Ghanaian 100m hurdler, long jump and triple jump athlete, Jacqueline Pokuaah, is excited with her leap of 6.24m at the Sun Belt Conference which saw her break a 32-year-old indoor long jump record at the University of Louisiana – Lafayette.
The record-breaking feat also represents the personal best of the former University of Akron student, who clocked the achievement in her first outing with the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.
“I didn’t know I had broken the school record. I was just going to do my normal thing – qualify for the finals in the hurdles [and] try and win the long jump for my team so we can win the championship,” she explained to Joy Sports.
“The indoor is a little different from the outdoor, because you use more energy because there’s no wind to support – so I’ve been kind of struggling through the indoor long jump a little bit. So when I had the PR, I thought I had already broken the huge barrier – so it was when I got to the bus to head back to the hotel, my coach told me I had broken the school record.
“Initially, he told me it was the 1993 outdoor record, I checked and saw it was ‘91 and was like ‘okay, that’s huge’,” she ended.
The three-event athlete, also holds four other records; indoor and outdoor long jump records at the Cloud County Community College, as well as the indoor and outdoor triple jump records at the University of Akron.
Pokuaah has spiraled in the last five years, probably at an opportune time as the 2023 World Athletics Championships beckons, and for an athlete still getting into the groove of her craft, a Budapest 2023 qualification should be the ideal target.
However, intentions are different for Pokuaah, who has expressed the desire to quit track and field.
“I’m going for my retirement card, I have to retire, I’m tired,” she jovially expressed before indicating the lack of financial aid could actually see her quit for good.
“You need to have a sponsor. Currently, the school is sponsoring me so I can basically train with the team and all, but when you’re done with your eligibility, no help is coming. You can still train with the team, but the school can’t take you for the competitions – it’s against NCAA rules.
“You have to pay for your meets, you have to pay for your hotels and everything.”
Pokuaah finished the 2023 SBC Championships with two podium places; long jump and triple jump, with 12.62m.
In 2021, she was crowned as the mid-American Conference Most Valuable performer, as well as the MAC indoor long, triple and hurdles champion.
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