Nettey lands long jump gold for Canada at Pan Am Games
Canadian long jumper Christabel Nettey continued her streak of strong performances by winning gold at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games on Friday night.
Nettey’s fifth attempt of 6.90 metres stood as the winner in Toronto but in reality, she had four attempts that were farther than the next best competitor, silver medallist Bianca Stuart of Bahamas (6.69m). Sha’keela Saunders of the United States sneaked in at 6.66m, two centimetres ahead of Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton for bronze.
This season Nettey owns the second longest jump in the world among women, reaching a Canadian record of 6.99 metres in May. She has also won a Diamond League meet for the first time in her career.
“I’m a little surprised with what happened this past year,” Nettey said. “I’m just really embracing it and moving through the rest of the year and hoping to improve.”
After sticking around the 6.73m to 6.75m range the last couple of years, 2015 has given the Canadian a breakthrough. Nettey jumped 6.80 or farther four times on Friday.
“Last year was more of a learning experience, just executing during my competitions is really key.”
Winning in big meets by performing under the spotlight is becoming commonplace this summer for the 24-year-old, who is hoping to peak at the IAAF World Championships in August at Beijing to get her hands on more medals.
“I think (in) Beijing I could break it,” Nettey said of crossing the coveted seven-metre mark in women’s long jump. At the very least, she plans to leave China wearing a World Championships medal. “I have a lot of confidence and I’m confident on making it to the podium.”