The British Virgin Islands (BVI) was a debutant in 4×100 race at Beijing Olympics 2008 and secured 24th place in the rank charts. The BVI team is taking part in athletics and sailing at London Olympics 2012 and going through a rigorous training program to excel this year. The spotlight is on Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, the best and most promising athlete of BVI the country is counting on her to bring the Olympic gold medal to BVI.
This talented sprinter was born on 15 February 1982 in BVI and started her preparatory career as an athlete at an early age of 14 years. Tahesia became the champion athlete in 100 metres, 200 metres, the long jump and triple jump at Class 1-A Florida High School Athletic Association state track and field championship and gave Florida A&M University's Developmental and Research High School female track team their first win after 10 long years. Her victories in high school and 3 FHSAA State Championship showed promise but few guessed that Tahesia would grow up to become the pride of BVI.
She graduated from her high school in 2000 and chose University of Minnesota over several renowned Florida collegiate track and field programs that approached her to join them. Tahesia’s athletic talents took the university by storm when she became the finalist in 60 m, 100 m, 200 meter race and long jump at BIG 10 Indoor Conference Championship in 2002.
That year turned out to be a glorious one for Tahesia since she also got the opportunity to represent her nation, BVI, in the Central American and the Caribbean Games. Though she did not win, her athletic skills caught the attention of sport enthusiasts and she was considered as a potential athlete who could bring glory to her country in the near future. Indeed, Tahesia didn’t let them down and went on to become a SEC and NCAA finalist in 2004.
Her athletic expertise earned her the tag of being the first to be honoured with All American Honours for the University of Minnesota. In the meantime, she had shifted to University of Alabama from where she attained her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2005 and joined the program for Masters in Speech Pathology . It was during her Alabama days when she became the champion of 100M race at the Central American and the Caribbean Games, 2006. She participated in the Commonwealth Games in the same year and secured the fifth position.
She started to take the sport seriously and ran as a professional sprinter in several U.S track meets at a professional level. Her career took a turn when she won the third position in the Women’s 60 m final at IAAF World Indoor Championships, 2008 and qualified for 100 m sprint in Beijing Olympics 2008. Tahesia didn’t disappoint her country and finished third in a time of 11.46 during the first round of heat. However, luck was not by her side when her time of 11.36 made her finish at fifth position and she failed to qualify in the semi finals.
Harrigan didn’t lose hope and started to prepare herself for the next Olympics. Her hard work showed when she finished 2nd in IAAF World Outdoor Championships this year in the 100 m race. However, she had to go through a minor setback due to her six month suspension due to an Anti doping-violation at Grand Prix meet in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. An investigation revealed that she was betrayed by her new dietary supplement which contains methylhexanamine – a prohibited drug for meets. Since she was practically innocent, her suspension won’t snatch away her chance to compete in the Olympic Games for the 2nd time and display her prowess as the skilled athlete that she is. Her suspension ended on 7th January 2012 and she has completely dedicated herself to getting ready for the London Olympics 2012.
All British Virgin Islanders are keeping their fingers crossed and praying for her victory in the 2012 Olympic Games. Now, it is only a matter of about 4 months until we know whether Tahesia Harrigan Scott will evolve from best athlete of BVI to olympic champion. Liya Das. (TCC)