Justin, 14, took the gold last night with his first jump, a massive 14.63m, which rivals were unable to match, despite being allowed several attempts. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Justin, 14, took the gold last night with his first jump, a massive 14.63m, which rivals were unable to match, despite being allowed several attempts. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
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MONDAY, APR. 9: Bermuda’s CARIFTA triple jump gold medallist Justin Donawa will be even better than me, coach and former World Indoor champion Brian Wellman said today.

Justin, 14, took the gold last night with his first jump, a massive 14.63m, which rivals were unable to match, despite being allowed several attempts.

It was the first gold notched up by Bermuda at CARIFTA since 2004.

Mr Wellman said: “I expected him to win — he won the bronze at Carifta last year, but the competition was a lot tougher this year.

“But this kid here says the bigger the stage, the more wants to be on it.”

Mr Wellman added that his aim as a coach had always been to help an athlete to surpass his achievements in the sport.

He said: “I wanted to raise the bar, give them something to shoot for and hopefully be the best in the world.

“Justin is further ahead than me when I was that age – I was at least two years older than him when I jumped 14.6-ish.

“It’s about passing on the information and knowledge I have to him. It’s been good because he is a very good young athlete, not only in a physical sense; he studies the triple jump and he’s a lot more mature, mentally, than his actual age.”

Mr Wellman said, however, that his protégé would mature physically and predicted he would become even better as time went on.

He added: “His future is very bright. He’s a little young for the next Olympics, but 2016 in Brazil would be his first Olympics — and hopefully the first of many.

“His technique is very tight and as he gets stronger and faster his performance will get better and better and his technique will carry him there.”

Justin, a pupil at Berkshire School in the US, is the son of veteran distance runner Jay Donawa, who won a silver at the CARIFTA Games in Barbados in 1989.