima 2019.

The clinic took place the day after a ceremony recognizing Chantel’s achievement of becoming the British Virgin Islands’ first Pan American Games medalist. The interactive session was presented by Tahesia Harrigan-Scott and Joey Scott of Tru Fit Athletics, Miami and featured the BVI’s elite track and field athletes, Chantel Malone, Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles), Eldred Henry (shot put) and Ashley Kelly (400m) and Dr. Harlan Vanterpool, NHI Medical Director.

“This clinic was a great launch pad for executing grass roots engagement and bringing to life the practical elements of the long term athlete development programme,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “The four BVI professional track and field athletes worked with a captivated audience for the whole morning, interacting with the youngsters in the community, advising and inspiring them to work towards developing their athletic potential.”

The panel of professional athletes are all beneficiaries of the BVIOC Elite Athlete Programme which provides financial support to help them prepare throughout the year for major games. Each of the panelists shared their personal experiences, insights and practical tips on a wide range of topics during the indoor discussion forum and out on the track and field. Attendees heard what it takes to make it in a selected sports and learned more about the dual purpose of college attendance with recommendations to focus primarily on the academics followed by sports as an avenue to excel in a particular discipline.

The most important takeaway for many was the advice to set a personal goal and identify the support base to help achieve the goals. Out on the track and field, attendees loved the ‘form and technique’ sessions provided by the professional athletes – with each participant coming away with something new to apply to their execution.

Dr. Harlan Vanterpool’s engaging explanation about what anti-doping actually means and his conversation on testing and reveal of the testing kit used helped to deliver a better understanding among the young athletes on the reasons, rules and regulations as promoted by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“The BVIOC sees this clinic as just the start of another way of promoting sport for all and pushing the LTAD program in the community,” said Mr. Penn. “The BVIOC has 16 National Federation members, several of whom have athletes and teams who are on the professional circuit and who can help to build our pool of athletes through similar engagement. We have held two named Sports Festivals on Olympic Day with interactive sports stations set up by the National Federations but we now want to evolve these stations into actual clinics within the Sports Festival as a means of educating and enthusing the public of all ages. We also hope that it becomes an opportunity for the coaches to spot potential talent from within the community and open up a pathway for the development of such talent.”

The Olympic Day Sports Festival is slated to take place on Saturday, June 27, 2020.

View the BVIOC free sports clinic photo album on Facebook

Malone leaps to BVI’s 1st Pan Am Games medal in 36 years

Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
BVI Pan Am Games Media Contact

Chantel Malone on her victory lap after winning the BVI’s first ever medal at the Pan American Games when she leapt 6.68 in the long jump to take gold at Lima 2019. Photo: Todd VanSickle

LIMA, Peru – Four years after a medal slipped from her grasp in the final round of competition in Toronto, long jumper Chantel Malone buried the field on her first attempt, to win the BVI’s first Pan Am Games medal in its 36-year history, on the opening day of track and field in Estadio Nacional, in Lima, Peru.

Malone, No 14 on the 2019 IAAF list and the No 3 listed jumper in the Americas, sailed through the chilled air, then cut the sand at 6.68m (21’11”), a mark none of her 13 pursuers would surpass.

The USA’s Keturah Orji would come closest at 6.66m for silver while Jamaica’s Tissanna Hickling earned bronze with 6.59m.

Chantel Malone, in winners row, center, is joined on the podium by the USA’s Kethurah Ojiri, left, silver medalist and Jamaica’s Tissanna Hickling, who earned bronze  PHOTO: Todd VanSickle, BVI Beacon

“This is amazing,” Malone said. “We know how the season started with a great bang and then I hand an injury, been up and down, with performances and trying to figure things out. And, to come here and come out with the gold, that means everything to me.”

She said after her opening jump, in her mind she wanted to go further but as it got colder and colder – with temperatures dipping to 59 degrees – it became harder.

Long Jumper Chantel Malone sails through the air, en route to capturing the BVI’s first Pan Am Games medal in 36 years, last night in Lima Peru PHOTO: Todd VanSickle, BVI Beacon

Malone explained that her thought process heading into the competition was not to focus on what happened in the past nor anyone else. “Coach and I were talking and he said “you need to be a Dog from the get go and let people chase you and you don’t chase them”,’” she pointed out. “Normally, I would do good as I progress, but honestly, I just went out there, trusted the process and tried to execute and that’s the result that came.”

Malone said she’s happy with her performance which she hopes will inspire other young athletes. “Winning gold is a big deal,” she said. “It lets the world know that the BVI is there. We’re small, but we have a lot of talent and I’m just happy to be an ambassador for my country.”

After jumping a world leading 6.90m at the time then getting a hamstring injury, her coach, Olympic and World Championships gold medalist, Dwight Phillips said he was grateful Malone was able to come out victorious. He said they had been working on hitting the World Championships standard of 6.75m on the first jump an improvement she has been making. “The conditions were quite cold, not the best conditions, but she has been able to come out victorious,” said Phillip, an Olympic champion long jumper and four times IAAF World champion. “I have my first medalist in the Pan Am Games and I’m grateful for that,” he said. “It’s more rewarding coaching someone to a gold than actually winning the gold medal myself.”

BVI Olympic Committee President Ephraim Penn, said he knew that BVI has the caliber of athletes to win a Pan Am title, but didn’t know who’d do it first.

