Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn capped a dazzling performance in the women’s 100-metre hurdles in Tokyo with a gold medal on Monday (August 2), becoming the U.S. territory’s first gold medallist in athletics.
“That’s amazing. Honestly, you know, the sky’s the limit,” Camacho-Quinn said of the new Olympic milestone for the commonwealth island of 3.3 million.
She exploded off the blocks and stormed through the finish line, clocking 12.37 seconds to secure her first Olympic gold.
“At first I was upset because I hit the hurdle, but I’m like, ‘we’re at the Olympics and you just won a gold medal’ and it hit me there. I was like, I just won an Olympic gold medal. Like, that’s something huge,” said the 24-year-old who was born in Charleston, South Carolina, to an African American father and Puerto Rican mother, who were both track athletes themselves.
American Kendra Harrison, the world record holder, won silver in 12.52 and Jamaican Megan Tapper grabbed bronze in 12.55.
A day earlier, Camacho-Quinn shattered the Olympic record in her semi-final, setting a new mark at 12.26.
“I came here not playing games. Like I just broke the Olympic record. And, you know, you only have a chance every four this time five years, but usually every four years to do that. And I did it. My name’s up there. It’s an amazing feeling,” Camacho-Quinn when asked about the new record.
She said she was proud to represent Puerto Rico and that she hopes to inspire young athletes of mixed race to compete.
“Any athlete, it doesn’t matter what sport that you do, whatever you want, you step out there, give it your all you know, and that’s really it. Like you have to be dedicated to what you do. Stay true to yourself,” she said.
(Production: Nathan Frandino, Lucy Nicholson, Phil Noble, Kai Pfaffenbach, Martin Pollard)