I have more to give!
THOMAS-DODD...this will be my final Commonwealth Games, so it's nice, because it's where I started in terms of senior competitions for Jamaica (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

BIRMINGHAM, England — In 2014, Danniel Thomas-Dodd made her senior international debut competing at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, advancing to the discus final and ­­­­­laying the first blocks to a career that has consistently placed her among the best on the planet.

A year later, she was competing at the World Championships in Beijing in her favoured event, the shot put, and while she did not make it out of the qualifying round, Thomas-Dodd would become a consistent competitor on the major platforms and had her crowning moment so far in 2019 at the World Championships in Doha, where she won a silver medal.

That Doha success was primed by her gold medal performance a year earlier at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, further cementing her special appreciation for the games as she looks to secure back-to-back titles.

Thomas-Dodd, competing in her last Commonwealth Games, advanced to Saturday's final with the best throw of yesterday's qualifying round at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, England, an 18.42m effort that keeps her on course to successfully defend her title.

This will not be a straightforward final for the powerhouse, who has endured a tough season, compounded by a back injury that has hampered her performances all year, resulting in only three results with throws over 19m this year. However, she is looking to get over the psychological bump of post-injury self-doubt and ensure that the platform these games provide will launch her closer to her best.

"This will be my final Commonwealth Games, so it's nice because it's where I started, in terms of senior competitions for Jamaica, and it is also nice that, you know, everything is coming full circle for me, so it's definitely important and it's special in a sense for me," Thomas-Dodd told the Jamaica Observer.

"There are a lot of mixed feelings, you know. I'm obviously disappointed with the World Championships. I have so much more to offer for this season, so I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't put it together on the day of the finals, but I'm excited to be here because like I said, I have so much more to offer, and I just want to end the season on a good note," she added.

Thomas-Dodd finished tenth in the final at the World Championships with her best effort of 18.29m.

"I struggled a lot with the injuries last year. It kind of shifted how I approach my technique and stuff like that because I had to compensate in a way because of the type of injury that I have. So for me this year, I was just working on getting back to that level of consistency that I'm comfortable with. I had one competition that was only, you know, two centimetres off my personal record and the national record, so I know there's so much more."

"So it's just for me to get over some of those mental fears of coming back from injury and kind of trusting my body to know that it's in the place that it needs to be and just to kind of get my mind to where my body is," said Thomas-Dodd.

Fellow Jamaican Lloydricria Cameron is also through to the final, which takes place on Saturday at 8:05 pm (2:05 pm Jamaica time) after her 16.61m effort proved enough to secure her spot.

— Andre Lowe

Andre Lowe

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