Dacres ready for podium finish in discus

By Howard Walker
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

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Jamaica's gentle discus giant Fedrick Dacres has won gold in almost every competition he participates in except the Olympic Games and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships.

Come Saturday, Dacres, Jamaica's reigning Sportsman of the Year, will try to improve on his seventh-place finish in 2015, and better his fourth-place in London two years ago.

The 25-year-old Commonwealth and Pan American Games champion is one of the favourites to strike gold, hence a podium finish is very much on the cards.

Leading the way is Sweden's Daniel Stahl, who has hurled the discus beyond 70 metres three times this year, and has the World-leading mark of 71.86m — the longest throw in the world for 11 years. Dacres is ranked second with a season's best of 70.78m, and he knows the task at hand.

“Well for me it was off this season to be honest and Stahl has been dropping bombs man. But you know it's a on-the-day thing, and I'm feeling ok, so hopefully I can pull off something,” he told the Jamaica Observer yesterday after a training session.

The Jamaican team was in camp at Aspire Academy in preparation for the start of the World Championships on Friday, and has since settled in at the athletes' village and Dacres is satisfied.

“The camp is good so far, we getting food and time to train. No unexpected casualties, everything just cool,” he said.

Stahl has been the world's dominant discus thrower in 2019, winning 12 of 15 competitions, including four of five meets on the IAAF Diamond League circuit, but Dacres can feel confident that he has a victory over him at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rabat in June.

Among the other contenders, World and European champion Andrius Gudzius should not be discounted. The powerful Lithuanian boasts a season's best of 67.73m.

Dacres, who has finished in the top two in 22 of his 23 discus competitions this year, remained optimistic. “I am just going there focused and try to hold a medal.”

The first Jamaican to win a discus gold in any competition, Dacres will have with him compatriots Travis Smikle and Chad Wright, and he believes training with them has certainly helped under the watchful eyes of Coach Julian Robinson.

“It's only good vibes, to be honest, and we are all friends and teammates from even Calabar [High School]. Both were my senior, but we know on the day it's every man for himself and no one wants to be the guy that's left behind, so we are really motivated,” said Dacres.


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