Jessicca Noble dreaming big
Jessicca Noble, Jamaica's lone World Under-20 long jump finalist, is dreaming of the 2020 Olympics.
Motivated by the success of her University of Technology (UTech) teammate Elaine Thompson, Noble has already come a long way and is eyeing the 2017 World Championships as the first step of a transition from junior to senior competition. She hopes to emulate the performances of her favourite athlete, Olympic and World long jump champion Tianna Bartoletta of the United States.
The 19-year-old Noble has improved by leaps and bounds since winning medals for The Queen's School at Boys and Girls' Championships.
"I didn't like the event," she recalled, "because people said that I'm 'stoosh', so I didn't like the whole sand business, but now I really like it."
It's no wonder since she was Intercollegiate champion for UTech last year and Carifta Games runner-up and National junior champion this year.
Her best jump as a schoolgirl was 5.66 metres, and this year, she flew past six metres with a best mark of 6.28 metres.
"What I like most about it is that I've done personal best distances so many times. I didn't think I had it in me," she confessed.
She turns 20 in February, and accordingly, the Stephen Francis- coached athlete is looking ahead. Specifically, she is aiming at London and the 2017 World Championships.
"I know I'm capable of making the team," she says convincingly. "So all I have to do is train hard, as I say, stay injury free and just go out there, and when trials come, just do my best," Noble added.
If she does reach the London long jump final next year, it will be a breakthrough, as the retired Elva Goulbourne is the only Jamaican woman ever to compete for the medals in this event at the World Championships. That doesn't daunt Noble, as she trains sometimes with Thompson, who herself has accelerated from obscurity to the highest international class swiftly. "I look at her as motivation," she reveals.
Noble runs the 200m as well but doesn't expect to give up long jumping if her sprinting becomes world-class.
"I like it, personally," she offered, candidly, "but I don't think I would put down long jump for sprinting. I'd like to do both of them."
One target is to trim and strengthen her 5' 8" inches, 140lb frame, says the Wilson's Run, Trelawny, native. Reaching her goal could put her face to face in London with Bartoletta, who is the reigning World long jump champion.
"On the track, she's very fast, and not to mention when she's doing long jump", Noble observed. "She's a powerful athlete."
Her eyes lit up when she contemplated qualifying for the 2020 Olympics. "I don't even know how to express my feeling, but if I make that Olympic team, it would mean so much to me, to my family.
"I'm working very hard to make the World Champs team," she reaffirmed, "and then looking forward to making the Olympic team."