La Fond Dedicates World Indoor Gold To Her Homeland

(CMC) – Newly minted world indoor triple jump champion Thea La Fond dedicated her win to the people of her native Dominica.

The 29-year-old needed only two attempts to fly to the triple jump gold medal to become the first global champion in athletics from the island.

La Fond soared a national record 15.01 metres on her second attempt, the best jump in the world this year, and with victory all but locked up was able to pass on her remaining four jumps.

She wrote an open letter of apology to the country eight years ago when she failed miserably at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, leaping only 12.82 metres, but she was singing a love song after her personal best mark gave her victory at the Commonwealth Arena in the Scotland capital.

“I think this is the exclamation in my apology letter, but I told Dominicans in 2016 that was not my best, and I wanted to put in the work to give them my best, and I am happy that my best was able to secure a medal for us,” she said in an interview with the Dominica Broadcasting Service.

“This is massive. The amount of people I heard around the stadium talking about Dominica, and I saw people looking up the country on their phones. These are the moments that we want – to put our nation on the world map, and the best way to do so is to highlight us in the most positive way, and I can’t think of a more positive way.”

The best results on the international stage previously for La Fond were a Diamond League win two years ago in Paris, a silver medal at the last Commonwealth Games in the same year in the English city of Birmingham, and a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

She said she was still trying to come to grips with her achievement, but she said it was more important for the people of Dominica to feel inspired and that it could drive them to accomplish feats that may seem out of their reach.

“I don’t know if it has fully hit yet,” she said. “To be honest, I am so happy, and so grateful to be in this moment presently and to be feeling these overwhelming feelings right now.

“This was like a love letter to my people, and it’s a moment I just want us to bask in because I am so proud to be from Dominica.

“This little girl born in Canefield came out here and did something amazing for our country, and I am so honoured to call you all my people, and I am so honoured to have family and friends that support me the way they do, and I am truly, truly humbled, and it’s such a privilege.”

La Fond thanked the Dominica Olympic Association and Dominica Athletics Association for their support of her efforts.