Bermuda’s Sakari Famous stunned the crowd at the Russell E. Blunt East Coast Invitational track meet with a leap that would have smashed the US national age-group record.
The 14-year-old Bermuda Pacers athlete cleared the bar with a personal best of 1.75 metres, surpassing the 11-year US record of 1.74m, to win the gold medal in the 13-14 age-group.
The jump was just four centimetres shy of the overall Bermuda junior record and just six short of the island's senior record.
“It’s great. There’s nothing to compare it to because it’s like the best thing ever to me,” Famous told the Herald Sun.
Famous was then quickly on the phone to her mom. “She screamed, and then my Nana got a pan and started banging it in the background in celebration.”
She added: “I had difficulties before coming. I was absolutely not jumping or making my heights, but my coach told me, ‘Oh, I see you’re getting all of your bad jumps out so you can jump better at Blunt'.
“I was getting a little scared because when I came the weather was cold, and sometimes I don’t really jump good in cold weather,” Famous said. And then she failed to clear the record height in her first two attempts, experiencing some difficulty in her drive and holding her arch.
“It was like, ‘Oh my gosh, can I make it?’ I know that everybody believes in me. My mom would be proud if I make it. My coach would be proud if I make it. I said, ‘I need to calm myself.’”
Pacers head coach Calvin Simons said: “She is a very gifted young lady. She listens. She’s a coach’s dream because she’s very receptive taking in information, and she’s a bright girl. She can visualize it, she can actualize it, and 90 percent of the time makes the jump.”