Tue | May 30, 2023

Hibbert grateful for support

Under-20 triple jump star only needed one jump to claim indoor world record

Published:Monday | March 13, 2023 | 12:54 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
Jaydon Hibbert.
Jaydon Hibbert.

Similar to the exploits that saw him claim the World Under-20 triple jump title last year, Jaydon Hibbert only needed one jump to not only claim his first collegiate title in his freshman season, but to create a piece of history for himself and Jamaica.

Hibbert won the NCAA Indoor triple jump title in a World Under-20 indoor record effort of 17.54 metres at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Saturday.

Not only did it break the indoor record set by France’s Malvin Raffin in March 2017 (17.20m), but it also surpassed the outdoor record which was set by Volker Mai in 1985 (pending ratification). It also smashed the national senior indoor record set by Clive Pullin in February 2017 (17.19m) and the collegiate record set by Charlie Simpkins in 1986 (17.50m).

Hibbert, who is in his first season at the University of Arkansas, was grateful for those who helped him to get to this point this early in his college career.

“It is a lot of records. And this is all God’s work. I dedicate this win to everybody who put their interest, time, effort, and everything into my successes. I am grateful for this,” Hibbert told Arkansas Track and Field.

Hibbert, in winning the title at the World Under-20 championships in Colombia last season, also claimed the championship record of 17.27m, needing only one attempt to win the title. Hibbert said that it was important for him to set the tone as early as possible

“I just needed to bring it on my first jump and shake the field. I just did that and produced. That is the good part about doing stuff on your first jump. You don’t have to do anything else,” Hibbert said.

He only had to watch as the other competitors tried to get close to the mark, using the pre-meet jitters to his advantage

“I am usually nervous at the start of meets, and that brings out the best in me. Because when I am nervous I jump far. It’s not nerves to the point that I am anxious and scared. It’s just exciting to get out there and see where I’m at,” Hibbert said.

With eyes towards the outdoor season, Hibbert is focused on continuing the work that brought out an excellent start to his first season at Arkansas, promising better things and reaffirming the potential that young Jamaican athletes are capable of producing.

“There is more where that came from, and it is going to be a good season. It’s just to show Jamaicans that no matter where we go, we are still resilient and we can break records. And it is the young people that are doing it, and I am so proud,” Hibbert said.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com