Sport & Entertainment
BDS | Sep 18, 2023

Barbados’ Jessica Derrell vying to be first female Caribbean wrestler at the Olympics

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Jessica Derrell (left) celebrates winning the bronze medal at the Pan American Wrestling Senior Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina in the 59kg weight category in May 2023. (Photo: Instagram

Barbadian wrestler Jessica Derrell departed her home country last week, setting sights on becoming the first-ever female from the Caribbean to compete in the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France.

Derrell, alongside coach Yaima Payne, is currently in the Serbian capital Belgrade on a nine-day world training camp ahead of this week’s 2023 World Wrestling Championships.

Most recently, the rugby sportswoman-turned-beach wrestler won a bronze medal in the 58kg non-Olympic category for women in the Pan American Senior Championships in May 2023 in Buenos Aires.

Derrell and her coach Payne join over 500 athletes participating in this training camp, where they will be exposed to the best trainers in the world.

She is set to compete in the 62kg division for a place in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Jessica Derrell and coach Yaima Payne at an Olympic Wrestling Training Camp in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo: Facebook @olympicbb)

Jessica, who made the transition to beach wrestling because both sports have similar things in common with takedowns, is the national women’s beach wrestling 60kg champion and participated in the UWW Beach Wrestling World Ranking Series.

Its first stop was in the Argentine capital in May.

According to the Barbados Wrestling Association, this camp will give Derrell the necessary tools to progress in the sport, not only at this qualifier but also for the next Olympic qualifier and the Pan American Beach Wrestling Championships in Acapulco, Mexico in March 2024.


What To Read Next