J'can discus thrower pleads for help

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Monday, January 23, 2012

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Jamaica's discus National Record holder Jason Morgan has his eyes set on creating even more history this year when he competes at the Olympic Games in London this July.


The former Calabar High student, who has qualified for every major competition in the world and who has been competing since age 16, is on course to be the first man from the English-speaking Caribbean to take part in the discus event at the Olympic Games after taking part in the 2007 and 2011 World Championships in Osaka, Japan and Daegu, South Korea, respectively.


'Dadz', as he is called, achieved the B standard of 63.0m after throwing a National Record 64.11m last year, but has his eyes set on getting the A standard of 65.0m


Before he can achieve his dreams, however, the self-coached Morgan is reaching out to potential sponsors to help him prepare properly.


After placing 17th overall at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu last year with a best throw of 61.75m, just missing the top 12 to advance to the final as 62.38m was the 12th best throw in the qualifications.


Coming so close to being in the final has reignited the athlete, but he says without the requisite training, competition and nutritional support, he might not be able to give it his all.


"I don't have a sponsor or an agent or any type of financial support to go to big meets throughout the year, and yet I have been to two World Championships — Osaka 2007 and Daegu 2011," he said.


After having to pull out of the Jamaican team to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India, where he said he was certain he would have won a medal, Morgan won both the 2010 and 2011 Central American and Caribbean discus gold.


The seven-time national champions said it has not been easy for him to chase his dreams, "This is really hard for me. But yet I do it by the grace of God," he said, pointing out that he has to combine a full-time job with full-time training.


"I work a full time job five days a week from 7 am to 4 pm, and go to training right after until 7 pm. I pay for all my travel and accommodations and meet entry fees. Sometimes I have to miss meets with good competition because I can't afford to go there. I don't take vitamins and supplements. I just can't afford it," he said bluntly.


Fatigue is a factor for all athletes, but he said his lack of proper nutrition and supplementation makes it even more difficult for him to get through training sessions.


"I use prayer for my strength and energy. Everything is a budget for me. And yet, I still represent Jamaica proudly because I love my country and I love the event."


He is well aware that he is not the only athlete struggling to make ends meet. "I know other field events athletes from Jamaica that may be struggling also, but its seems like its harder on us because we are often neglected than the rest."


"Just imagine what I can do with just a little help?" he asked while imploring those who can help him.


"Please I'm asking somebody, somewhere to please assist me. Wouldn't it be glorious for a Jamaican discus thrower to bring home a medal from London this year?"


Morgan, who will forego the Indoor season this year, notes that the competitive season is fast approaching and believes he knows he can achieve above expectations.


"There is a good chance of me getting a medal according to my training right now. But I just want a little help financially, individuals, businesses, whosoever. It would really be appreciated. All will go towards my preparation for London. Making this dream to reality is not for only me, but for my country Jamaica," he pleaded.



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