Croydon's Amokwandoh savours triple delight
Croydon triple jumper Stefan Amokwandoh could not hide his delight after storming back from last year’s disappointment to claim gold at the Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games in Sheffield, writes Pippa Field.
The 17-year-old Whitgift School pupil had hoped to make his bow at the Games as they were held across the Olympic venues in London in May 2012 but was edged out in the qualification process.
But, given the stage to perform at the Don Valley Stadium this time around, Amokwandoh didn’t waste any time in leaving his mark, jumping 14.37m in the third round to secure victory.
That was 25 centimetres shy of the personal best he set a week before competing in Sheffield but Amokwandoh admitted winning gold still tasted sweet, especially coming after a mixed season.
“I was unlucky as someone jumped further than me and I missed out last year,” said Amokwandoh. “So to compete for the first time and win after last year’s disappointment was amazing.
“It is great to come out and perform on such a big stage and in front of such a big audience at the School Games is something I was looking forward to and it was brilliant.
“It is also a good way to finish off my season. It has been a season with ups and downs as I had some hamstring injuries but to end on a positive is great and gives me confidence heading into winter.
“I came into the competition in good form because in the two weeks building up to the School Games I had jumped a personal best twice so I felt really good coming into it.
“I was looking for another personal best but it didn’t quite happen but I am still really happy with the gold medal. The big aim next season is to jump 15m, hopefully in indoors.”
Meanwhile there was also success in the pool in Sheffield for Croydon disability swimmer Kahoru Harazawa as he grabbed himself a full set of medals at Ponds Forge.
The 16-year-old Woodcote High School pupil claimed gold in the 100m breaststroke as well as silver in the 100m butterfly and bronze in the 200m medley and he was made up with his efforts.
“It was good to win. I wasn’t really expecting too much going into the race, the time wasn’t too great, but with it being the first race of the season, it’s good enough,” said Harazawa.
“And I can’t complain with a gold can I? It was my second School Games and it was still just as good second time around. I think it’s a great event.
“There’s no break for me now, I will be back into full training. It’s pre-season so it’s conditioning and getting back the techniques and things.”
*The Sainsbury's 2013 School Games, which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, was held in venues across Sheffield from 12-15 September 2013. Visit 2013schoolgames.com.
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