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Wright predicts tough discus fight at Nationals

Published:Sunday | May 24, 2015 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence
Chad Wright

Chad Wright, the highest placed Jamaican in the discus throw at Jamaica Invitational held on May 9, thinks his event will be one of the most competitive at the Jamaican National Championships next month.

The 24-year-old Wright, who was second with a throw of 61.70 metres in the IAAF Dakar World Challenge meet on Friday and sixth in the shot put (18.45m), feels that he is among four throwers duelling for three spots on the national team to the World Championships. According to Wright, the discus will be one of the biggest events at the Nationals.

Second at the Invitational to Commonwealth Games gold medallist Vikas Gowda of India, Wright's mind seems to boggle when he looks forward to the Nationals.

"I'm still trying to wrap my mind around how we're going to do it," he said at the Invitational, "because there are only three spots and there are four of us, probably even five." The obvious contenders are Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jason Morgan; former World Junior and World Youth champion Fedrick Dacres; Traves Smikle, and Wright himself.

The fifth contender might be Basil Bingham, who, like the other four, attended Calabar High School. Bingham, who won gold in the Class One discus at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships last year, currently trains at the University of the West Indies with Dacres and Smikle.

Of the four, only Dacres and Wright have already achieved the World Championships qualifying distance of 65 metres. Morgan is not far away with his 2015 best throw of 63.52, with Smikle next at 58.96 metres. The qualifying period ends on August 10. Morgan and Smikle, who were teammates at the London Olympics, both have personal bests beyond the required distance.

It's exciting

Wright, who was sixth in the Games last year, is looking forward to the contest.

"It's exciting knowing that we're all coming back for Trials," he said, "and it's a big year; the World Championships and also the Pan-Am Games."

The powerfully built 2010 World Junior finalist is based in Lincoln, Nebraska, and is in his first year out of the University of Nebraska. He still trains there with the team for whom he won the 2012 NCAA discus title. That was a first for Jamaica as he was the first from the land of wood and water to win an NCAA title in the discus.