Tara Davis-Woodhall earns perfect birthday present at Bermuda Grand Prix
A day after she turned 24, United States long jumper Tara Davis-Woodhall produced a terrific final effort to claim the women’s title at the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix on Sunday.
Saving her best for last Davis-Woodhall posted a leap of 7.11 metres to finish just seven centimetres ahead of compatriot Quanesha Burks and she was keen to express her gratitude to the organisers for allowing her to enter the event at the eleventh hour.
“I am so, so thankful for the meet judges to get me into this meet,” Davis-Woodhall said.
“I got in very, very last minute, so its unbelievable to be here, I've never been to Bermuda but now I will come back,’’ said Davis-Woodhall.
Persistence paid off for the athlete, who that her first attempt was well over seven metres, but even though that was red flagged, she did not let the setback affect her.
“My first jump I swear it had to be 24 feet, it was massive,” she said.
“I felt what I needed to do but I was at 7.03 and she was at 7.04, so that was a bit surprising, but I didn't let it get to my head and I just tried to stay focused.
“I felt everything that I've done at practice in that final jump, I couldn't ask for more. I knew I wanted to jump seven metres as much as a I can, I trust what I am doing that I will jump seven metres.”
The affable Davis-Woodhall was a crowd favourite at the Flora Duffy Stadium and felt the fans who turned out had a huge impact on her performance.
“The crowd was unbelievable and they were so in tune with the jumps,” she said.
“I've never seen a crowd like that and honestly it was perfect.”
Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico eased to victory in the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.17 seconds. The Tokyo gold medal-winner led from the start to the finish ahead of Jamaica’s Danielle Williams
It was the second time that Camacho-Quinn has taken part in the Bermuda Grand Prix and she is hoping to return again next year.
“I knew what I was up against but I wasn't too nervous, I just wanted to have a good start, nail down hurdle one and the rest will take care of itself,’’ she said.
With a season’s best of 54.90 seconds, Jamaica’s Andrenette Knight won the women’s 400 metre hurdles, using the windy conditions to her benefit.
“My mindset was just getting out,” Knight said.
“I would feel the wind coming home but I had to use it to my advantage, I just finished strong,. This is my season’s best and with better weather I can go faster.”.
Tamari Davies took the women’s 100m race in 10.91 seconds ahead with her flying start and calm temperament key factors in the success.
“It was great to come into this race and finish healthy,” Davies said.
“I didn't have a great start but I had to stay patient, just execute my race and I came out with the win.”
Puerto Rico’s Gabby Scott stormed to victory in the women’s 400m and was pleased with the win after recently recovering from injury.
“This is my first one in about a month, I’ve dealt with an injury so I am happy with the win,’’ she said
One of the tightest finishes at the meet came in the women’s 800 metres when Uganda’s Susan Aneno just missed out on victory despite a desperate late lunge.
Olivia Baker, of the United States, was awarded the victory with just two hundredths of a second to spare.
Having earlier taken part in the 4x100m relay, Abby Steiner finished the meeting off nicely by winning the women’s 200m in 22.06 seconds, and she has every intention of returning again next year.
“I was really pleased with the strength I felt at the end of that run and it was nice to have the 4x100m before that to kind of prime me as well,” Steiner said.
“The environment here was awesome, I love Bermuda’s energy, its so fun, so lively and everyone is happy to be here.”
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