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DeRosa rewrites record books

History in the making: Tiara DeRosa set another Bermuda record yesterday when she broke Sonya Smith's long-standing shot put record with her throw of 13.59 metres at the National Championships (Photograph by Lawrence trott)

Tiara DeRosa shattered a longstanding record in the National Athletics Championships at the National Sports Centre last night when she surpassed Sonya Smith’s shot put mark of 13.59 metres set in 1985 with her throw of 13.89.

The college student, who broke Branwen Smith-King’s discus record in 2018 with her throw of 48.91 metres, knew immediately she was close to the national shot record last night.

“Once I threw it I realised it was a record because I have been throwing pretty good all season,” said DeRosa, who enters her senior year at Mississippi Valley State in the fall.

“My goal was to throw 14 metres but that didn’t happen, but I’m satisfied with this 13.89. I feel accomplished, but I have bigger goals in mind for my senior year in college.

“I want to qualify for nationals out there so I’ll have to throw 50 metres [in discus] and a 15.37 [in javelin] to qualify for nationals.”

DeRosa, who also holds the national junior record in the discus with a throw of 45.02 metres set in January 2016 when she qualified for Carifta Games, admits the shot “is a second love”.

“My first love is discus,” she revealed. “I just threw the javelin for fun.”

Terry-Lynn Paynter, the national throwing coach, was at the sports centre to see the record throw and believes the best is still yet to come from the talented 21-year-old.

“She is destined for great things, she broke Branwen’s record which was one of the oldest we had,” said Paynter, a former javelin thrower.

“Our goal this year is to be consistently at 14.50 metres and in the discus to break the 50 metres.

“We’re still working, her season is just about over because she got an internship for the summer at Clemson University, she is studying engineering and had a really good GPA and earned that internship. I’m really proud of her, she’s a good kid.

“She was going to compete at the University Games but it clashes with the internship, and education is important as well as the athletics.

“She’s got a few good years left, I’m hoping she qualifies for the next Olympics. If she doesn’t make the next one, she will definitely make 2024, I can guarantee that.”

Amateur Athletic Union from the US brought a team of 20 to Bermuda to compete in the championships, with Cyrus Ways winning the boys high jump with a leap of 1.85 metres, before failing three times at 1.90 metres.

“I feel like I could have done better, my approach was kind of shaky,” said Ways, 15, who has a personal best jump of 1.95 metres.

“I feel if my approach was set and it was firm I could have cleared that. I cleared 1.95m about a month or two ago.

“The competition was right around what I expected, they have a lot of good athletes. I’m competing again tomorrow, doing the 200 and 4x400 relay.”

The two-day event wraps up today, with action starting at 11am with DeRosa competing again in the discus. There will also be 200, 800 and 1500 metre races.