Her fans waited patiently for 16 years for Cydonie Mothersill to race competitively in the Cayman Islands again and those fortunate enough to be at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex on Saturday got a triple treat.
The Cayman National Bank Relays brought out many of the best sprinters and middle-distance runners in Cayman and all felt honoured to be competing in the same meet as the track queen.
Mothersill last raced here when she took the 200 metres bronze at the CARIFTA Games in 1995, aged 17. The flowing year she was voted the best athlete at the CARIFTAs after storming to 100m and 200m gold in Kingston, Jamaica.
Then followed a glittering pro career, with Olympic and World Championships appearances and lots of honours along the way, topped by her Commonwealth Games gold medal in India last October.
Mothersill competed as an honorary man in all the races at the CNB Relays and although not at her peak, ensured Trinity were always competitive in the 4x100m, 4x200m and the exhausting 4x400m.
Apart from athletes and officials, there was a small crowd witnessing the special event. Not the sort of homecoming she deserved but nonetheless fully appreciated. “I still don’t consider this to be my first appearance since 1995 but it would still be nice to have an international here where I would be competing against my peers in my individual event,” Mothersill said.
“I’m happy that the track association facilitated my request to run in these relays and the guys put me in their team and we won. I still dream of an international meet where I can perform at home. It would be really great. Not just to showcase my talents but we also have a lot of young guys and seniors that having a meet at home would be awesome for them, just priceless.
“I really think that not just the government, but also the private sector, should gear up and take the chance of putting on a meet. We’re not going to disappoint. This is a good sprinting track, an awesome facility, so we just need an awesome meet.”
Her training is going well. “I’ve just started a few days ago in my spikes, so this was like a workout, more like training for me. I’m just having fun. My first meet will be the Jamaica International on 7 May. This year I have the Pan American Games, Worlds and European circuit to look forward to.”
Mothersill is still feted wherever she goes in the Cayman Islands – and enjoying the fabulous brand new Chevy Tahoe SUV given her by Advanced Automotive for winning Commonwealth gold.
“The well wishing hasn’t died off. People still hail me in the street and say they didn’t get a chance to tell me at the time but congrats. It’s still nice. The car is nice, but gas is a killer! I’m grateful still.”
Her coach during her CARIFTA days was Kenrick Williams who is the track technical director now. He said: “It was very refreshing to see the queen of Cayman sprinting competing with our local based sprinters. It inspired our juniors and many said they will strive for what she’s achieved. One said she felt honoured to be competing in the same meet.”