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(SNO) — Saint Lucia has captured its first-ever Youth Olympic Games medal, as Julien Alfred finished second overall to get silver in the women’s 100m on Monday (Oct. 15) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The former Leon Hess Comprehensive and St. Catherine High School (Jamaica) student, a multiple national record holder, and the Commonwealth Youth Games women’s 100m champion, ran 11.23 seconds in the girls’ 100m finals at the Parque Polideportivo Roca.
Julien’s 11.23, added to her 11.99 in the preliminaries, left her just two-hundredths of a second behind the eventual champion, Nigeria’s Rosemary Chukuma.
Saint Lucia is the only English-speaking Caribbean nation aside from Jamaica on the medals table, and Julien’s medal, for the time being, boosted Saint Lucia to 22nd overall on the medals table.
With much better weather conditions and a massive tailwind of 3.3 metres per second, times were much faster on Monday than they were on Friday for Stage 1.
In a post-race interview with Anmar Goodridge Boyce, Alfred said: “Yes, This is [a proud moment]. This is the third Youth Olympic Games, and I am the first medallist for Saint Lucia, and I am nothing but proud. Had the wind been lower, I would have a new national record.
“I knew I was going to medal anyways. Not to be boastful, but like, I came to these championships positive, and I delivered very well. We hoped for gold, but I am still thankful for the silver medal.
“Going into the race, I was positive, I was relaxed. During the race I felt like the last 40 metres I was trying to fight, I didn’t hold my form properly, but my start was good, compared to Stage 1.”
Alfred dedicated her silver medal to two of her deceased relatives, her late father and aunt, the latter who died in recent days. The bespectacled champion also thanked all of her supporters back in Saint Lucia.
In a revelatory dialogue with Boyce, Alfred said she has been working with a psychologist since Commonwealth Youth Games 2017, and that helped her mental preparation.
She also spoke about her in-competition preparation, which she says involves listening to soca music to help her relax.