|Kemp enjoying first Olympic experience|
Guardian Sports Editor
Published: Jul 30, 2012
LONDON, England – Ivanique Kemp hasn’t even hit the track in London, England, yet she has already made history for her country.
The 21-year-old sprinter is the first Bahamian female to ever represent The Bahamas at the Olympic Games in either the short or long hurdles. She posted a national record qualifying time in the women’s 100- meter (m) hurdles, running 13.13 seconds in Des Moines, Iowa in June. It was a full seven
hundredths of a second under her previous best time, and under the ‘B’ qualifying time for these
Olympics, 13.15 seconds. “It’s really nice to be here and be a part of this team,”
said Kemp in an interview. “I knew it was coming because I normally peak at the end of my season. Indoors, I peaked coming down to the end of the sea- son and I had a feeling it was coming outdoors as well. I’m looking to peak here as well.”
What impresses the most about Kemp is her humility. Whether she realizes the magnitude of her accomplishment or not, is unknown, but she doesn’t relish in it. She’s constantly looking to improve. Kemp has responded well to challenges all season. She welcomes the atmosphere of her Olympic Games, and fully in- tends on embracing it.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” she said. “A lot of people don’t let me play it down, and it is something special, but I’m just glad to be here and I intend on representing my country well.”
Even at the BTC/Scotiabank
Olympic Trials, Kemp welcomed the challenges and had no problem dealing with the pressure of being the favorite. She maintained her cool and came through in flying colors. Kemp defeated a field that included the former national record holder Tiavannia Thompson, the national junior record holder Krystal Bodie, and the upstart Petra McDonald, making a comeback in the sport. In the end, Kemp cruised to a win, in 13.48 sec- onds, McDonald was a surprising second, in 13.54 seconds, and Bodie rounded out the top three, in 13.62 seconds.
Thompson settled for fourth, in 13.85 seconds.
In London at these 30th Olympic Games, Kemp is just itching for the opportunity to get on the track and prove her worth. She knows that she will have to run a lot faster than her national record time of 13.13 seconds to make some serious inroads at these Olympics, but the first-time Olympian is certainly up to the task.
Kemp will run in the rounds of the 100m hurdles on Monday, August 6, and hopefully in the final, on Tuesday, August 7. She remains in high spirits.