BVI News

Malone mines gold! Ends BVI’s 36-year medal drought at Pan Am Games

Local long jumper, Chantel Malone at the 2019 PanAm Games in Lima, Peru.

Long Jumper Chantel Malone has earned the British Virgin Islands its first-ever medal at the Pan American Games after nearly four decades.

Competing in the 18th edition of the games in Lima, Peru on Tuesday, Malone, in the first round of the Women’s Long Jump final, leapt to a distance of 6.68 metres.

This was the jump that was enough to secure the gold medal for the BVI.

Malone edged out American Keturah Orji who placed second with a leap of 6.66 metres and Jamaica’s Tissanna Hickling who finished third with a best leap of 6.59 metres.

Not an easy road to victory

Following her superior podium-finishing performance, Malone was not shy about admitting the work and struggles that led up to sweet victory.

She lauded her coach Dwight Phillips for his role in helping her make the golden leap.

“It’s truly an honour to represent my country and be a representation of our resilience! None of this would be possible without my support system — you know who you are! Oh, let me tell you about the lows! They held my head above the water! Coach Phillips, thank you for not letting me drown in my self-doubt when everything felt like it was falling apart! You’re the best coach for me hands down!” Malone said in a post on social media.

President of the BVI Olympic Committee Ephraim Penn also commended Malone for her outstanding performance, which resulted in the territory finally achieving its goal of medalling since competing in its first games in 1983.

“I think it is a great achievement for the country and for Chantel in particular because of the struggles she’s had during the year. We always thought we had a good chance of winning a medal at these games. We didn’t know when are where, we just knew the calibre of athletes that came each had the potential to win a medal,” stated Penn who is at the games.

He added: “We still have a long way to go but it shows that with dedication and hard work, a lot can be achieved.”

Other results

Meanwhile, the other BVI athletes who also competed on that day had various results which were not sufficient to earn them a spot on the podium.

In the men’s shot-put final, local strongman Eldred Henry finished sixth by throwing a distance of 19.82 metres. In the Women’s 400-metre semifinal, Ashley Kelly finished eighth with a time of 54.42 seconds, which was not enough to advance to the final.

Thadd Lettsome had three races on the day. He finished 15th, 19th and 18th in the Men’s Dingy Opening Series races.

Lettsome will have a chance to improve his performances as he’s scheduled to compete in two other races of that series on Thursday, August 8, at 12 pm local time.


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  1. TurtleDove says:

    BVI this is for you!!!!


    Like 18
    • Wow!! says:

      What a NEGATIVE headline. Why not just be congratulatory. Strupps

      Like 1
      Dislike 5
      • Hmm says:

        They said the headline this way because a softball pitcher was awarding best pitcher in the PanAm games in 1988. But it is not considered a medal just an award, it should have been a medal though.

  2. Black Silk says:


    Like 14
  3. Great Job says:

    Congrats young lady,another BVI shining star.

    Like 15
  4. voiceofthevoiceless says:

    Congrats Chantel! You made the BVI proud!

  5. Only the bVi says:

    Only the bVi join to jump on the established train. She’s been running and trying for years, where were you? Where were you bVI? She hit gold without you!!!

  6. Well Done says:

    Congratulations to the young lady on a her momentous achievement. May her welcome back home be as resounding as her outstanding accomplishment, complemented with all the bells and whistles.

  7. well done says:

    well done Chantel Malone!!!

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