LONDON, England – Despite qualifying for his first Olympic Games and first senior global competition, Jamaica’s discus thrower Traves Smikle says he is aiming for more than just competing in the London Olympic Games.
The two-time national senior champion and national junior record holder and IAAF World Youth Championships bronze medallist told journalists last week he is happy for his accomplishments so far, but not ready to rest on his laurels just yet.
“To be honest I am really happy for these accomplishments and really taking it in stride and being thankful for being in the moment,” he said in an interview in the International section of the Athletes Village. “I hope that I will go further than just being an Olympian come in a few days.”
Track and field competition at the 27th Olympics will start on August 3 and the preliminaries of the discus throw will come three days later.
Smikle, who threw his personal best 67.12m on his first effort at the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships, just three centimetres off teammate Jason Morgan’s National Senior Record 67.15m, says while he would have liked to have his personal coach Julian Robinson here with him, he had to make the best of the situation and do his best.
He said the pre-Olympic camp in Birmingham where the team was housed at the University of Birmingham was good in some ways for him as it allowed him to train uninterrupted and concentrate on his preparation. “At times it was not so good as my coach is not here and so I can’t get a direct opinion on my form or technique.”
He, however, pointed out that he has had international success without Robinson being there. “In 2009 (at the IAAF World Youth Championships) in Italy I was here for two weeks without my coach, but he had left instructions which I followed and this time it is no different,” he said, before adding: “It would be good to have him here, but the fact is he is not here so I have to improvise and make the best of it, I just have to do my best.”
Smikle, who says he will make a decision on his future whether to accept a scholarship to the University of Georgia after the Olympics, said he has kept in touch with Robinson on a constant basis. “We talk every day and so the communication is open and I send him videos of my training for his criticisms and corrections.”
When asked what would suit him better, throwing 70m or making it to the final of the Olympics, Smikle never missed a beat — “throwing 70m in the final”.