BVI News

History makers return home

Beyonce DeFreitas and Dijimon Gumbs posed for the camera shortly after they arrived in the BVI yesterday

By Davion Smith, BVI News Online Journalist

When Beyonce DeFreitas crossed the finish line in the 200 metres final on Sunday, she stopped the clock at 23.88 seconds, landing the British Virgin Islands (BVI) its second medal ever in the history of the Commonwealth Youth Games. She copped silver.

Her win came three days after her teammate Dijimon Gumbs won the first medal ever for the BVI at the Commonwealth Youth Games. He took third place in the Boys’ Discuss with a throw of 56.24m.

Moments after he returned to his homeland yesterday, Gumbs told BVI News Online: “Seeing all the other people through just pushed me – just gave me the drive; just gave me inspiration to go out of there and do my best. That’s what I did.”

“When I got up on the podium, I felt really good knowing that I represented the BVI,” the 16-year-old strongman further said, adding that the feat made the rigours of training worthwhile.

“Training was a lot of hard work. There were tears, blood, a lot of cussing, fighting, and bickering with my coach, Omar Jones.”

Gumbs however stated that he now has a greater appreciation for his coach pushing him to always do better. “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have been here celebrating with the team.”

Gumbs, who will start Grade 12 at Elmore Stoutt High in September, said competing at the games was a major learning experience. “It just pushes me and makes me understand that competing and working hard will get me far, and will make me represent the BVI to the best of my ability,” he said.

Meanwhile, the sprint medalist, DeFreitas, told BVI News Online that more is in her proverbial gas tank.

She further stated that she could have won gold. “On the actual day of my first race, it was a pretty easy race. I didn’t have to do much work. The semi-finals; I had to do a bit more. And, in the finals, I didn’t get the start that I wanted, but I am still pleased with my medal.”

DeFreitas, during the preliminary round of the race, cruised to the finish line in 25.01 seconds. She lowered that mark to clock 24.14 seconds in the semi-final round, and then blazed to a podium finish with a sub-24 seconds in the finals of the 200 metres.

DeFreitas finished behind 17-year-old Australian, Louise Riley Day, who ran 23.42 seconds.

“I just like to thank my coach Willis Todman for believing in me, and also my parents for pushing me every day,” added the sprinter, who now has her eyes set on the World Junior Championships to be held next year.

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