D Days
:
H Hours
:
M Min
until the 2018 Commonwealth Games commence.
Longines Time
April 4 to 15 2018

Tragedy inspires McMaster's run for gold

Athletics
12 Apr 2018

Kyron McMaster's gold medal-winning race in the men's 400m hurdles final was inspired by an unimaginable tragedy and the desire to inspire a nation in need. 

McMaster won the race and the nation's first ever gold medal on Thursday 12 April. 

Last year the British Virgin Islands were ravaged by Hurricane Irma, which claimed the life of McMaster's coach and mentor, Xavier Samuels

"I still think and talk about him every day," McMaster said.

"I even got a tattoo (on my inner arm) made of his favourite phrase, which was 'guidance'. Every day I look at it and it acts as motivation."

Just one week after McMaster wrapped up the best season of his life in 2017, he had to deal with the devastating loss. 

Samuels had just guided McMaster through the season, helping him to improve his personal best by more than 1.5 seconds, run a world-leading time of 47.80 seconds and claim the IAAF Diamond League title. 

After the tragedy, McMaster moved to South Carolina to train with Jamaican coach Lennox Graham. At first, it was hard to get back into training  - "every workout was mentally difficult," he said - without the man who had supported him through his career. 

After the emotional race, McMaster thanked Graham for helping him to get to the Games. 

"I can't forget to thank my current coach Lennox Graham, who has given me so much," McMaster said.

"He understood where I came from and I just want to thank him as well. Without him, I wouldn't have made this meet at all." 

Silver medallist Jeffery Gibson of the Bahamas, gold medallist Kyron McMaster of Virgin Islands, British and bronze medallist Jaheel Hyde of Jamaica pose during the medal ceremony
Silver medallist Jeffery Gibson, gold medalist Kyron McMaster and bronze medallist Jaheel Hyde 

As much as he was running in memory of Samuels, McMaster also wanted to win to inspire the tiny Caribbean nation as it experiences troubled times in the aftermath of the hurricane. 

"I'm just so happy," McMaster said after the win. 

"I just wanted to do my best and the best for my country. 

"Before I came to run today I had a lot of people motivating me with their messages. 

"The whole country is behind me right now and I've come out here and run in honour of my coach." 

McMaster won gold in 48.25. Bahamas' Jeffrey Gibson won silver and Jamaica's Jaheel Hyde claimed bronze. 

There will be 10 gold medals on offer at Carrara Stadium tonight, the most of any GC2018 Athletics session. Tickets are still available.