12th Belau National Games
XVI Pacific Games
World Summer Olympic Games
July 24th - August 9th 2020
<b>By Gemma Martin of The Reporters’ Academy</b>
The atmosphere of a full house helped spur on all the athletes on as they took up their positions on the starting blocks for the heats of the women’s 100m.
Palau’s Rubie Joy Gabriel, took up her place in lane 4 in heat 3. The silence as the starter spoke must have been daunting for the second youngest athlete in the race, a moment when the athletes have to concentrate and contain their excitement and nerves. A challenge faced through a combination of prayer and quiet time.
Rubie commented; “ I focused on the finish line.” Those 80,000 looking on, easily outnumbered the population of Palau, Rubie found it “scary but exciting at the same time.”
Rubie achieved an impressive time of 13.34, a new personal best, improving from 13.47. An effort that saw her bound down the stairs of the stadium to explain the reason, “ I’ve improved in my training and I’m really happy about it.”
The 16 year old is looking to the future and is planning to “train harder” as she aims for Rio 2016 in addition to “setting a better time and getting a national record for my country.” With a new personal best and time on her side, the future looks bright for Rubie Joy Gabriel.