Thu | Jan 23, 2020

DACRES DELIVERS - Nat’l record holder holds nerve to bag World Champs discus silver

Published:Tuesday | October 1, 2019 | 12:10 AMAndrÈ Lowe/Sports Editor
Fedrick Dacres celebrates his silver-medal finish yesterday at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.
World 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce beams during yesterday’s medal ceremony after becoming the first woman to hold four such titles with an impressive win at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday.
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DOHA, Qatar:

At the 2017 World Championships, Fedrick Dacres entered the ring at the London Olympic Stadium as the second best discus thrower on the planet and a huge favourite for a historic first Jamaican medal in the event.

An underwhelming 65.83m best on the day left him back in fourth position and off the podium. History would have to wait.

Two years later, the 25-year-old lived up to the expectations of another massively impressive campaign, in which he threw a national record 70.78m earlier this year, to yesterday deliver the country’s first global senior medal in the discus, a silver at the World Championships in Doha.

Dacres landed the disc 66.94m into the sector inside the Khalifa International Stadium to finish behind Sweden’s Daniel Stahl, 67.59m, with Austria’s Lukas Weisshaidinger (66.82m) taking the bronze medal.

For Dacres, a man quite accustomed to creating history in the event after his wins at the World Youth Championships in 2011 and the World Junior Championships in 2012, it was a coming of age and a necessary confirmation for him that he can produce results when it really matters.

“It took time in coming,” Dacres said yesterday with a smile. “I was really beginning to wonder if I was a competition man or a big-day performer, so I am really thankful.

“I don’t think I had the best series or performed as best as I wanted to, but it was a good enough series for a spot on the podium,” he added.

Dacres, who has won titles at the Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games and NACAC Championships, produced his best throw on his second attempt, and although he didn’t manage an improvement throughout the rest of the series, he said he never felt troubled during the competition.

“To be honest, I was not worried. I was very relaxed. You are what you do repeatedly,” he said matter-of-factly in reference to his consistency and regular victories over the field as factors in his increased confidence.

“I am truly happy. I think I could have got the win today, but my technique wasn’t consistent,” he added.

The thrower paid special homage to his long-time coach, Julian Robinson, who discovered him and has been coaching him since his days as a schoolboy at Calabar High.

“This is all because of him (Robinson). If he never saw me and saw the talent in me, I would not be here, and I want to give a big thanks to Mr Robinson, to his family, to my family, to everyone who has supported me,” said Dacres as he pushed Jamaica’s medal tally to four – two gold and two silver.

Dacres’ silver was the country’s sixth field event medal in World Championships history.

 

Jamaicans’ Schedule:

8:35 p.m.: Men’s 400m Heats

Akeem Bloomfield, Demish Gaye, Rusheen McDonald

 

9:30 a.m.: Women’s 400m Hurdles Heat

Rushell Clayton, Shiann Salmon, Rhonda Whyte

 

12:50 p.m.: Women’s 400m Semis

Shericka Jackson, Stephenie-Ann McPherson

 

1:35 p.m.: Women’s 200m Semis

Elaine Thompson, Shashalee Forbes

 

andre.lowe@gleanerjm.com