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Hurdler Kyron McMaster Wins BVI’s First Medal Ever At Commonwealth Games … It’s A Gold!

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GOLD COAST, Australia — Kyron McMaster captured the British Virgin Islands’ first ever medal at the Commonwealth Games when he took the 400-meter hurdles title in 48.25.

The 21-year-old’s victory will spark huge celebrations in Tortola, especially after his rollercoaster journey to the Games.

“I can guarantee they are jumping for joy,” McMaster told CNN about the people in Road Town. “Everyone gathered into a big spot to watch this on TV and I can imagine how they are right now. For me it is a big deal, what we have been though. This is the first positive of a great future for the British Virgin Islands.”

Last year McMaster’s coach, Xavier “Dag” Samuels, died due to injuries he suffered during Hurricane Irma.

The athlete also had to deal with the disappointment of being disqualified for a lane infringement at the IAAF World Championships in London.

What’s more, he was even told by a doctor he would never run again after suffering a back injury in his late teenage years.

But on Thursday on the Gold Coast he stormed to victory in a race that saw England’s Jack Green finish just outside the medals in fourth.

“For me it’s a big deal,” said McMaster. “This is the first positive of a great beginning for the British Virgin Islands.”

On adapting to life without coach Samuels, he said: “I’m still making a lot of adjustments. It’s still tough on me. But with faith, god, praying and amazing friends are helping me and I’m getting there bit by bit.”


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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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