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‘Killer instinct’ hurling Richards’ hunt for medals

Published:Tuesday | January 5, 2016 | 1:00 AMShayne Fairman
Richards

National shot put record holder O'Dayne Richards believes he is as world class as any competitor he will line up against and remains confident ahead of this year's Rio Olympic Games in Brazil, stating that Jamaica's throwing charge will be strong among medal contenders.

Though the 27-year-old fell short of his 22-metre goal last year, Richards registered Jamaica's first shot put medal - bronze - at last year's IAAF World Champs, with a national record and personal best of 21.69m.

The same distance previously handed him gold at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, Canada, earlier in 2015.

"I've always had that killer instinct to say that a name doesn't necessarily scare me. I am not easily shaken by a name, but what is happening is that they (competitors) now know that I can throw well and I can produce big throws, so I believe a little bit more respect is now shown so I am prepared for it," Richards outlined.

The big thrower says he remains buoyed of his medal prospects.

"My first track meet was actually Brazil, Sao Paolo, where I made the junior Pan Am team and I am excited to go back to Brazil. Part of being an athlete is being able to travel the world, and to see Brazil again is a wonderful experience. I hope to do well there," he assured.

Despite Jamaica being a sprint-loving country, Richards believes big times are ahead for the throws discipline.

"The talent is extremely high now. If you look at the junior levels, you will see a number of throwers and some young guys who are breaking out at the senior levels.

"Even this year, Jamaica will have maybe three or four Jamaicans going up in the men's shot put. I expect great things coming in the next five years coming for Jamaica throwers, and that's excluding myself," he stressed.