Israel shines as bright as the Star of David

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She is quiet and unassuming, hates the spotlight but loves to compete.

She is still only 19 years old but made a very loud statement at the recently concluded VMBS/Intercol Track & Field Championships at the UWI/Usain Bolt stadium. 

She is Israel Ramsay, 'Izzy' to her friends. A first year student at the University of Technology, pursuing a degree in Communication Arts and Technology , she competed for Wolmers Girls in the high jump at the Boys and Girls Championships last year, placing fifth, way below her expectations but due mainly to the effects of a damaged tendons in her ankles.

Fully recovered and adding to her repertoire, Izzy took part in the high jump, the triple and long jump which was a new event for her.

She placed second in her pet event, the high jump, with a height of 1.75m but won both the long and triple jumps with distances of 6.11m and 11.83m respectively. This achievement, in her freshman year at college has made her the champion female athlete of the championships. A remarkable feat that went unnoticed to her at first.

When asked by Yardie Sports, about how she felt about her accomplishments Ramsay said, "It feels amazing really. I'm beyond proud of myself. I do believe in myself but that exceeded my expectations."

Next on her agenda is the UTECH Classics to be held at the National Stadium, this Saturday April 13 and then the Penn Relays.

The World University Games to be held in Russia later this year is also on her radar. "I didn't meet the qualifying standards for the World University Games at Intercol but hopefully I will be able to pull something out, " she continued.

Unlike a lot of other athletes, she isn't focused on the World Championships. "The major aim was just to see where I am at, especially in the long jump because it's an event I just started. I'm going to try out but it's not going to be a huge deal."

Pressed on how she felt about the long jump going into Intercol, Izzy said, "I felt pretty confident. I had some issues with the run up but I figured I could do well."

As to choosing the event, that was down to her coach. She explained, "I trust 'Frano', he said that I have the speed and leg strength for long jump. He said I will do well in high school and college at high jump. But at UTECH they build World Class athletes not college athletes."

There is no doubting that her coach, Paul Francis was spot on and that the hard work she put in has paid off. "There are days when I fell on the field and cried after training because it was so hard," she confessed.

"Sometimes I was the only one training, whether late at night or early in the morning, but it was all worth it."

With so much of the season left, it will be interesting to see how far and how high Israel "Izzy" Ramsay can go.