Rusea's Donaldson promises a discus special for Champs

Observer writer

Saturday, February 16, 2019

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LUCEA, Hanover — After setting the record in the discus throw Class One at the County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA) Girls Western Champs eliminations at the Collin Miller Sports Complex in Lucea on Thursday, Rusea's High's Shamella Donaldson has set her sights on ending her high school career on a high at next month's ISSA National Championships.

The 19-year-old Donaldson, who was third in Class One at Champs last year, is not just looking at winning the gold medal, but taking the record 53.04m set by Fiona Richards of Edwin Allen in 2017.

On Thursday, she threw 48.85m on her home ring, just shy of her season and personal best 49.06m done at the Youngster Goldsmith meet recently.

Both throws would put her in the lead in the race in the run-up to Champs, and she says she backs herself to take the gold given her consistency so far this season.

“I am making a lot of progress, I have been throwing well the last few meets and I feel that I can break the Champs record,” she told the Jamaica Observer on Thursday.

“Today I threw 48.85m with little competition, and I have been consistent after a slow start; I was at 46.00m for a while but in the last few weeks I have been throwing further,” she said, attributing her improvement to consistent training as well as lifting weights.

The tall, slim build Donaldson has long arms and uses her speed across the discus circle to generate distance with the disc.

She just missed qualifying for the IAAF Under-20 championships in Tampere, Finland, last year with a best of 47.74m and twice throwing 47.73m at back-to-back meets, just under the 48.00m qualifying mark.

That disappointment behind her, she said her goal is now to get the gold medal and record at Champs, but is well aware neither will be easy nor will she have a clear run.

“It is Champs, and I am expecting very tough competition as all the girls will want to win,” said Donaldson.

She says her main competition should come from Vere Technical's Marie Forbes, who set the Champs Class Two record last year, Excelsior's Adrienne Adams, and St Jago High's Shania Scott.

“I have to give myself a chance to win and I will be giving it my best shot, but I also expect the other girls will also be coming hard as well,” she said.

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