Sport

Shot put champ to celebrate with pizza

By Sean Williams

Tuesday, July 29, 2014    

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GLASGOW, Scotland — O'Dayne Richards says he does intend to celebrate Jamaica's first gold medal win in the throws in style.

Of all the ways to do it, he prefers a slice of pizza. And he deserves it.

Richards, 26, threw a Commonwealth and national record of 21.61 metres to win Jamaica's first gold medal at these games, beating New Zealand's Tom Walsh (21.19) and Canada's Tim Nedow (20.59), for silver and gold, respectively.

"I think I will eat a slice of pizza and then see where it goes from there," he said of what other forms of celebration there could be.

When quizzed when was the last time he sunk his teeth in the Italian delight, he hesitated, then replied: "Two or three days ago."

Richards, a graduate of the University of Technology, says prayer is what took him through to his unprecedented victory.

"I know my church was praying for me, and I just asked Him (God) to let me do my best and to just let me use the talent that he gave me," he said after completing his victory lap that seemed to go on for an eternity. But it was his moment and how he savoured it.

But the writing was on the wall from his first throw yesterday, breaking the proverbial ice with 20.64.

"I didn't expect to do that for an opening throw and that signalled to me that I was in great shape, my coach told me to keep my composure, and I decided that it was all or nothing.

"I just went out there did my best... and that's the result," he told journalists.

For Richards, the victory is made sweeter that it was done with a record.

"To top it off, doing it in the games record and the national record, really feels good... and I say that Jamaica is here to stay in the throwing world and not just only in the sprints, and we are making it difficult for the world to ignore us throwers," said the bulky king of Jamaica's throwing game.

The win, he thinks, will serve to boost, not only his confidence, but that of all Jamaican athletes preferring field events, a discipline long cowering in the shadows of the sprint game.

"It (the win) gives me the confidence that at world games it's possible for Jamaicans to medal. This is the Commonwealth, but I started at nationals, then the CAC and now I am at the Commonwealth, so now I am heading for the World Championships and Olympic gold," Richard noted, with an air of confidence.

He hopes his achievement will go a far way inspiring the next generation of throwers "to do great things, and go to the next level".

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