History no matter what
Clunis revels in big moment, not nervous over World Champs debut
WHEN NAYOKA Clunis enters the National Athletics Centre today, she will break a glass ceiling for Jamaican athletics.
She will be the first athlete, man or woman, to take the circle in the hammer throw event, and it will be the culmination of a journey she has taken with her grandmother in her corner every step of the way.
Clunis, four times the national champion, was ranked high enough in the quota to qualify for the championships and gets her chance on the world stage when qualification starts at 12:00 p.m.
It is a moment that she is sharing with her grandmother, who has been with her through the battles in her career and in life.
“Grandma has been my everything. Growing up, she has been my rock through homelessness and everything. She has always been there and to see that we have a lot of communication because she is in the country and she has a banger phone. I am hoping to hear from her and hear some good news. Can’t wait to tell Grandma that I am in Budapest.”
But while the stage is different, Clunis is approaching it in the same way she does any other meet.
“I wasn’t worried because I knew that after throwing 70 metres at Trials and competing by myself, I knew that I was capable of 71. I wasn’t sure and with the travel in Canada it was like ‘OK, a bad day and I am still getting 71’ because my technique was not in sync and not having my coach there to correct the little cues that didn’t help. But to see that I got 71 regardless, I was not disappointed, but not satisfied,” Clunis said.
“I had two good weeks of training so I am excited about what I can do.”
Having had the ‘pinch-me moment’ as she calls it out of the way, her focus shifted quickly to the task at hand and with her measured approach, she feels she is capable of a magical moment.
“I’ve got the pinch-me moment since I boarded the plane. So I got it out of the way. I don’t feel like I am on a bigger stage than I am used to being on. It is just I am at a regular meet and I am just here to perform and do what I need to do,” Clunis said.
“If I can do anything like what I have been doing in practice, it is going to be money. It is going to be really magical and I can’t wait to see what happens.”