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Chantel E. Malone eyes improved Pan Am Games finish

- narrowly missed out on a medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto
World ranked long jumper Chantel E. Malone is optimistic of a podium position at the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru. Photo: Dean H. Greenaway aka ‘The Sportsman’
The 2019 Pan Am Games is being held in Lima, Peru. Photo: Wikipedia
The 2019 Pan Am Games is being held in Lima, Peru. Photo: Wikipedia
Dean H. Greenaway aka ‘The Sportsman’

LIMA, Peru, SA— With a fourth place showing in the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, Chantel E. Malone equaled the 1987 Softball team that narrowly lost to Cuba 4-3 in the bronze medal game, as the territory’s best placings in its history. She’s hoping to improve on that in Lima.

Since then, she has gone on to become the territory’s first IAAF World Championships outdoor finalist, when she placed seventh in the Long Jump in London, in 2017, followed by a 2018 CAC Games silver medal.

Her 2019 campaign got off to a slow start, leading to a point of frustration, before the breakthrough that put her on top the world at the time, when she cut the sand a 6.90m in the Long Jump. The mark is currently No 5 on the 2019 IAAF List, after being No 1 for several weeks.

“My first meet was not all that but I wasn’t too worried about it because my coach was saying I was still in the fall base training and I wasn’t doing speed and once I got my feet under me, I’ll be fine, so I trusted him,” Malone explained. “The next two meets were awesome. The one before my personal best was a season’s best, I felt like I was getting the rhythm back on the runway. When I jumped the 6.90m, I didn’t have to think about anything. It was flowing naturally. I got a little injury after that and that kind of set me back a bit. But, I’m pretty confident that I can go out there at the Pan Am Games and come home with a medal.”

‘Knock em out early’

Malone was in third place in Toronto until the final round where her mark was passed and she had to settle for fourth place. The plan around this time she said, is to ‘knock ‘em out early.’

“I have a tendency to hit my bigger jumps later down in my series and I’m trying to visualize hitting it on the first one so I don’t have to be worrying too much and no one can sneak up on me,” she pointed out. “That’s my main goal going in—just to execute, remember to have fun, stay relaxed and not to let the pressure of being a games or a major competition, get to me.”

What would winning a medal mean to Malone?

“It would pretty much solidify all the hard work I’ve put in. I’ve been to these championships and I’ve always fallen short—whether it’s been an injury or someone passes me on the last jump—it always been something like almost there but not really grasping it,” she explained. “If I do what I’m supposed to do and execute the way I know I can execute, then, there’s no doubt that I should come out with a medal.”

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