By Anthony Foster, writer 

Antiguan 13-year-old sprinter Jonella Lloyd, the star of last weekend’s Inter-Schools Championships, idolizes Jamaica’s World and Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

“I like her, I like how she runs,” said Lloyd with a huge smile on her face.

Lloyd won the 100m (11.89), 200m (24.36) and 400m (57.81) finals for her Antigua Girls High School team at the Coca-Cola Inter-Schools Championships. She also ran the 4x100m and took her team from 6th on the final exchange to second in the final.

After the event, caught up with the young sprinter and asked about her love and plans for track and field.

Q: Talk about your performance here?
A: “I think it was very good, I am very proud of myself. All my races I did personal best times."

Q: How hard did you prepare for these Championships?
A: “I was here (stadium for training) much more often than before. Every day I was pushing myself to do better and really had my mind into it."

Q: What do you think about track and field here in Antigua?
A: “The sport can do with a little more improving. The track especially needs resurfacing, because it’s kind of hard. However, other than that, I think the federation is trying to encourage us to do better.”

Q: How hard does an athlete in Antigua work?
A: “Some of them work very hard, others, like just before the competition starts, that is when they will come, and they won’t come back until next year, but the ones that work hard they are almost here everyday."

Q: Do you find other athletes here that look up to you?
A: “Yes they do…I heard them say my name, and that’s good you know for the little encouragement.”

Q: What do you think when you watch track and field on TV, or follow the results from a round the world, where do you see yourself in track and field?
A: “I want to be recognize worldwide…When I look around and I see the other people my age and what they are doing, the same as me, I feel good about myself.”

Q: Do you understand now that you going to have to work much, much harder if you are to make it to the top?
A: “Yes I will work harder. I know I am going to have to pick up my starting and stuff, but I am going to work harder."

Q: Do you plan to remain in Antigua after high school, or overseas for school and training?
A: “I like to stay in Antigua until I finish college, but then I would like to get a scholarship to go university and then leave Antigua hopefully."

Q: Have you ever dreamt about representing your country at the Olympics, and if so, what times you dream of getting in the feature?
A: “I really want to represent Antigua at the Olympic Games, and be the first female from the country to get a gold medal at the Olympics, and my time would be 10.7 or something lower.

Q: What do you do outside of track and field?
A: “I do volleyball and I am on my school junior science quiz team and church.”


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