EUGENE, USA – Akela Jones made history by becoming the first athlete from Barbados to win a medal of any colour at the IAAF World Junior Championships.
The 19-year-old won the long jump final with a leap of 6.34m on Wednesday's (23 July) second day.
"It's amazing to be the best in the world. I've been training for this for the last two years, longer than that," said the overjoyed Jones.
Sixth at the 2011 IAAF World Youth Championships, Jones took the lead in the opening round with 6.32m and improved to 6.34m into a strong -2.7m/s head wind.
It proved to be sufficient for gold although the conditions contributed to it being the shortest winning distance in the history of the World Junior Championships.
Norway’s Nadia Akpana Assa, who led the qualification with a national junior record of 6.39m, came a close second with 6.31m while Germany’s Maryse Luzolo clinched the bronze medal with 6.24m.
Jones, who won the long jump, high jump and 100m hurdles gold medals at Carifta Games in April 2014, said "It's an epic moment."
"That's the only word for it: epic. Hayward Field has a good atmosphere. The fans are so into the competition and so knowledgeable. It's amazing."
With strong head wind conditions, only half of the 12 finalists managed to jump farther than six metres in the final.