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The 400-metre Manchester Games Gold medallist was formally welcomed to the city at a reception hosted by the Mayor and City Council, at the Promenade Gardens.
“I want to thank you for sharing this with me,” Pompey said.
Chronicle Sport later pointed out to the country’s first track medallist at the Commonwealth Games that she was living in the USA since the age of 13, so why did she choose to be flag-bearer of the Golden Arrowhead?
“Well, I’m 100 per cent Guyanese. I left Guyana when I was 13, but Guyana never left me,” Pompey said.
The new local star disclosed that she has Guyana’s flag in every room and she always cooks Guyanese food.
“There’s nowhere else I identify with, like I do with Guyana. It’s just who I am. I wouldn’t be Aliann, unless I am Guyanese. It’s just a big part of me,” Pompey said.
Asked how she felt when she beat the field in the final, Pompey said: “I was happy. I wanted to do back flips but I was too tired. I was very happy. I wish my parents were there, I wish my family was there, but I had great team-mates there at the time and we all celebrated together. It was a great feeling. It was very nice.”
The gold medallist pointed out that it was now that people know her but she was on the track for a long time before success struck.
“It was a lot of hard work and patience, and a really strong support system,” Pompey said.
The internationally recognised athlete disclosed that she has a good coach who has confidence in her and when times became tough, she could fall back on her family to give her emotional support to continue.
“I have some really great friends that put up with seeing very little of me and when they see me, sometimes I need their support as well. That kind of support is important to get me here,” Pompey said.
Pompey holds a Bachelors Degree in Finance and is now pursuing her Masters. Chronicle Sport asked how she coped.
“It’s never been an option not to succeed in academics. From when I was very young my father always pushed that we do well in school,” Pompey disclosed.
The eldest of the seven children always has done well in school and was never really faced with what would happen if she did average at school or less.
“It’s just been I have to excel and I have always done that,” Pompey said.
Pompey is now waiting to hear if she would be selected in the World Cup team and next year she would focus on indoor and outdoor World Championships, the Pan-Am Games, and the European circuit.
Minister of Sport Gail Teixeira said Pompey was an example of discipline, dedication and sacrifice.
The minister highlighted the fact that it was a woman who won the athletics medal.
“She is a model for young Guyanese,” Minister Teixeira said.
Mayor Hamilton Green said: “Her feat is well deserved. Her achievement is a vindication of the near golds in this field.”
The mayor presented the champion with a real gold medal and she later signed the Visitors’ Book.
President of the Guyana Olympic Association K. Juman-Yassin said that all Guyana was happy and proud of Pompey’s success and expressed hope that the feeling could be transferred to the country and appealed to politicians to make Guyana proud.
Chairperson of the Social Development Committee, Councillor Patricia Chase-Green chaired the programme.
The visiting NAKS Cultural Group of Suriname performed and the City Jammers Steelband entertained with their fine renditions.
Earlier, the Commonwealth games 400 metres champion was given a warm welcome by Minister of Sport Gail Teixeira, president of the GOA K.Juman-Yassin and, president of the AAA Claude Blackmoore when she deplaned at the Cheddi Jagan International. Airport. Aliann is being accompanied by her father Leon Pompey.