Thomas-Dodd hails silver medal as a mental breakthrough
Jamaica's Danniel Thomas-Dodd in action in the women's shot put final the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Wednesday. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

BIRMINGHAM, England — Despite losing the gold medal in the women's shot put final on the penultimate throw of the competition, Jamaica's Danniel Thomas-Dodd described her performance at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as a major breakthrough point for her after months of mental challenges.

Thomas-Dodd led from the third round of the competition with her 18.98m effort but could not respond when Canada's Sarah Mitton found a 19.03m throw with her last attempt with the Jamaican registering her fourth foul of the final as she pushed for a return to the gold-medal position.

New Zealand's Maddison-Lee Wesche was third with 18.84m while Jamaica's other finalist Lloydricria Cameron posted 17.62m for fourth place.

Thomas-Dodd, the 2019 World Championships silver medal winner, says she is looking to ride this newfound self-assurance and push for more success for the remainder of the season.

"I knew coming in that there were competitors here that could potentially take the gold medal position, so for me I came into this competition to essentially focus on myself, work on some things that I've been struggling with in the past couple of seasons. So that's essentially what I did today and I think I was successful in doing that. I did want to have a better distance. However, I still have more competitions this season so I'm kind of looking forward to cleaning up some stuff and riding this feeling of breakthrough mentally," Thomas-Dodd told the Jamaica Observer.

"I've struggled a lot mentally in the past couple of seasons. I don't talk about that stuff much, I am the kind of person who keeps stuff to myself, but I think it's important to talk about it because I feel a lot of athletes look up to me and you know, they always see the strong side and they don't see the struggles behind the scenes," Thomas-Dodd shared. "It is very important because I was struggling a lot in terms of trusting myself and trusting my technique and allowing it to work. And I think today, I kind of had a little bit of a breakthrough, and I just kind of want to continue on that momentum."

Thomas-Dodd, who won gold at the 2018 installment of the Commonwealth Games, has been struggling to rediscover her form after suffering a back injury that led to her doubting her ability to recover and get back to her best.

She encouraged other athletes with similar self-doubt and other psychological struggles to ensure they have the necessary support.

"I think for me, I have a good support system. My husband has been there for me and he's the one who has been coaching me and I've been ready physically in the past two seasons. I've always been physically fit, but it's just those mental barriers… it's not something that can easily be dealt with, you have to find ways to help yourself to get over those mental struggles."

"I just wasn't trusting myself, I wasn't trusting my technique and I wasn't trusting my training and that has haunted me in the past two seasons," said Thomas-Dodd.

— Andre Lowe

Andre Lowe

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