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Wright looking for an edge at home

Published:Tuesday | January 19, 2016 | 1:00 AMLeighton Levy
Wright

With his focus firmly fixed on being at his best in time for the Olympics in Rio this summer, 2012 NCAA discus champion Chad Wright has been spending time with his old schoolmates and high school coach, hoping to be razor sharp this season.

This is all part of his plan to achieve the Olympic qualifying standard of 65 metres before May, compete on the international circuit, and then make the top 12 in Rio.

The 24-year-old senior at the University of Nebraska has been training with his former Calabar teammates Fredrick Dacres, Traves Smikle, and Basil Bingham and others since late December 2015.

"I figured I had to train a different way this year. For most of last season, I had been training mostly by myself, and someone once told me that in order to become a lion, you have to train with them, so I figured I would train at least two months training down here with the lions," said Wright, who has been taking his classes at Nebraska online in the meantime.

While he was a student at Calabar, Wright was among a group of successful throwers who helped redefine how field events, more specifically the throws, were viewed by a sprint-crazy Jamaican fan base.

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During that period, Dacres won the World Youth and World Junior titles in 2011 and 2012, respectively, while Smikle won a World Youth bronze medal in 2010.

Wright, the 2009 CARIFTA champion, has been working under the watchful eye of his high school coach, Julian Robinson, and has said that the focus has been primarily on improving his technique.

"It's kind of like how you have to work out a better delivery system for water, so I am pretty much working on a better delivery system to translate my gym strength into throwing far," said Wright, who is majoring in mathematics.

He revealed that so far, the friendly rivalry between him and his former high school teammates has been bearing fruit.

"It's the constant competition every day, where you can't afford for them to be beating you up because they are going to come the next day and they're going to bring it up as soon as they see you, so you have to shut them up," said the 2013 CAC discus champion.

The five-time All-American was among three discus throwers who represented Jamaica at the World Championships in Beijing, China, last summer, a first for the country. He said getting to compete in China proved to be a great learning experience that he believes will help him get to Rio in August.

"It was a lesson for me because I went into the meet not fully prepared because I never planned anything because I wasn't sure I would make it," he said. It is a mistake he does not intend to make again.

Wright is scheduled to leave the island early next month.