Discus thrower Smikle closes in on Olympics
BY PAUL A REID Observer Writer
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
SMIKLE... achieved ‘B’ qualifying standard on Saturday
JAMAICA'S discus throw star Traves Smikle is a step closer to competing at this summer's Olympic Games in London after achieving the 'B' qualifying standard with a personal best 63.75m to win the Open class at Saturday's King of the Ring meet at St Hugh's.
Smikle, the national Junior and Senior champion last year and National Junior record-holder, joins Jason Morgan, the national Senior record holder in attaining the 'B' standard, which is 63.0m.
Morgan attained the 'B' standard last year when he improved on his Jamaica record, taking it to 64.11m at a meet in Louisiana, United States.
The 'A' qualifying standard for the Olympics is 65.0m, but if neither gets that mark in time for the start of the competition, only one would be able to make the trip.
Smikle's throw on Saturday was a big improvement of almost four metres on the 59.83 set last year in winning the National Senior title in June at the National Stadium.
In an interview earlier this year, Smikle, who graduated from Calabar last year but is sitting out a year before going to university, said he would not be satisfied with just the 'B' standard.
Days after throwing just under 59m at another meet, also at St Hugh's, he told the Observer: "I threw 58-plus on Saturday and given what I saw then, and that I was only about 60 per cent ready right now, I have no doubt I can get the required distance in the time I have."
Smikle, who was the first Jamaican to win a throwing medal at a global event when he won discus bronze at the World Youth Championships in Italy in 2009, had an outstanding year where he won everything: the Boys Champs, CARIFTA, Penn Relays and Pan-American Juniors and was a controversial omission from the Central American Games senior team after winning at Senior Trials.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Holmwood Technical's Glenever Grange set a meet record 13.70m to win the Class two girls shot put.
Grange, a multi CARIFTA Games medallist last year, beat Vere Technical's Kiona Bradshaw, 10.27, and Aaliyah Francis of St Hugh's, 10.22.
World Youth Championships discus gold medallist, Fedrick Dacres, who has qualified for both the discus and shot put events at this year's World Junior Championships, won the Class One discus with 57.76m, beating teammate Ashinia Miller, 47.49, and Oshane Chambers, also of Calabar, 46.80.
Miller, the Pan-Am Junior and CARIFTA Games gold medallist, won the shot put event in 18.34 with Dacres second in 17.87 and Jamaica College's Shaquelle Lewis, 15.62m.