Ja's discus throwers have 'decent shot' in Beijing
For the first time ever, Jamaica will have a full complement of athletes in the men's discus at the World Championships.
Julian Robinson, who coaches one of the three men who have qualified for the Champion-ships, says the throws community is excited about this milestone. He also believes
the qualifiers, Federick Dacres, Jason Morgan and Chad Wright, will all do well in Beijing, host city for next month's Worlds.
"We are pleased, excited about the fact that we have three qualifiers, three persons who can legitimately compete for medals, not just going there for three throws," said Robinson. The reference to three throws pertains to throwers who only take the trio of attempts in the preliminary rounds.
Dacres, Morgan and Wright have all surpassed the World Championships qualifying standard of 65 metres, with Morgan producing the longest throw in the world so far this year with a national record of 68.19 metres. Dacres threw 66.40 and 66.30 metres early in the season. Wright has a mark of 65.03 metres.
This milestone exceeds the achievement of having two male discus throwers, Morgan and Traves Smikle, in action at the 2012 Olympics. Robinson coached Dacres, Smikle and Wright when they were at Calabar High School.
Only two other countries have a full complement of World Championship qualifiers in the men's discus. These are throwing powerhouses United States and Germany. The Germans have only two throwers who have attained the 65-metre standard, but their superstar Robert Harting has the IAAF wild card, which guarantees the right of all defending champions to compete in Beijing.
Harting has been slow to bounce back after injury
and surgery. Nevertheless, Robinson thinks the three-time champion is the favourite. "I think that we have a decent shot as a matter of fact," he said, "but definitely Robert Harting is the favourite."
In a reference to the possibility that the German might not be ready to compete in Beijing, he said, "If he is not there, it is wide open and I like our chances."