Simmonds over the moon 12.86 run in 100m hurdles
With most fans inside the National Stadium focusing on the big stars at Saturday's Racers Grand Prix meet, there was one athlete who did not win but still produced a fantastic performance.
Former St Andrew High School hurdler Megan Simmonds was on cloud nine after her third-place finish in the women's 100 metres hurdles in a personal best 12.86 seconds.
Simmonds has done very well at the junior level. In addition to winning gold medals at the Carifta Games, she reached the final of the 100m hurdles at the World Youth Championships in 2011 in Lille, France, and finished sixth.
Instead of taking up a track and field scholarship overseas, Simmonds has decided to stay home and attend the University of Technology, where she is being guided by Stephen Francis, a coach who has had major success in the event at the senior level with Brigitte Foster-Hylton.
Simmonds suffered a major setback at the National Senior Championships last year. She fell in the semi-finals and took no further part in the championships. She has, however, returned to competition this year with more determination, and after a close second-place finish at the Penn Relays she finally had her first sub-13 seconds clocking in the event at the Cayman Invitational meet where she finished fifth in 12.96 seconds.
Shortly after that meet, however, Simmonds had another disappointing outing at the May 7 Jamaica International Invitational meet where she failed to finish once again.
After hearing her time announced last Saturday, Simmonds could not contain herself ... she was prancing around and holding her head with disbelief. It took several minutes for her to speak.
"I am extremely happy and I am blessed as it has been a mental battle for me. It feels so good to finish in the top three and also a personal record. Indeed, it is an amazing experience as it was not about a win, but being competitive. Every time I run in a highly competitive race I flop. God is great," said an emotional Simmonds who expects to do well at the National Championships in two weeks time in a bid to book her spot to the Rio Olympics.