Joy at last!

Joy at last!

Discus thrower Dacres welcomes return of track and field

Observer writer

Friday, August 14, 2020

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World Championships silver medallist Fedrick Dacres has welcomed the return of local track and field and said he hoped it would help speed up the normalisation of sports in the island.

Dacres — who won both discus throw events held at last weekend's Velocity Fest meets held at National Stadium with marks of 64.45m on Saturday and 61.21m a day later — admitted he was competition rusty, but was taking things one step at a time as he got back into competitions after months on the sideline.

The Commonwealth Games record holder with 68.20m set two years ago in Australia, also had praises for the newly refurbished discus throw ring at National Stadium, saying: “The surface of the ring is really good... at this point I have no complaints.”

For the last few years, throwers had complained about the slippery surface that posed dangers to them, but Independence Park Limited, the operators of the facility, did some work earlier this year and Dacres gave it a passing grade.

“It's wonderful, we are feeling the grip and we are actually pushing off the circle and we are feeling traction in the ring,” he said.

Dacres said getting back to competition at home was great, but he has rust to work off.

“In terms of competing and getting back into competition, I am a bit rusty at this point because I have been a few months out of competition and my competitive sharpness is close to none, but I am trying to get back,” he noted.

The national record holder told the Jamaica Observer that “I am really glad the local meets are back”.

“It shows a ray of hope that track and field is getting back into swing again, because it has been happening overseas, so for it to come back locally, as I said, it's a ray of hope that things are going to normalise or normalcy will resume soon enough,” stated Darces.

He said he may restrict himself to local meets for the rest of the year as the situation in other parts of the world remains fluid due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“There are a lots of meets overseas that I am interested in, but I don't think I will be going overseas,” he said. “It's not the COVID, but the lockdown because I notice that airports are being shut down without warning, and so I don't want to go to Europe and being trapped there and I can't come back. I prefer to be trapped in Jamaica than being trapped in Europe.”

Like most, if not all other athletes, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic had an effect.

“Of course COVID-19 had impacted me on a personal level... we are athletes and our jobs as athletes is to perform, and if we don't have the stage to perform or we are not allowed to perform, we will not earn as much as we have have if we had done so,” reasoned Dacres.

“It has affected me personally, but thank God I am in a situation right now where I don't have to worry about finances because of certain things that are in place for me, so I am somewhat okay,” he added.

Dacres said he was able to do some work gym work during the lockdown and said since the easing of the protocols, athletes are easing back into full training.

“I was able to train during COVID as I had access to a gym and I have been working out, and even with the restrictions for the facilities loosened a bit where I am able to train, the conditions are not ideal but it is workable even though its a bit hard,” ended Dacres.

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