“Chantel came through in flying colors,” he said. “Looks like every time we win our first medal, it has to be a gold,” he said referring to the Central American Championships and Commonwealth Games. “I know everyone at home is proud of this moment – this is a special moment for the BVI. We’re making major breakthroughs after our first Commonwealth and Pan Am Games medals and next year, maybe the first Olympic medal.”

Laser Sailing
Thad Lettsome got in two more Laser races in Paracas yesterday and continues today. He’s currently 19th overall in the fleet.

Radio reports on CBN 90.9 FM with Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway are aired 9.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., through Sunday, with a 9 a.m. wrap up on Monday.

Lettsome sets sail as Malone jumps into Pan Am Games action

Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
BVI Pan Am Games Media Contact

Laser Sailor Thad Lettsome heading down wind during the first full day of Pan Am Games racing in Paracas, Peru PHOTO Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

LIMA Peru – Laser sailor Thad Lettsome finally got the wind in his sail and made his debut in the 18th Pan Am Games sailing competition in Paracas, Peru yesterday, where he had two races, after the first two days of racing and four races were cancelled.

Lettsome, the youngest in the competition at age 17, was 16th in his best race and completed the first series on 37 points. “The start of the first race was great, 10/10, executed the plan perfectly, exactly what I wanted to do, but a few mistakes and a bit of an unlucky shift, put me way in the back and made it hard to come back up,” he explained. “The breeze got really light and shutting off. For the second race, we got back into it, had another great start – I had two good starts today – then I was in mid fleet for the whole race doing quite well in the new breeze. Then I lost probably three boats in the last leg of the race and that’s how I ended up 16th but I was racing quite well up until the end, so it could only get better now.”

Considering missing the first two days of racing, going out on Sunday and spending hours on the water, Coach Alec Anderson said he thought Lettsome did a good job, with his age and experience to stay level headed.

“We did a great job of preparing for that first race and we did a wonderful job and he was right next to the person from Guatemala who ended up winning the race,” Anderson noted. “He had a couple bad breaks. It was a very light and tricky race where one mistake – especially against some of these guys who are the top Laser sailors in the world it costs you a lot – so he paid the price on those small mistakes which we discussed afterwards and let it got.”

Anderson said another good start in the second race, saw him rounding the mark in 12th position which was excellent with this fleet and his second race in the regatta, and lost a few on the final leg of the race. “It was a bad moment for his boat speed but ultimately a good rally,” Anderson stated. “We know where he stands, we know there’s a lot of potential and we know he has the ability to climb up the leader board every day, so that’s the plan.”

Chantel Malone hits Long Jump runway
Long Jumper Chantel Malone will make her 2nd Pan Am Games appearance at 6:30 p.m. BVI time, in the second busiest day for BVI athletes in the Games. Malone finished fourth in 2015.

Tomorrow, Ashley Kelly will make her debut at 4:20 p.m., followed by Eldred Henry at 7 p.m.

Reports through Sunday will be made by Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway on CBN 90.9 FM at 9.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., with a 9 a.m. wrap up on Aug 12.

Chantel Malone eyeing improved Pan Am Games finish

Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
BVI Pan Am Games Media Contact

Long Jumper Chantel Malone sails through the air during the 2018 NACAC Championships in Toronto PHOTO: Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

LIMA Peru – With a fourth place showing in the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, Chantel Malone equaled the 1987 Softball team that narrowly lost to Cuba 4-3 in the bronze medal game, as the territory’s best placings in its history. She’s hoping to improve on that in Lima when she competes in the long jump final on August 6th.

Since Toronto, Chantel has gone on to become the territory’s first IAAF World Championships outdoor finalist, when she placed seventh in the long jump in London in 2017 followed by a 2018 Central American Caribbean (CAC) Games silver medal.

Her 2019 campaign got off to a slow start, leading to a point of frustration, before the breakthrough that put her on top the world at the time, when she cut the sand a 6.90m in the long jump at the 3rd annual Torrin Lawrence Memorial in Athens, Georgia in April. The mark is currently No 5 on the 2019 IAAF list after being No 1 for several weeks.

“My first meet was not all that but I wasn’t too worried about it because my coach was saying I was still in the fall base training and I wasn’t doing speed and once I got my feet under me, I’ll be fine, so I trusted him,” Malone explained. “The next two meets were awesome. The one before my personal best was a season’s best, I felt like I was getting the rhythm back on the runway. When I jumped the 6.90m, I didn’t have to think about anything. It was flowing naturally. I got a little injury after that and that kinda set me back a bit. But, I’m pretty confident that I can go out there at the Pan Am Games and come home with a medal.”

Malone was in third place at Toronto 2015 until the final round where her mark was passed and she had to settle for fourth place. The plan around this time she said, is to “knock ‘em out early.”

“I have a tendency to hit my bigger jumps later down in my series and I’m trying to visualize hitting it on the first one so I don’t have to be worrying too much and no one can sneak up on me,” she pointed out. “That’s my main goal going in – just to execute, remember to have fun, stay relaxed and not to let the pressure of being a games or a major competition get to me.”

What would winning a medal mean to Malone?
“It would pretty much solidify all the hard work I’ve put in. I’ve been to these championships and I’ve always fallen short – whether it’s been an injury or someone passes me on the last jump – it’s always been something like almost there but not really grasping it,” she explained. “If I do what I’m supposed to do and execute the way I know I can execute, then there’s no doubt that I should come out with a medal.”

Additional Pan Am Games reports and interviews with Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway, will be carried on CBN 90.9 FM at 5.00 p.m. through August 5th and then at 9.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., from August 6 – 11. There’s a 9 a.m. wrap up on Aug 12.