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Donawa reflects on gold medal haul

Teenage track star Justin Donawa says winning multiple gold medals at this month’s New England Division II Track and Field Championships was an “unforgettable experience”.

The Berkshire School athlete son of veteran road runner Jay who finished third in Friday’s May 24 Marathon stamped his authority on the Massachusetts track meet by capturing four gold medals and setting two school records to earn the coveted Most Outstanding Male Performer Award.

The young Bermudian set new school records en route to winning the gold in both the triple jump (14.73m) and long jump (6.80m) events. He also struck gold in the 100 metres, hitting the tape in a time of 11.01 seconds. He was also a member of his school’s 4x100 metres relay that won the event for the fourth consecutive year in a record time (regional) of 42.70 seconds.

Donawa said his phenomenal showing at the track meet surpassed his expectations by far.

“Going into the meet I wasn't expecting myself to win four gold medals,” he said. “The aim for me was just to jump far and win the long jump and triple jump, help my relay team win and then just give it everything I had left in the 100 metres. All of us on the 4x100m relay team were hoping to win at this meet beforehand. In the process of all this I happened to win what I wanted to win and more as well as breaking or helping break a couple school and New England records.”

As for being crowned top male at the track meet, Donawa said: “My initial reaction was joy. The fact that I had ran and jumped hard to four gold medals, I felt like me receiving the Most Outstanding Male Performer Award was just the icing on the cake.

“I don't know where exactly these achievements would rank on my list, but I know for sure that I will never forget this performance.”

Asked whether he had any ambitions to run with his father in the annual road race, the younger Donawa emphatically replied “no”.

“I wouldn't run the half-marathon alongside my father because the race is around 13 miles too long for me and I wouldn't be able to keep up with him,” he laughed. “I'll leave all the long distance stuff for him and support him from the sidelines and I'll stick to the jumping.”

Last year saw the athlete put an end to Bermuda’s eight-year Carifta gold medal drought after capturing top honours in the Under-17 boys triple jump at the National Sports Centre.

Donawa won the gold with what was then a personal best leap of 14.63m and a new Bermuda Carifta record, having surpassed the previous best achieved by Stephen Woodley in 1991.

Earlier this year in Bahamas he narrowly missed out on securing another Carfita medal, finishing tied for fourth with Jamaica’s Demar Robinson in the Under-20 boys triple jump with a best jump of 14.92 metres.

Golden boy: Justin Donawa

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Published May 28, 2013 at 9:25 am (Updated May 28, 2013 at 9:24 am)

Donawa reflects on gold medal haul

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