Cardiff AAC’s Rebecca Chapman will compete at her first major international competition as she represents Team Wales in the long jump at the Commonwealth Games on April 11th. Chapman will take to the runway in the Carrara Stadium in front of her family and coach, who will all be jetting out to the Gold Coast to watch the Welsh Record holder in action in her debut on the Commonwealth stage.
Speaking about her journey to make it to the Games, Chapman has fond memories of the day she made her breakthrough at the British Championships last July, when she jumped an enormous 6.54m to smash the longstanding Welsh Record. “It was a surreal moment because I was in 2nd place throughout the competition. Suddenly my coach told me to start a clap with the crowd; which went against my whole long jump routine. So I finally decided to give it a go in the final round when I knew I was already guaranteed a silver medal, and after that it was a complete blur."
As she exited the long jump sandpit, she recalls the long and agonising wait for her result to show up on the scoreboard. “I remember it seemed to take forever for the distance to flash up, but when it finally did I just started jumping around. Then I saw my coach (Fran Baker) and Scott Simpson (Head of Performance) jump up in the air and it was unbelievable!" Chapman had smashed the Welsh Record and booked her spot on the plane to the Gold Coast with a Commonwealth Games A standard.
The Cardiff athlete admitted it was a little stressful waiting for her official selection to be confirmed for the Gold Coast; “Even though I had the A standard and knew I was in with a chance of selection, it was a six month wait to find out that I’d officially been selected.”
She emphasised her delight at finally being given official confirmation of her selection back in December and is now looking forward to competing in that Welsh vest in just two weeks’ time; “The plan for the Gold Coast is to get a good solid jump in to begin with, and then maybe start the slow clap with the crowd after that!” One thing is for certain – the whole of Wales will be clapping along as they watch Chapman charge down the runway at the Carrera Stadium on April 11th.