It’s official!! The speculation is over. She is going to Run! And Run She intends to. Luan Gabriel, the daughter of the late Felix Gabriel and Cyrilla Hilton, will be running in the 200m for Dominica at the London 2012 Olympic game.
“I feel very proud of myself. It’s the biggest competition in my athletic career so far, but I am ready to do it” said a confident Gabriel. She continued “I know it’s going to be a challenge but I am up for it”.
It has been a very amazing summer for this young lady. This though will be a defining moment in her young life. Asked how she would approach the race she said “ I would like to have a good start out of the block, push forward quickly in the first 30m, come out hard on the curve, relax coming into the home stretch and press hard for the final 50m – spoken like a veteran runner. Dominicans will get a chance to watch her execute on the home stretch.
According to team coach Joel Hamilton, the decision to run was made by the athlete with his guidance and support. It is not about winning he said, but an opportunity to gain some valuable experience on the world stage.
President of the Dominica Olympic Committee Mr. Felix Wilson is confident that Luan will do well. He explained that Gabriel has guaranteed him that she intends to do her best here in London but it is the next Olympic game in Brazil that she made what he termed a startling declaration, “Mr. Wilson I am going to be on the podium in Rio”.
It is this larger than life attitude that is her best gift. Still considered pretty raw with her technique by Head coach at Columbia University and personal coach of Erison Hurtault, Willy Wood, he is astonished at her power and determined attitude. After watching her in training he walked over to Hamilton and asked “is she really 16?” Similar questions were asked by the Jamaican head coach after watching the young thoroughbred from Bioche trot her stuff.
When asked about her readiness Gabriel said calmly “Well I am ready”. Hamilton on the other hand explained that she came to London nursing a few niggles. He is confident however that with the high quality treatment and attention she has received here, those issues have been resolved.
When asked if there were any final comments, she replied like an experienced campaigner “ I would like to thank everyone who has assisted me thus far, my family and friends from Bioche and Dublanc, my coaches Mr. Nabi Wallace and Joseph Basil.” She was also grateful to the current and former athletes who sent best wishes to the team in recent days.
Luan is a member of Aspirers Sport Club in Portsmouth where she is coached by Mr. Nabi Wallace, who, I must add, has done a very fine job in developing this athlete. In his absence, he is quite capably supported by Mr. Joseph Basil.
Ironically, written in her locker room at the club house is a sign posted under her picture ‘BRAZIL 2016.’ This is such an awesome story of a dream coming true. It’s even more amazing when it happens 4 years ahead of schedule. The future looks bright for Luan but careful management and support is critical.
She is ours Dominica! DON’T LET HER DOWN!
For team Dominica and the speedster from the west coast it’s all systems go.
Race Time: Monday August 6th between 1:50pm and 4:55pm.
From the finish line in London England at the 2012 Olympic Game…
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