Danniel Thomas hopes to impress at XX Commonwealth Games
BY PAUL A REID
Observer West writer
On Tuesday July 29 when Danniel Thomas participates in the first round of the shot put at the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, she will become the first former Frome Technical student to represent Jamaica at a major track and field event.
Thomas won the women's shot put with a distance of 16.04m and was second in the discus throw with 55.02m at the recent JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships. She also had a great 2014 season while representing Kent State University in the American College Division One level.
She was also second in the discus throw at the NCAA Division One Championships and ninth in the shot put, after winning the discus/shot put double at the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championships.
Thomas attended sixth form at Edwin Allen High in Clarendon where she was a major contributor in the shot put, javelin and discus throws. In 2012, she broke the Penn Relays record in the shot put.
At last months' JAAA Senior Trials, Thomas told the Jamaica Observer West that she is satisfied with her performances.
"I would say I am where I want to be. I had a five- year plan and I think I am on track, in the shot. Maybe I should have been further along since it is my favourite event...... but I would say I am where I want to be with the discus," she said.
Added Thomas who also won a number of events at the COCAA Western Championships: "I am not the average thrower (because of my short stature) and having a personal best of over 59.00m in the discus is good for me and took me by surprise and I am happy."
"The 59.38m which came at the MAC Conference championships could not have come at a better time," she said.
"I was starting to doubt myself; I was having some crappy practice sessions for the week leading up but that weekend I was relaxed and followed instructions, and the big throw came in the very first round, then I broke down in tears and was very emotional, I did not even think I could go back into the competition," she recalled.
Thomas is now on track to break all the shot put and discus records at Kent State, having already owning the outdoors shot put and discus records during the 2014 season.
"My season has been going really good so far, all season I have been consistently throwing 55.00m in the discus," said Thomas.
She told the Observer West that she has gained a lot of strength to compensate for her short stature "plus my technique has improved significantly."
Thomas also praised her coach at Kent State University for the progress she has been making, saying "He is very good and knows what he is doing."