I wanted to do more - Praught
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil:
Aisha Praught was not satisfied with just becoming the first Jamaican to run in an Olympic 3000 metres steeplechase final.
For her, it was not enough.
A message from her father before her race and the emotions around wearing the Jamaican kit on the biggest of sporting stage was too much to hold in, but as the tears flowed after her run at the Olympic Stadium yesterday, so did her passion for representing a country that she has only recently come to know.
Born in the United States to a Jamaican father and raised in Mississippi, Praught said she was proud of her accomplishment, but also upset that she was not able to meet her goal and turn in a better performance.
"First of all, I am really happy to put our jersey in the final in the distances. I hope that people were watching and that people were inspired and I know I will not be the last one to do this," she said after her 9:34.20 run, which left her in 14th position in the event, which was won by Bahrain's Ruth Jebet in 8:59.75.
"It means the world to represent like this, it's sort of surreal."
Still, for an emotional Praught, who a few weeks ago at the London Diamond League ran a personal best 9:31.75, yesterday's finish was far from what she had planned.
"My goal was to leave it all on the track and today everything I had was not quite good enough," Praught said. "At the time I did the best I could and I left every bit of myself on the track and that's the end goal as an athlete - to give your all and if you know you gave your all you can walk away proud."
The silver medal in the event went to Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi (Kenya), 9:07.12, with the USA's Emma Coburn winning bronze in 9:07.63.